This week, Bonhams and Sotheby’s both touted their sales of African Art taking place this Spring in London and New York:
Bonhams Africa Now sale takes place on March 16th in London. There will be 115 works from across Africa:
Prices range from £1,000 for artists such as Ibou Diouf from Senegal and Henry Munyaradzi from Zimbabwe, to £50,000 for an El Anatsui, the Ghanaian, who is Africa’s most significant modern sculptor. He was chosen to represent the continent at the 1990 Venice Biennale. The traditional kente cloth of Ghana provides a theme that runs through much of his work.
An intriguing work by Malangatana Valente Ngwenya, of Mozambique (1936-2011) titled inferno and estimated to sell for £7,000 to £10,000, comes out of his experiences of the violence he witnessed when he was imprisoned during the colonial period 1959 to 1964 for two years after having been accused of being involved with the revolutionary movement FRELIMO (the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique). Post independence he served as a FRELIMO deputy for four years and later as a member of the Maputo Municipal Assembly.
A work by Ben Enwonwu (1917 -1994) from Nigeria, offers an insight into African dance. Estimated at £25,000 to £35,000 the work addresses the significance of dance throughout the continent.
Sotheby’s will be holding the sale of pioneering collector Robert Rubin’s works in May.
His highly selective collection of approximately 50 works reflects his extraordinary taste and discernment. Among the many highlights is a Dogon Nduleri Male Ancestor Figure by the Master of the Slanted Eyes, the companion to a female figure in the collection of the Musée du Louvre in Paris which entered the collection in 2001. The dramatically carved legs and knees of the elongated figure contribute to the dynamic rhythm of the sculpture (est. $800,000/1.2 million). The collection is estimated to bring more than $4 million. Prior to the exhibition and sale in New York, highlights will also be shown at Sotheby’s Paris from 12th – 15th April 2011.