With the success of Julie Mehretu and El Anatsui at last week’s sales in New York, African art is getting more attention. Tomorrow Bonhams will hold sales of contemporary African art in London while Artnet piggybacks with online sales of its own, as Colin Gleadell points out:
The Bonhams sale is estimated at £500,000 to £800,000. Artnet’s sale is much smaller, but valued at £378,000 to £618,000. Less traditional in content, it includes works by international stars Chris Ofili and the US-based Wangechi Mutu. Its London co-ordinator is Ben Hanly, formerly a specialist in contemporary art at Lyon & Turnbull in Scotland.
Hanly says: “The decision to hold the African sale was made because contemporary African art is one of the most exciting emerging markets at the moment. In the past five years, artists such as El Anatsui, Wangechi Mutu, Julie Mehretu and Yinka Shonibare have moved into the top tier of international contemporary artists.”
Last week a painting by Mehretu sold in New York for $4.6 million, and a bottle-top tapestry by El Anatsui made nearly $1.2 million, both new records. The question is whether Hanly can get his hands on these artists.
Bonhams Faces Competition From Artnet Auctions (Telegraph)