On November 4, 2023, Artcurial, the renowned French art house, is organizing a major event that promises to delight contemporary art lovers and collectors. The prestigious Hôtel La Mamounia will be the venue for the “Moroccan & African Spirit“ auction, featuring the great names in modern and contemporary Moroccan and African art. This exceptional sale will feature previously unseen works by renowned artists such as Abdoulaye Konaté, Ben Cheffaj, Jilali GHARBAOUI, Miloud Labied, Mohamed Melehi, Abdelkébir RABI’, Soly Cissé, among others, from prestigious Moroccan collections.
In a press release, Artcurial, France’s leading auction house, states: “Patiently built up over the last twenty years, this exceptional collection reveals an emblematic panorama of modern and contemporary Moroccan art“. It is therefore a grandiose artistic sale, bringing together a significant number of works by Moroccan and sub-Saharan African artists.
Moroccan Modern and Contemporary Art
The “Moroccan & African Spirit” auction will feature three works by Moroccan painter Mohamed Melehi: Constitution in puzzle B, Composition (1975), a cellulosic painting, and L’arbre de Juba II, an oil on canvas inspired by the great royal figures of ancient Africa. The first is a monumental work comprising several elements (flame, cellulose paint, collage, wave) emblematic of one of Morocco’s best-known artists, and is estimated at between £70,000 and £100,000. The other two works are estimated at £80,000 – £100,000 and £35,000 – £50,000 respectively.
Composed of light touches of color with a black chromaticism, many of Abdelkébir Rabi”s works will also be presented at the auction, including Composition (2015) with an estimated selling price of £28,000 – £35,000. Another Composition from 1965 by Jilali Gharbaoui will be exhibited at £28,000 – £35,000, as will Hassan El Glaoui’s Cavaliers, estimated at £20,000 – £30,000.
The “Moroccan & African Spirit” auction will also feature works by Miloud Labied, a Composition from 1974 valued at £20,000 – £30,000, as well as a creation by Saad Ben Cheffaj Tetouan, who drew inspiration from his home town for this personal work, estimated at £10,000 – £15,000. Creations by artists Abdelbassit Ben Dahman, Hassan Hajjaj and Chaïbia Tallal will also form part of the collection of Moroccan works selected for sale.
Contemporary African Art
For the sale of contemporary African art, works by Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté and Senegalese artist Soly Cissé will occupy the space prepared for this unprecedented auction. In an avalanche of striking pictorial color, Soly Cissé will present Composition 2018, a powerful work blending hybrid creatures, pictograms and Sénoufo-inspired silhouettes, estimated at £6,000 – £8,000.
As for Abdoulaye Konaté‘s works, it will be Composition pour Fès n°1, estimated between £18,000 – £25,000 and coming from his series of monumental textile works created in 2016. In his creation, he presents an uncommon and significant alloy of several pieces of textile and embroidery from the city’s master craftsmen with the affluent Malian basin. The black, red and blue color tones achieved on the work are justified by his collaboration with local dyers.
The French art house Artcurial is offering a rich auction at La Mamounia, highlighting innovation and contemporary artistic talent from Morocco and Africa. It’s an opportunity for art collectors to acquire one of these never-before-seen creations by outstanding contemporary artists.