El Anatsui’s shimmering tapestry of aluminium bottle caps leads the sale
New records set for 11 artists: Omar Ba | Alexander Skunder Boghossian | Abdoulaye Aboudia Diarrassouba | Salah Elmur | Hassan El Glaoui | Ablade Glover | Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga | Malangatana Ngwenya | J.D Okhai Ojeikere | Hussein Shariffe | Ernesto Shikhani
Lot 8: El Anatsui, Zebra Crossing 2, est. £550,000-750,000
Hannah O’Leary, Sotheby’s Head of Modern and Contemporary African Art, said: “Exceeding all pre-sale expectations, today’s auction reflects the continued strength of, and appreciation for, the Modern and Contemporary African Art market. Standing at the forefront of the field, Sotheby’s sale saw a multitude of new records for artists from across the African diaspora, including the father of Congolese ‘Popular’ painting Chéri Samba, Moroccan master Hassan El Glaoui, and rising star Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga. We also saw a fantastic result for Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, who will be representing the country for the first time at the Venice Biennale later this year. Today’s auction signals a continued international interest in the category, spanning the African continent and extending across the globe.”
Sotheby’s fourth sale of Modern and Contemporary African Art in London realised £2,316,625 / $3,023,196 (pre-sale estimate: £1.5-2.2 million / $2-2.9 million), establishing new auction records for 11 artists in this category.
The sale was led by contemporary Ghanaian artist EL ANATSUI, whose metallic aluminium bottle cap tapestry, titled Zebra Crossing 2, achieved £1.1 million / $1.4 million (est. £550,000-750,000), after competitive bidding pushed the final total well above the pre-sale estimate, and establishing the third highest price for a work by the artist at auction. The sale coincides with the largest survey exhibition of El Anatsui’s work to date curated by Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu in Munich and precedes his representation of Ghana at the Venice Biennale later this year.
Lot 33: Hassan El Glaoui, La Sortie du Roi, est. £80,000-120,000
A powerful celebration of his homeland, HASSAN EL GLAOUI’s La Sortie du Roi sold for a majestic £137,500 / $179,438 (est. £80,000-120,000), achieving an auction record for the artist.
Lot 68: Eddy Kamuanga Illunga, Palm, est. £25,000-35,000
New heights were reached for rising star EDDY KAMUANGA ILUNGA, aged just 28, when Palm sold for £81,250 / $106,031, storming past the previous record of £65,000 / $92,124 set at Sotheby’s London in March 2018.
Lot 59: Cheri Samba, J’aime la couleur, est. £40,000-60,000
Congolese artist and co-founder of the ‘Popular Painting’ movement, CHÉRI SAMBA’s glittering J’aime la couleur from 2005 realised £93,750 / $122,344 (est. £40,000-60,000).
• Fourth sale dedicated to Modern & Contemporary African Art at Sotheby’s
• Auction records set for 11 artists
• Buyers from the African continent accounted for 70.4% of the total sold by value
• Sale included works by 44 artists from 14 countries across Africa
• 96% of works offered in the sale were fresh to auction
• Artists from the following countries were represented: Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sudan, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and South Africa
• The sale saw participation from bidders across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America
• Pre-sale estimate: £1.5-2.2 million / $2-2.9 million
• 75 lots offered
NEW RECORDS FOR 11 ARTISTS
Lot 1: Ablade Glover, Market Scene, est. £6,000-8,000
In lot order: ABLADE GLOVER’s effervescent Market Scene achieved £26,250 / $34,256 breaking the record set by Sotheby’s in March 2018 (lot 2)
Lot 10: J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, Untitled, Hairstyles Series, C.1980, est. £3,000-5,000
J.D. ‘OKHAI OJEIKERE broke his auction record twice with two works from his ‘Hairstyles Series’. Untitled from 1980 fetched £7,500 / $9,788 before Modern Suku (1979) set a new benchmark for the artist at £11,250 / $14,681 (lots 10 & 11)
Lot 25: Abdoulaye Aboudia Diarrassouba, Untitled, est. £10,000-15,000
ABDOULAYE ABOUDIA DIARRASSOUBA’s electric canvas Untitled realised £37,500 /$48,938, over double its high estimate (lot 25)
Lot 29: Omara Ba, Untitled, est. £15,000-20,000
A new auction record was set for Congolese artist OMAR BA whose charismatic painting of anthropomorphic figures sold for £23,750 / $30,994 (lot 29)
A powerful celebration of his homeland, HASSAN EL GLAOUI’s Moroccan scene titled La Sortie du Roi reached £137,500 / $179,438 (lot 33)
Lot 34: Salah Elmur, The Family Portrait, est. £12,000-18,000
Previously exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London, SALAH ELMUR’s The Family Portrait realised £22,500 / $29,362 (lot 34)
A former student of renowned British artist Lucian Freud, HUSSEIN SHARIFFE’s Birth and Death of the Stars sold for a sparkly £12,500 / $16,312 (lot 38)
Lot 39: Alexander Skunder Boghossian, Harvest Scrolls, est. £30,000-50,000
ALEXANDER SKUNDER BOGHOSSIAN’s Harvest Scrolls rolled in at £62,500 / $81,562 (lot 39)
All eyes were on MALANGATANA NGWENYA’s cerulean canvas Esperando Da Paz (Waiting for Peace), which achieved £16,250 / $21,206 (lot 44)
Lot 47: Ernesto Shikhani, Untitled, £5,000-7,000
ERNESTO SHIKHANI’s bold Untitled work fetched £5,625 / $7,341 (lot 47)
Rising star EDDY KAMUANGA ILUNGA reached new heights with Palm, achieving £81,250 / $106,031 (lot 68)