$80,000 El Anatsui sculpture leads Bonhams' African art sale, next month

The third 'Africa Now' auction, a fascinating sample of the best African Modern and Contemporary Art, goes on sale at Bonhams, the international fine art auction house, in London on March 16th.

The sale which moves by turn between London and New York, takes place in Britain this March, and promises to be the strongest sale of its kind yet.

Giles Peppiatt, Head of African Art at Bonhams, says:  "Some 115 works from artists across the continent - Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe - will once more attract buyers from around the world.

"Bonhams has a presence in 27 countries on five continents and provides a major conduit to world-wide buyers interested in Modern and Contemporary African art."

Ben Enwonwu The Marketplace
Ben Enwonwu's The Marketplace
(Click to enlarge)

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.


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