On Wednesday, November 15, PIASA is organising a sale of modern and contemporary African art. The sale will feature 116 lots – produced from the 1900s to the present day, by some 70 artists from twenty countries on the African continent and the Caribbean. The sale features several important sets highlighting the art scenes of Senegal, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.
Following previous auctions, this new sale of African art showcases a remarkable panorama of artistic production from the continent and its diasporas. Among the selection are several groups of works illustrating the extraordinary creativity of certain territories.
Abdoulaye Samb (Active around 1900-1930, Senegal). Set of ten postcards and a vintage photograph, early 20th century Watercolour on cardboard, photograph, 14 x 9.5cm. Provenance: Jean-Claude Lemoine Collection, France. Claude Gassman Collection, France. Private collection, France. Estimate: 3000/5000€
Senegal is represented by four postcards by Abdoulaye Samb (lots 4 to 7), testifying to the first modernity of the early 20th century. The sale also features half a dozen works by artists from the Dakar School (lots 25 to 32), such as Ndary Lo (lots 34 & 35), Kassou Seydou (lot 38) and an exceptional work by El Hadji Sy (lot 33), dated 1977 which corresponds to the year the artist left the École des Beaux-Arts de Dakar. This work, in particular, is a beautiful example of the artist’s break with the teaching he received at the Beaux-Arts and illustrates his performative practice in which footprints play an essential role. Most of his early works, like this one, were partly destroyed by the artist and are, therefore very rare on the market.
Dada Khanyisa (born 1991, South Africa), Blue Sky Excuses, 2019. Acrylic and mixed media on wood, 86.5 x 57.5 x 15cm. Provenance: Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg. Corporate collection, Trucy Group, Paris. A certificate of authenticity will be given to the buyer. Estimate: 15000/20000€
The South African scene also figures prominently in the catalogue, with works by artists such as Kay Hassan (lot 61), who uses the poster collage technique known as «paper constructions» to replace paint, Gerard Sekoto (lot 64), a pioneer of black art and social realism in his country, with a canvas dated 1944/45, which has remained in the same collection since its acquisition at that time. More contemporary artists are also present: Dada Khanyisa (lot 69), already well known internationally and recently in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and Moshekwa Langa (lot 70), who has also made a name for himself abroad (France, Switzerland, USA…). His work was presented at the Fondation Louis Vuitton as part of the exhibition Afrique / Le nouvel atelier, highlighting the artist’s poetic talent.
El Anatsui (born in 1944, Ghana), Cloth with history II, 1993. Mixed technique on wood, 59 x 160cm. Provenance: Acquired from the Ra’Sha gallery, Nigeria, 1993. Private collection, Germany. Estimate: 40000/60000€
There is also a significant body of work by artists from the Ghanaian and Nigerian scenes, such as El Anatsui (lot 50), currently featured in the Turbin Hall at the Tate Modern, London, as well as younger talents to watch (lots 54 to 60) such as Wole Lagunju, Wonder Buhle Mbambo, Barry Yusufu, Eric, Adjei Tawiah, Kelani Fatai Oladimeji or Onadipe Olumide.
Dickens Otieno (born in 1979, Kenya), Stracks II, 2019. Mixed media, Signed “dickens 2019” lower right, 203 x 169cm. Provenance: Circle Art Agency, Nairobi. Corporate collection, Trucy Group, Paris. A certificate of authenticity will be given to the buyer. Estimate: 12000/18000€
In addition, there are other equally singular scenes with artists whose renown now extends far beyond national borders. Tanzanian scene is represented by three-panel paintings by Edward Saidi Tingatinga (lots 20 to 22). In contrast, the Beninese scene is represented by five works by Cyprien Tokoudagba (lots 15 to 19), who made his name with «Les magiciens de la terre», the Kenyan scene with two wall sculptures by Dickens Otieno (lots 73 & 74), the Ethiopian scene with two talismanic works by Gera and Gedewon (lots 75 & 76), the Sudanese scene with a painting by Salah Elmur (lot 44), a figure of symbolic art characteristic of the Karthoum school. The Congolese scene is shown with an astounding work by Aimé Mpane.
Aimé Mpane (born in 1968, Congo), The collector of cut hands, 2014. Acrylic on wood, fabric and fishing line, Signed and dated “Aime Mpane 2014” lower right, 208 x 158cm. Provenance: New York, Bonhams, Modern & Contemporary African Art, May 2, 2019, lot no. 2. Corporate collection, Trucy Group, Paris A certificate of authenticity will be given to the buyer. Estimate:30000/40000€
Aimé Mpane, composed of a mosaic of interconnected pieces of wood carved with an adze, linked together. This majestic work, which can be apprehended like a sculpture, explores the painful colonial history of the Belgian Congo.
Fatma Mahieddine known as Baya (1931-1998, Algeria). Untitled, circa 1970. Gouache on Canson paper, 50 x 50cm. Provenance: Acquired from the artist, Algiers, 1979. Private collection, France. Exhibition: Algiers, French Cultural Center of Algiers, 1979. Estimate: 8000/12000€
Finally, the sale will feature two works by artists of Algerian origin: a gouache on paper by Algerian artist Baya (Fatma Mahieddine) (lot 43), whose assignments are highly sought-after by art lovers and have been the subject of a retrospective presented at the Institut du Monde Arabe and the Musée de la Vieille Charité in Marseille, and a photographic tryptique by Maya Inès Touam (lot 82), presenting various cultural allusions in a still-life style.
For more information, please visit PIASA.