Out of Africa... and into the US art market

The Africa Now sale at Bonhams begins tomorrow (March 10) with a range of exciting new talents on view in New York.

The Africa Now auction is the first commercial auction of African contemporary art ever to be held in the US, including work by both new and established artists. 

Many of the artists' work has previously been sold by Bonhams in London for World Record prices.

There are 137 works by 78 artists from 14 countries as diverse as South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Benin.

Prices will range from $5,000-120,000.

Highlights of the sale include Africa Dances, Eve Noir, 1972, by Ben Enwonwu - a watercolour and pastel on board estimated to sell for $60,000-90,000.

Africa Dances, Eve Noi', 1972, by Ben Enwonwu (estimated at $60k-90k)

The picture was acquired directly from the artist circa 1970s and gifted to the present owner. Enwonwu was a pioneer of the modern art movement in Western Africa.

Another highlight is a piece by the internationally renowned Malian photographer, Malick Sidibé.

It will be sold on behalf of the charity Keep a Child Alive, the HIV/AIDS charity founded by Alicia Keys, the singer, songwriter, actress, author and philanthropist with a keen interest in Africa.

"We are greatly honoured that 'Keep a Child Alive' has agreed to partner at this event," said Giles Peppiatt, Director of African Art at Bonhams.

"Their credentials as a leading ambassador for African issues made them a natural choice to introduce this stunning collection of the best of contemporary African Art."

In other news, a Christie's auction of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art will present 91 works from leading 20th-21st century artists from South Asia, India and Pakistan.

It takes place in New York on March 23.


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