On 15th June, Artcurial's Contemporary African Art department will be showcasing African contemporary creations in all its forms at an inaugural auction in Paris. A collection of 34 works by the Dakar School will be presented, alongside emerging figures in the African contemporary art market such as Zemba Luzamba, Peter Ngugi, and Omar Ba. A fine selection of works by contemporary South African artists will also be offered for sale in a unique partnership with the South African auction house Aspire. In parallel to the exhibition, Artcurial will host the creations of the Exceptions d'Afrique exhibition at the Hôtel Marcel Dassault, on the occasion of the Africa 2020 season.
“The three sections of this important sale in Paris demonstrate that the Continent is not “one”, and that artistic creation in Africa is flourishing and offers an incredible diversity. From the ‘Africanité’ of the École de Dakar artists set up by the Poet President Senghor, to the artists who have rein- vented the portrait in exploring issues of identity, and the ‘nouchi’ figures of Aboudia, Contemporary African art is attracting a growing number of collectors. Through our collaboration with Aspire, we have been able to present a strong selection of internationally recognised artists that are less well known in Europe.”
Christophe Person, Director of the Contemporary African Art department, Artcurial
The first part of the sale will be devoted to the School of Dakar, an artistic renewal movement born in Senegal at the dawn of independence between 1960 and 1974 and encouraged by the Senegalese president Léopold Sédar Senghor. This movement is in line with his guiding idea of "Négritude", which advocates rooting oneself in the values of African civilisation and opening up to other civilisations. By dedicating a large part of the state budget to culture, Senghor created an environment favourable to the creation of local modern art, which led to the emergence of artists such as Amadou Seck, Philippe Sène or Diatta Seck, who will be widely represented in this section.
The June 15 auction will also feature a selection of works that highlight the contemporary nature of contemporary African art and the issues that concern African artists. The sale will feature works by DRC-born Zemba Luzamba, who lives and works in South Africa, Ivorian artist Aboudia, Zimbabwean artist Adolf Tega, and Ugandan artist Henry 'Mzili' Mujunga.
One part of the sale will be held in partnership with the South African auction house Aspire to present works by artists rarely seen in Europe. On offer will be a rare platinum palladium print by David Golblatt from his 1969 On the Mines series and the last of the Looking up the core edition, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008 from the series that won Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse the Deutsche Börse Photography Award in 2015. Fans will also discover the classic mid-century modern sculptures of Lucas Sithole and the extraordinary contemporary works of Doreen Southwood and Patrick Bongoy.
In parallel to the exhibition devoted to the Contemporary African Art auction, Artcurial will host the “Exceptional African Art” exhibition from 12 to 14 June 2021 at the Hôtel Marcel Dassault. This new exhibition, which is part of the Africa 2020 season, is commissioned by Nelly Nana-Wandji, who is highly committed to the promotion of contemporary African art. It will feature some thirty exceptional pieces carefully selected by an artistic steering committee of experts.