As announced in a previous article, on Tuesday June 15, 2021, the art auction house Artcurial organized in partnership with the South African house Aspire, a sale dedicated to African Contemporary Art and featuring a rare collection of works by artists from the Dakar school and emerging African figures in Paris.

A record sale of Contemporary African Art

This sale dedicated to Contemporary African Art totaled $1,514,840 including fees and featured a selection of works highlighting the contemporaneity of African art and its younger generation of artists.

The record of the day was the sale of an animal-shaped bronze by South African sculptor Dylan Lewis with his work « Stalking Cheetah II » (S346) for $111,489 including fees, three times its original estimate.

This was not the only isolated case. Ugandan artist Godwin Champs Namuyimba saw the value of his work « Dreamers » multiply by more than five to be sold for $94,380, including fees. As for the French-Senegalese Alioune Diagne, his two paintings « Urban dancers » dating from 2017, were sold for more than eight times their estimate and change hands for $62,920, including fees. The work « Femme Wolof » dating from 2019, went for more than seven times its initial estimate for a cost of $55,055, including fees.

Godwin-CHAMPS-NAMUYIMBA-Dreamers Contemporary African Art Auction : a record and wonderful surprises at Artcurial
Godwin CHAMPS NAMUYIMBA, Dreamers – 2019 Vendu 78 000 € frais inclus (est : 15 000 – 25 000 €)

This auction highlighted a young generation of artists such as the Congolese painter Zemba Luzamba or the Ivorian Aboudia, with his work « La vie en violet » sold for $106,964 including fees. Also presented at the sale was a tapestry in wool yarn and artificial flowers by Athi-Patra Ruga, the work « Uzukile the Elder » which was acquired for $31,151 including fees, a bronze by another South African Brett Muray, « The Party vs The People », which critiques contemporary life and abuses of power that sold for $29,511, including fees, a 2017 oil on canvas by artist Misheck Masamvu, « Natural Selection », which presents a posture as a political act critical of Zimbabwe’s post-independence socio-political environment, auctioned for $29,511, including fees.

Abdoulaye-Diarrassouba-dit-ABOUDIA-La-vie-en-violet Contemporary African Art Auction : a record and wonderful surprises at Artcurial
Abdoulaye Diarrassouba dit ABOUDIA, La vie en violet – 2015 Vendu 88 400 € frais inclus (est : 50 000 – 80 000 €)

This focus on African artists is a common ambition shared by Artcurial and the South African auction house Aspire, who together presented pieces by contemporary African artists rarely exhibited in Europe.

The sale ended with a chapter dedicated to photography with prints by the iconic Malick Sidibé, including an iconic gelatin-silver « Nuit de Noël – 1963 », which exposes the brotherly love between a brother and sister won for $39,325, including fees.

According to Artcurial‘s Director of Contemporary African Art, Christophe Person, the results of the sale indicate that contemporary African art lovers are interested in both recent pieces by artists who are entering the international market at a very young age and accomplished artists.

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