Africa Scenes I
Auction 24 October 2010
29 July 2010 — Updated 27 September 2010
- Iba Ndiaye (1928-2008)
- Le peintre, 1963
série les enfants de chœur
- Oil on canvas
101 x 78 cm
- Estimation: €25,000
Artcurial | Briest - Poulain - F. Tajan are pleased to announce that the first in a series of auctions, devoted to 50 Years of Modern & Contemporary African Art, will take place on October 24 – during FIAC 2010.
The project is part of the celebrations planned for the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of African Countries (1960-2010). Jacques Toubon, Secretary General of the Celebrations, is patron of this auction initiative, and associating it with the Anniversary.
The sales will look to take a detached view of the origins of contemporary African art, highlighting its artistic significance and illustrating the richness, consistency, overlaps and contrasts of the two-way process between African and Western Art, as each mutually enriched the other.
The sale begins with the 1950s generation of modernist African artists, and continues through to their principal heirs – the leading figures of African contemporary art today.
A hundred works will be offered, presenting Avant-Garde artistic creativity both on the African continent and among the African diaspora in Europe, North America and South America – from the eve of African nations’ independence until now.
The emergent African art of today is not the product of a ‘spontaneous generation.’ These artists have trained at art school in Paris, London, Berlin or New York and belonged to post-war artistic movements. Some studied with studio teachers in Africa before coming to Europe to finish their training. Alongside their European colleagues, African painters, sculptors, draughtsmen, photographers, ceramicists, engravers, designers and heddlesetters have learned about, and influenced, modernist practice in Europe, the United States, Africa and amongst the African diaspora, wherever they lived, studied or worked. Their contribution was passed on to, and taken up by, artists on today’s contemporary scene.
- Henri Guédon (1944-2006)
- Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1990
- Mixed media on panel
- Estimation: €15,000
In 1963, work by Iba Ndiaye (a pupil of Zadkin and based at La Ruche), the future master of Senegalese painting, was shown at the Saõ Paulo Biennale. In 1966, at the initiative of Léopold Sédar Senghor, the World Festival of Negro Arts took place in Dakar under the patronage of General de Gaulle and presidency of André Malraux – a first step towards raising the profile of African Art and what would become known as the School of Dakar, although both would remain little-known until the late ‘70s. The next decade was marked by political upheaval and post-Independence blues. It was not until the Havana Biennale in the 1990s, and the Dakar Biennale first held in 1992, that African art became a regular fixture on the international scene. Then came the Johannesburg Biennale in 1997, and the Modernités & Mémoires satellite event at that year’s Venice Biennale. An African Pavilion, with a show titled Authentic/Ex-Centric, was finally launched at the Venice Biennale in 2001, under the direction of the Forum for African Arts headed by Okwui Enwezor (artistic director of Documenta XI), and of Salah Hassan in collaboration with Florence Alexis.
The sale will include works by Christian Lattier, Ben Enwonwu, Twin Seven-Seven, Iba Ndiaye, Paul Ayhi, Clément-Marie Biazin, Marcel Gotène and Skunder Boghossian (Ethiopia), alongside Ernest Mancoba (South Africa), founder of COBRA with Asger Jorn and Karel Appel, and Gérard Sekoto, both of whom died in France (in 1993 and 2002 respectively); Brazil’s Wilson Tiberio; the Afro-American Ed Clark; Cuba’s Wifredo Lam; Henri Guédon from Martinique; and Ibrahim El Salahi from Sudan (School of Khartoum), a student at the Slade School of Fine Arts from 1954 and to whom New York’s Museum for African Art will devote an historical retrospective at the end of next year.
In preparing the sale, Artcurial | Briest - Poulain - F. Tajan have called on the expertise of Florence Alexis, a curator and expert in African Art and author of numerous articles and catalogues; and the Ivory Coast art historian Jean-Philippe Aka, of the Paris gallery HeArtGalerie.Back