By Tajudeen Sowole
On an evening when a yearly Lagos Art Auction resisted the effect of economic slowdown and recorded 52 percent of works sold, Ghanaian master Ablade Glover boosted the total sales. Glover's painting titled Market Queen led the top of the sales when it was sold for N3. 1million naira.
MD, Terra Kulture, Mrs Bolanle and Dr Timi Austen-Peters; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi with his Olori, Grace during the TKMG Lagos Art Auction...recently.
Under the sales of auction house, TKMG, the 2016 edition of Lagos Art Auction, which held at Inter Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, it was a double for Glover whose People, another painting in his crowd-effect technique got the second largest sale for N2.8 million naira.
According to figures released by Joseph Umoibom at TKMG, a Beninese, Francis Nicase Tchiakpe joined Glover in the top sales with a piece of painting in semi abstraction texture, Untitled sold for N1.8 million. And from asking price of N1m-N1.5m naira, a Bruce Onobrakpeya's metal foil Ori Re Canaan (1970) was picked for N1.3m.
Among the dignitaries present at the auction were the Ooni Of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi His Olori, Grace.
Last year, the auction house changed contents of the sales, by focusing on middle generation and young artists, along old masters. But as it happened last year, the old masters still held the lead. For example, Kolade Oshinowo, a second generation of Nigerian modernists and Abayomi Barber, one of the few living old masters, led the top of the sales. According to a list of sales released by TKMG, from the total sales of N23,950,000; a mixed media Dupe by Oshinowo was sold for N2,200,000; and Female Study, pencil on paper by Abayomi Barber for N1,050,000. But Metamorphosis (wood) by Ruben Ugbine, which sold for N1,000,000 stressed the importannce of non-old masters as envisioned by the new look Lagos Art Auction. The total sales then represented 61 per cent of the lots.
Ahead of the 2016 sales, curator at Terra Kulture, Yinka Akinyele disclosed that about 104 artworks cutting across various media and artists from Nigeria and West Africa (Ghana, Togo and Republic of Benin) were supposedly on display.
Since the merger that produced TKMG - from Terra Kulture and Mydrim Gallery - five years ago, premium works sold included Enwonwu, El Anatsui, Ben Osawe, Erhabor Emokpae, Lamidi Fakeye, among others.
Ahead of the merger, in 2011, the two galleries recorded the only art auction in the FCT, Abuja till date. At that Abuja debut, master printmaker, Onobrakpeya’s Sahelian Masquerade Panel 4, etching 59 x 87 inch (1987) was the highest sold at N4 million.
Other sales at the historic Abuja auction included African Woman, mixed media, 53 x 33 inch, (2011). N2m; Segun Aiyesan's Coloured Race, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 96, (2011) N1.5m; Oshinowo's Home at Sunset, oil on canvas 39 x 39 inch, (2011). N1.2m; and Fidelis Odogwu's Kalakuta Republic, metal, 44 x 31 inch (2010) N900, 000.
During a media preview of the auction, Mrs Sinmidele Adeesanya, though noted the number of lots was large, but believed they were "affordable." She explained the aim of TKMG about geting as many young and new collectors as possible to develop pssion for collecting art.