Thursday, 22 November 2012

Lagos auction debutants join the mega-sales chase


By Tajudeen Sowole
In its ninth edition, ArtHouse Contemporary auction, which holds twice, yearly, has again stressed its commitment to keep featuring new entries for every edition.

Since 2008 when it first made its debut into the Nigerian art market, unearthing the high value in African art, ArtHouse has been expanding the scope of the auction to more artists.

For the second of the 2012 auctions, which opens with preview tomorrow and Sunday as well as the sales proper on Monday, November 26, 2012 at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, over 15 debutants are among the lists of artists.

Sponsored by Renaissance Capital, the auction’s new debutants include Adebesin Adedamola, Alimi Adewale, Abiola Akintola, Benedict Olorunnisomo, Billy Omabegho, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Chike Obeagu, Dotun Adegbite, John Nosireme-Thomas, Lanre Ayoade, Lucy Azubuike, Osagie Aimufia, Raqib Bashorun, Segun Ayesan, Tolu Aliki, Uche Okpa-Iroha and Wande George.
  According to the manager of the auction house, Nana Sonoiki “there are one hundred and one lots of Nigerian and Ghanaian art for the sale, spanning the mediums of painting, sculpture, mixed media works and photography.”

Perhaps expected to be highpoints of the sales are works of masters such as Ben Enwonwu, Bruce Onobrakpeya and some other regulars in the old and new generation of artists.
Caption: One of the debutants, Tolu Aliki’s 24 Carat Gold (2012 acrylic on canvas, 48 x 41.5 in.)
Hoping that the November sales would be better than the last one held in the first quarter of this year, Sonoiki recalled that “the previous auction made a total sale – including the buyer’s premium – of N106 million, 132.000.” A total of and 97 out of 116 Lots, representing 84% were sold, she added. During the auction Nwoko’s painting, Praise Singer, (1961), oil on board, 91.4 x 122 cm. was sold to a telephone bidder at N7million during Arthouse Contemporary’s eighth art auction held last April. It was a distance from Ben Enwonwu’s N28 million (£125, 000) sale of a sculpture, Anyanwu (142.2 cm., excluding the base, 1956) at the ArtHouse’s seventh edition, last year November.

Expected to lead the top sales at next week’s auction are Enwonwu’s Agbowomowo (N3, 5m-N4,5); El-Anatsui’s Grandma's Cloth Series (N8m-N10m); Bruce Onobrakpeya’s Edokpa Palm Tree (N4m-5m) Nwoko’s Indian Girl in Sari (N2,5m-N3,m)

With the partnership, the sponsor of the auction Renaissance Capital, a member of the global firm, Renaissance Group is stressing its support for Nigerian art. It should be recalled that few months ago, Renaissance Capital sponsored a group art exhibition titled Fresh Vernacular.

As the preview starts this weekend, ArtHouse urged bidders to also view the catalogue online at www.arthouse-ng.com. She added: “Interested bidders must register in advance before the auction or at the venue during the viewings, bidders forms are also available on the website.

Renaissance Capital, a leading investment bank focused on emerging markets (EM) and Africa, has a presence in 20 countries, six of them in Africa. The Firm’s global distribution of equity and debt securities and research is managed from hubs in London, New York, Moscow and Hong Kong.

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