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On 11 May 2022 , PIASA will present Africa + Modern and Contemporary Art an exceptional sale in Paris dedicated to Africa and its related scenes.

Among the lots presented is to be highlighted a major work by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Man’s Journey on Earth, from 1983. This powerful drawing is the earliest and most important work by the artist ever presented at auction, right as the Ivorian master is being honoured in an exceptional monographic exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. One work similar to the one presented here and produced just four days prior, in September 1983, is presented in the MoMA exhibition.

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923- 2014, Côte d’Ivoire), Homme sur Terre (Man’s Journey on Earth), 1983. Ballpoint pen, marker and coloured pencil on paper, in a plastic frame by the artist’s hand, 40 x 30cm. Estimates: 30 000 / 50 000 € © Xavier Defaix

The sale includes masters such as William Kentridge (Lot 23), present here with a preparatory drawing for his important opera the Magic Flute, a tale about darkness and light which was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels and at La Scala in Milan in 2005. This is one of Kentridge’s earliest formal opera commissions.

William Kentridge (Born 1955, South Africa), Drawing from Preparing the Flute (Outline of Birds and Eye), 2005. Pastel and graphite on paper, Signed “KENTRIDGE” lower right, 80 x 120cm. Provenance: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Private Collection, France. Estimates: 80 000 / 120 000 €

The sale will also be an occasion to further explore the various scenes linked to the continent, with this time a focus on the Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries of Africa, Brazil and Cuba. Wilson Tiberio, one of the first and most important black painters in Brazil, wholly invested in the subject of emancipation struggles across the black world, moved to Paris in the mid-1940s, and later travelled to Africa, including Dakar, where he met Léopold Sédar Senghor. Two major works by this artist, dated 1944 and coming from a private Brazilian collection where they were kept since the 1940s, will be offered for the first time on the secondary market. They will be accompanied by works by the Cuban master Manuel Mendive, but also by a younger generation led by artists such as Kiluanji Kia Henda from Angola.

Wilson Tibério (1920-2005, Brazil), Market scene (Bahia), 1944. Oil on canvas, 55 x 47cm. Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist By descent to the present owner Private collection, São Paulo. Estimates: 5 000 / 7 000 € © Droits réservés
Kiluanji Kia Henda (Born 1979, Angola), The Geometric Ballad of Fear, 2015. Set of 9 prints. Matte paper, mounted on aluminium 53 x 80 cm (each). Estimates: 20 000 / 30 000 €. © Xavier Defaix

However, African artists do not only shine on their own continent, in North and South America and in Europe: a major work by the artist N’Guessan Kra, Mémoire du Temps, exhibited from 1995 in several museums in Japan, from Tokyo to Gifu, will demonstrate the interest of Asia for the most avant-garde artists of the continent as early as the end of the 1980s. Invited to participate in the contemporary art exhibition held during the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988, N’Guessan Kra is represented in the collection of the very important MMCA National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (Korea).

LEFT: Kra N’Guessan (Born in 1954, Ivory Coast), Mémoire du temps (Memory of time), 1995. Wood, sand, cardboard and found objects on assembled wood panels. Signed and dated «KRA 95» on the lower right corner. Signed, titled, dated, located and annotated, 190 x 68cm. Exhibitions: ‘An Inside Story: African Art of our Time’, itinerant exhibition: Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, from September 23 to November 19, 1995 Tokushima, The Tokushima Modern Art Museum, 20 January to 17 March 1996 Himeji, Himeji City Museum of Art, from 6 April to 6 May 1996. Koriyama, Koriyama City Museum of Art, from 18 May to 23 June 1996. Marugame, Inokuma-Genichiro Museum of Contemporary Art, from 7 July to 1 September 1996. Gifu, The Museum of Fine Arts, from September 13 to October 27, 1996. Estimates: 20 000 / 30 000 € © Xavier Defaix RIGHT: Alfredo Jaar (born 1956, Chile), Embrace, 1995. Video, 60 seconds Edition 1/6 + 3 A.P. Estimates: 50 000 / 70 000 € © Droits réservés

In addition to the above, the sale will introduce for the first time in an auction dedicated to African scenes, the work of two artists known for their commitment to social issues and the radical nature of their practice: Mohamed Bourouissa, represented with Temps Mort #41, a 2008 photograph from the eponymous video on the French prison system. The original video is part of major private and institutional collections, including the Pinault Collection in Paris and Venice; as well as Alfredo Jaar, whose touching video Embrace deals with the difficult theme of the Rwandan genocide, with dignity and sobriety.

Mohammed Bourouissa (Born 1978, Algeria/France), Untitled (Temps Mort) #41, 2008. Silver print under diasec, mounted on aluminium, 86 x 106,4cm. Edition 2/5. Estimates: 10 000 / 15 000 € © Xavier Defaix

From Wallen Mapondera to Lawrence Lemaoana, via Abe Obedina and the much sought-after Marcellina Akpojotor, the young rising stars of the continent’s art scene are not left out. A contemporary section bustling with energy is dedicated to them, under the benevolent gaze of the Masters, including Bocar Pathé Diong, master of the Dakar school, with a historic work from 1974, and Samuel Fosso, to whom a highly acclaimed exhibition was recently organised at the European Museum of Photography in Paris.

Lawrence Lemaoana (Born 1982, South Africa), A Whole Broken Man, circa 2009-2010. Embroidery on Kanga fabric, 157 x 117cm. Estimates: 10 000 / 15 000 € © Xavier Defaix

Echoing early 20th century decorators, PIASA heralds, above all, a certain way of life. The scenography of the sales and the objects displayed are opportunities for great names of interior architecture and design to conduct both brilliant and ephemeral exercises in style. These inspiring moments are the occasion for collectors to discover medieval and renaissance works, ancient paintings and drawings, books and manuscripts, Asian arts, modern and contemporary art, 20th century design, jewellery, fine furniture and objects, in an intimate setting. This passion for innovative atmospheres and luxurious interiors is particularly celebrated during the design sales presented every semester in partnership with the prestigious AD magazine.

Click here to view the catalogue. For more information, please visit PIASA.

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