Art And Culture

Bonhams’ First Contemporary African Art Sale in London

Bonhams’ First Contemporary African Art Sale in LondonBonhams’ First Contemporary African Art Sale in London

The first sale by an international auctioneer that is solely focused on the new and vibrant African market will be held in London by Bonhams on October 15.

‘Africa Now – Contemporary Africa’ will feature works by the most of the continent’s major contemporary artists including El Anatsui, Chéri Samba, Maïmouna Guerresi and Barthélémy Toguo.

Awareness of Contemporary African Art has grown faster in recent years than in any other field, and the auction house is expecting strong interest in the sale. Bonhams already holds many world records at auction for works by contemporary African artists.

Ghana-born, Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui leads the sale with two wooden sculptures, ‘Al Haji’ (estimated at £100,000-150,000) and ‘The Pilgrims’ (£30,000-50,000). Long regarded as the leading contemporary artist in Africa, El Anatsui has become globally renowned with exhibitions at the 2007 Venice Biennale, New York’s Brooklyn Museum and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2013, reported.

The work of Chéri Samba is inspired by the billboards round his adopted city of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A former sign-painter for an advertising agency, Samba has developed his own large-scale, vivid paintings, easily seen from a distance, of which ‘J’aime la couleur’, estimated at £25,000-30,000,is a perfect example.

The childhood of the Mozambican sculptor Gonçalo Mabunda, was scarred by the country’s civil war and this is echoed in pieces he has made from decommissioned weapons of which ‘Weapon Throne’ is offered for auction.

The sale also includes works by Cameroon-born Barthélémy Toguo who trained in Côte d’Ivoire before studying in France and Germany. His watercolor ‘You Are Not Supposed to Park Here’ (estimated at £10,000-15,000) is, like much of Toguo’s work, informed by the global flow of people and capital.

Giles Peppiatt, Bonhams Director of Contemporary African Art, said, “Contemporary African painting and sculpture is currently among the most exciting and dynamic areas of world art and artists such as El Anatsui and Cheri Samba are internationally renowned.”