By Tajudeen Sowole
When a new entrant, Sogal Art makes its debut on Monday, October 20, 2014 at Porsche Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, the strength of the growing Nigerian secondary art market will once again be put to test.
The new auction house, Sogal Art is from the family pf pne of Nigeria’s leading art galleries, a Ikoyi, Lagos-based Signature Beyond. Having consistently promoted art in Nigeria for over 20 years, the gallery, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Rahman Akar comes into the secondary art market at a period of changing and rising value for African art. The gallery states, “this will be our premiere auction hosting a wide range of artworks from both masters and young artists.”
Portraiture, J.D. Akeredolu as one of the lots for Sogal art auction
As the art auction market in Nigeria gets more competitive, Sogal Art is relying on the experience of its founders who have been described as “avid promoters of the arts who are noted for helping in the development many young artists.” Signature Beyond has consistently shown young the works of young artists at his Ikoyi Gallery as well as provided space for others who handled their exhibitions independent of the gallery. For the auction, Sogal Art is putting on sale 150 lots of paintings, sculptures and photographs at the auction, which opens to the public for preview on Saturday and Sunday ahead of sale proper on Monday.
And for wider reach, Sogal appears to be making using of the Internet apps more extensively. The app, it stated, “has been designed to provide customers with all necessary details and information regarding the auction and the gallery and once downloaded can be accessed on your mobile device. Through the app, you will be able to view all the lots and download a pdf version of our catalogue.”
On the expectation of the new auction house, Mr. Akar was optimistic that the outfit will add value to the Nigerian art scene. “We have no doubt that it is worth trying,” Akar told a guest during a visit to Signature Beyond. And when the sale commences on Monday, the bidding will include opportunity for those who may not be able to attend the auction physically. The app provides absentee bidders more details. “Absentee bidding forms are available to print. Our contact details are also included. The app also enables you to connect with Sogal Art through our various social media platforms.” Indeed, the importance of absentee bidders have been stressed at auctions in Nigeria as, sometimes, the big sales were recorded from such biddings.
Beyond the mega bucks or record sales, observers of the Nigerian art auction market would be looking forward to see rare and great art pieces, particularly from the masters. Like the previous auctions before it, Sogal is bringing under the hammer, a mixed of artists across generations, living and departed. Some of the works include a rare Gani Odutokun titled At The Balcony, a portrait, J.D Akeredplu; Untitled by Jimoh Akolo, Untitled by Moyo Okediji, K.Z Adzraku (Ghana) - Dipo Girls, oil oncanvas 1993; Osuchukwu Stephen - Our Meeting Place; Femi Johnson - Hungry Birds Soji Adesina - Radio Head (Diptych) Tony Evbodaghe – Skull and Josy Ajiboye’s Untitled.
And as previous auctions have been dominated by few regular masters, Sogal might just make the difference by exposing some of the rare works of less exposed masters so suggest a few of the works viewed via soft copies.
From 2008 till date, the Nigerian secondary art market has grown steadily making a yearly input of about 150 million naira into the economy. Sogal is expected to add to the growing value of the market when the hammer drops on the last lot on Monday.