El Anatsui (Ghanaian, born 1944), New World Map, 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. Image courtesy of Bonhams
ART AUCTION: 2011 South African artist Irma Stern’s Arab Priest sold for £3.04 million at Bonhams Auctions, becoming the most expensive work of art by an African artists sold at the Africa Now auction
LONDON- Six years after Africa Now started, Bonhams Auctions has continued to expand on its sale of modern and contemporary African Art. Early this year, Bonhams Auctions split Africa Now auction into two to facilitate the interest in African art and as well as attract more art collectors. The division focused on Modern African Art and Contemporary African Art. The first part , Africa Now- Modern Africa happened in May this year.
Some of the artists featured in that sale of Modern African Art held in Bonhams Auctions London included El Anatsui, Ben Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo, and many others. The top selling work was Anyanwu Simplified, a sculpture by Ben Enwonwu. A variation of the bronze sculpture that the artist produced for the National Museum of Lagos in 1958, the sculpture sold for £74,500 (US$ 117,300) inc. premium.
The second installment of the new Africa Now auction will be held October 15, 2015 in London. Works by famous contemporary African artists, including El Anatsui, Chéri Samba, Maïmouna Guerresi, Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, Juliet Ezenwa Maja-Pearce, Peju Alatise and Barthélémy Toguo will feature prominently at this Bonhams first contemporary African art sale.
Bonhams Auctions new initiative with the Africa Now project was engendered by the success recorded over the years and the growing vibrant market for African art.
Since it started in 2009, Bonhams Auctions Africa Now has brought Modern and Contemporary African Art to the center of the globe art market. The enthusiasm and intensity of emerging and established art collectors to add exceptional works by famous African artists to their collection has led to many record auction prices. Many emerging African artists have also benefited from the vibrant African art market. Here are 4 of the top works by African artists that achieved world records over six years of Bonhams Auctions Africa Now art auction.
2013 Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu’s “Mirror Sculptures” sold for £360,000
2014 Nigerian artist Yusuf Grillo’s “Woman with Gele” sold for £81,000
World Records achieved by works of famous African artists at Bonhams Auctions Africa Now:
- 2011 South African artist Irma Stern’s”Arab Priest“sold for £3.04 million
- 2012 Ghanaian artist El Anatsui’s “New World Map”sold for £550,000
- 2013 Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu’s “Mirror Sculptures”sold for £360,000
- 2014 Nigerian artist Yusuf Grillo’s “Woman with Gele” sold for £81,000