Thursday 25th May 2017,

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Modern Africa Auction Reveals Demand for African Art

posted by ARTCENTRON
Modern Africa Auction Reveals Demand for African Art

El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944), Crowd Awaiting in 10 pieces, carved wood relief with acrylic 76.5 x 100.5cm (30 1/8 x 39 9/16in).  Estimate:  £15,000 – 20,000. Price Realized: £62,500 / US$ 98,406 inc. premium. Image courtesy of Bonhams

ART AUCTION: High Auction prices at Bonhams Modern Africa Auction reveal upward trend in African Art

Image: Benedict -Chukwukadibia -Enwonwu M.B.E -Nigerian, 1917-1994- Anyanwu- Simplified. One of the works sold at the at Bonhams Modern Africa Auction-News

Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994) Anyanwu Simplified 137 x 22 x 18cm (53 15/16 x 8 11/16 x 7 1/16in) excluding base. Estimate: £60,000 – 90,000. Price Realized: £74,500/ US$ 117,300 inc. premium. Image courtesy of Bonhams

LONDON- Works by a small group of trail-blazing artists whose lives bridged the gap between Africa and Europe were recently  on sale at the Bonhams Africa Now-Modern Africa Auction.  Artists whose works were presented at the auction included Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu, El Anatsui , Twins Seven-Seven, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Yusuf Adebayo Cameron Grillo, Uzo Egonu, Bathelemy Toguo, and several others.

Following on the heels of the great advancement made by African artists in the global art market, there were high hopes that many of the carefully selected works would make record auction prices. About 100 works were put on sale during the Modern African Auction  and 61 were sold.  In total, the auction realized £851, 813.

Topping the Modern Africa Auction was Anyanwu Simplified, a sculpture by  Ben Enwonwu.  Measuring 137 x 22 x 18cm (53 15/16 x 8 11/16 x 7 1/16in) excluding base, the sculpture is a variation of the bronze sculpture that the artist produced for the National Museum of Lagos in 1958.  It sold for £74,500 (US$ 117,300) inc. premium.

African Dancers also by Ben Enwonwu got great attention when it was presented at the Modern Africa auction. An oil on canvas painting measuring 105 x 114cm (41 5/16 x 44 7/8in), it sold for £68,500 (US$ 107,853) inc. premium. The painting captures dancers showing intricate steps.

Although  works by Ben Enwonwu topped the Modern African Auction, his works  were not the only one that got  deserved attention.  Works by El Anatsui,  a celebrated Ghanaian artists also did well.  His piece titled Two Hands and Two Feet sold for £62,500 (US$ 98,406) inc. premium.  The relief  sculpture  employs colors and symbols traditionally used for Asante Adinkra cloth.

Bata drummers by Yusuf Adebayo Cameron Grillo, one of  Africa’s celebrated artists sold for  £56,250 (US$ 88,565) inc. premium at the Modern Africa Auction. The oil on canvas painting measuring 123 x 92cm (48 7/16 x 36 1/4in),  pays homage  to Yoruba bata ensemble that are traditionally associated with Sango, the thunder deity.

Here are the top lots at the Africa Now – Modern Africa Auction held in  London.

Image: Yusuf Adebayo Cameron Grillo's Bata Drummers was one of the top lots at Bonhams Modern Africa Auction

Yusuf Adebayo Cameron Grillo (Nigerian, born 1934), Bata Drummers, oil on board 123 x 92cm (48 7/16 x 36 1/4in). Estimate: £50,000 – 80,000. Price Realized: £56,250/US$ 88,565 inc. premium. Image courtesy of Bonhams

  1. Lot 19. Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994) Anyanwu Simplified 137 x 22 x 18cm (53 15/16 x 8 11/16 x 7 1/16in) excluding base. Estimate: £60,000 – 90,000. Price Realized: £74,500/ US$ 117,300 inc. premium
  1. Lot 41. Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994) Africa Dances, oil on canvas, 105x 114cm (41 5/16 x 44 7/8in). Estimate: £60,000 – 90,000 . Price Realized: £68,500/ US$ 107,853 inc. premium
  1. Lot 64. El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944), Two Hands and Two Feet in16 pieces, carved wood relief with acrylic 65x 168.5cm(25 9/16 x 66 5/16 in). Estimate: £20,000 – 30,000. Price Realized: £62,500/US$ 98,406 inc. premium
  1. Lot 65. El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944), Crowd Awaiting in 10 pieces, carved wood relief with acrylic 76.5x 100.5cm(30 1/8 x 39 9/16in).  Estimate:  £15,000 – 20,000. Price Realized: £62,500 / US$ 98,406 inc. premium
  1. Lot 20 . Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994), Anyanwu, 79 x 21 x 22cm (31 1/8 x 8 1/4 x 8 11/16in) excluding base. Estimate: £45,000 – 55,000. Price Realized: £56,250/US$ 88,565 inc. premium
  1. Lot 28. Yusuf Adebayo Cameron Grillo (Nigerian, born 1934), Bata Drummers, oil on board 123x 92cm(48 7/16 x 36 1/4in). Estimate: £50,000 – 80,000. Price Realized:  £56,250/US$ 88,565 inc.  premium
  1. Lot 27. Yusuf Adebayo Cameron Grillo (Nigerian, born 1934) The Pink Dress, oil on board 91.5x 61cm(36 x 24in). Estimate: £30,000 – 50,000. Price Realized: £50,000/ US$ 78,725 inc. premium
  1. Lot 29. Yusuf Adebayo Cameron Grillo (Nigerian, born 1934), Igi-nla (Big Tree), oil on board 121.5x 122cm(47 13/16 x 48 1/16in).  Estimate:  £20,000 – 30,000. Price Realized: £35,000/ US$ 55,107 inc. premium
  1. Lot 42. Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994), Female Dancer with Fly-Whisks, oil on canvas 72.5x 50cm(28 9/16 x 19 11/16in). Estimate: £25,000 – 35,000. Price Realized: £27,500 / US$ 43,298 inc. premium
  1. Lot 30. Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994), Jungle Path, oil on canvas 132x 70cm(51 15/16 x 27 9/16in).  Estimate: £15,000 – 20,000. Price Realized: £21,250/ US$ 33,458 inc. premium.Join the art conversation: Share your thoughts and commentsFOLLOW US ON: FacebookTwitterGoogle+

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