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African Artists Flourish in the Global Art Market: Art Auction Results

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African Artists Flourish in the Global Art Market: Art Auction Results

El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944), aluminium bottle caps and copper wire 340 x 500cm (133 7/8 x 196 7/8in). Sold for £541,250 (US$ 801,221) inc. premium. African Artists.Image courtesy of Bonhams African Artists

ART AUCTION

From Africa Now to Bonhams recent auction of works by South African artists, African art continues to make great impact in the global art market

Image: Ben Enwonwu, Fishermen, oil on board, is one of the works by African artists that made great impact at Africa Now

Ben (Benedict Chukwukadibia) Enwonwu, M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994), Fishermen, oil on board, 29 15/16 x 42 1/8in (76 x 107cm). Sold for US$ 67,100 inc. premium. Image courtesy of Bonhams

BY KAZAD

LONDON— Contemporary African art continues to make great impact in the global market place. At a recent fine art auction organized  by Bonhams in London, South African artists  with their works made record prices, putting contemporary African art on a higher pedestal. From paintings to sculptures, South African artists, including Dylan Lewis, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, Maggie (Maria Magdalena) Laubser, and Stella Shawzin among many others, made a mark in an auction that drew collectors from across the globe.

The record sale of the works by the South African artists at the Bonhams auction not only showed the strong interest in contemporary African art, it is  also a reminder of Bonhams African Now Sale, when African artists, including El Anatsui, Ben Enwonwu, Uche Okeke, Yusuf Grillo among several others made great impact in the global art market space.

In the last two decades, there has been an unprecedented attention to contemporary and modern African art in the West. Besides the increase in the number of exhibitions in museums and galleries in Western metropolises, many art auction houses are also offering works of young and notable African artists for sale. Bonhams, an auction house based in London, with offices around the globe, has been at the forefront of presenting contemporary and modern African art for sale. Bonhams presentations of original artworks by African artists at contemporary art auctions have successfully generated renewed interest in artistic development in the African continent. Many of the artworks by African artists presented by Bonhams through their fine art auctions include sculpture, paintings and art installations. Based on the results of these art auctions, it is evident that Bonhams has cultivated new African art collectors, who have continued to make impressive offers for artworks by African artists.

ART AUCTION | READ ALSO: Bonhams Smashes Art Auction Records for Ben Enwonwu in London

In the first of our series on African art at the art auctions, Artcentron is presenting the Top Ten Lot from Bonhams Africa Now Sale. Although the auction featured other artists, the top lots were all works by Nigerian artists. The artists include El Anatsui, Ben Enwonwu, and Uche Okeke. The art auction prices recoded for the works of these great African artists illustrate not just their contribution to the development of art in Africa, but also that contemporary and modern African art is now gaining the recognition it rightly deserves.

The Top 10 Lots from Bonhams Africa Now Sales highlight the growth of contemporary African art and artists in the global art market. The  report features the top ten lots by contemporary African artists sold at the Bonhams African Now auction in London through the years.

Top Ten Lots from Bonhams Africa Now Sale Show African Artist in the global art market 

Image: Motherhood, an oil on board painting by Nigerian artist Uche Okeke, is one of the works that put African artists on the global stage

Prof. Uche Okeke (Nigerian, born 1933), Motherhood,oil on board 91.5 x 61cm (36 x 24in). Sold for £51,650 (US$ 76,458) inc. premium in 2013. Image courtesy of Bonhams

1. Lot. 167. El Anatsui, New World Map. Price Realized: £541,250. Sold in 2012

2. Lot 129. Ben Enwonwu, 7 sculptures commissioned by Daily Mirror, 1960. Price Realized: £361,250. Sold in 2013

3. Lot 101. Ben Enwonwu, The Durbar of Eid ul-Fitr. Price Realized: £193, 250. Sold in 2013

4. Lot 118. Ben Enwonwu, Anyanwu. Price Realized: £133, 250. Sold in 2013

5.Lot 12. Ben Enwonwu, Negritude. Price Realized: £66,000. Sold in 2009

6. Lot 68. Ben Enwonwu, Dancing Boys. Price Realized: £59, 514. Sold in 2010

7. Lot 20. Ben Enwonwu, African Dancers. Price Realized: £54,000. Sold in 2011

8. Lot 122. . Uche Okeke, Motherhood. Price Realized: £51,650. Sold in 2013

9. Lot 24. Ben Enwonwu, African Dances. Price Realized: £47,611. Sold in 2010

10. Lot 26. Ben Enwonwu, Fishermen. Price Realized: £43, 643. Sold in 2010

Top Ten Pictures  by African Artists Sold in Bonhams Africa Now Sale

1. Lot. 167. El Anatsui, New World Map. Price Realized: £541,250. Sold in 2012

2. Lot 101. Ben Enwonwu, The Durbar of Eid ul-Fitr. Price Realized: £193, 250. Sold in 2013

3. Lot 12. Ben Enwonwu, Negritude. Price Realized: 66,000. Sold in 2009

4. Lot 68. Ben Enwonwu, Dancing Boys. Price Realized: £59, 514. Sold in 2010

5. Lot 20. Ben Enwonwu, African Dancers. Price Realized: £54,000. Sold in 2011

6. Lot 122. Uche Okeke, Motherhood. Price Realized : £51,650. Sold in 2013

7. Lot 24. Ben Enwonwu, African Dances. Price Realized: £47,611. Sold in 2010

8. Lot 26. Ben Enwonwu, Fishermen. Price Realized: £43,643. Sold in 2010

9. Lot 171 El Anatsui, Migrants & Illusions. Price Realized: £42,050. Sold in 2013

10. Lot 26. Yusuf Grillo, Sabada 64. Price Realized: £37,692. Sold in 2010

Top Ten Sculptures by African Artists Sold in Bonhams Africa Now Sale

1. Lot 129. Ben Enwonwu, 7 sculptures commissioned by Daily Mirror in 1960. Price Realized: 361,250. Sold in 2013

2. Lot 118. Ben Enwonwu, Anyanwu. Price Realized: £133, 250. Sold in 2013

3. Lot 55. El Anatsui, Sculpture 2. Price Realized £30, 000. Sold in 2009

4. Lot 92. El Anatsui, Sculpture 1. Price Realized: 27,450. Sold in 2010

5. Lot 216. Bunmi Babatunde, Possibility III. Price Realized: £23, 750. Sold in 2013

6. Lot 195. Douglass Camp, Naked Fish. Price Realized: £21, 250. Sold in 2013

7. Lot 148. Okpu Eze, Maiden. Price Realized: £15, 000. Sold in 2013

8. Lot 31. Ben Osawe, Symbol of Wealth. Price Realized: £14, 640. Sold in 2010

9. Lot 32. Ben Osawe , Innocence . Price Realized: 10,980. Sold in 2010

10. Lot 54, Erhabor Emokpae, Life and Death. Price Realized: £10, 370. Sold in 2010

Image: Ben Enwonwu, Africa Dances is a watercolour painting showing African women dancing, a theme explored by many African artists

Ben Enwonwu, Africa Dances watercolour, 75 x 53.5cm (29 1/2 x 21 1/16in). Sold for £54,000 (US$ 79,937) inc. premium in 2011. Image courtesy of Bonhams

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