Celebrated Nigerian artist, Ben Enwonwu dominates a lacklustre Modern & Contemporary African Art Auction at Bonhams.
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Ben Enwonwu, Portrait of Marianne, 1972. Modern & Contemporary African Art Auction at Bonhams
Ben Enwonwu, Portrait of Marianne, 1972. Modern & Contemporary African Art Auction at Bonhams

Bonhams‘s customary modern and contemporary African Art auction yields a little over £2 million, barely over the aggregate of the presales low estimate.

The £2 million of sales is a lacklustre result for an auction held during Frieze London and on the opening day of the Contemporary African Art Fair 1:54, when international collectors flock to london and are expected to be on a spending spree.

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Time-sensitive opportunities for African artists
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Wall Art

The journey to developing an artistic practice is long and tortuous. We gather in our “art opportunities” posts, time-sensitive opportunities for the attention of African performing and visual artists. Here are 4 opportunities for October. Good luck with your applications. 

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Otobong Nkanga wins the inaugural Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award
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Artist Otobong Nkanga Winner of the inaugural Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award
Artist Otobong Nkanga Winner of the inaugural Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award

The Norwegian museum, The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, has awarded its inaugural Lise Wilhelmsen Art prize of $100,000 to Nigerian-born artist Otobong Nkanga.

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Only 1% of 2018 cultural infrastructure is located in Africa
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The City of Culture in Tunis, Ministry of Culture,
The City of Culture in Tunis, Ministry of Culture, 2018

The latest Cultural Infrastructure Index has been published, and only 3 projects out of the 270 completed or announced worldwide in 2018 are located in Africa. 

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3 Career-boosting opportunities for African artists
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Entrance Macaal Museum Marrakech
Entrance Macaal (Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden) in Marrakech

The longer days in Europe, or the preparations for the cultural festivals on the continent all evoke the end of a season. Before we all delve into this joyous and restful period, there is a last ditch of effort to make. Here is a trio of career-enhancing opportunities for African Artists and those of the Diaspora to apply for. If you are a visual artist, a curator read on, and good luck on your art journey.

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3 Young Black artists are making waves at auctions
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Tschabalala Self, Out of Body, 2015
Tschabalala Self, Out of Body, 2015

3 Young Black artists, Tschabalala Self, Toyin Ojih Odutola and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, set new records at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips’ Contemporary Art Auctions in London.

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LR Vandy creates Contemporary African masks to recount hidden female stories.
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Lisa Vandy, These Women Series,
Lisa Vandy, These Women Series, Courtesy of the Artist and October Gallery

An all-female colony has descended upon the October Gallery for the opening of LR Vandy’s first solo show, Hidden. Cast in bronze and jesmonite, miniature workers in cylindrical forms, have taken pride of place atop plinths in the center of the main gallery;

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Land of Ibeji, wins one of the Contemporary African Photography prizes at Basel.
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Bénédicte Kurzen and Sanne De Wilde, Land of Ibeji
Bénédicte Kurzen and Sanne De Wilde, Land of Ibeji

Land of Ibeji, the photography series that examines the mythology of twinhood in Nigeria was announced as one of the five winners of the 8th edition of CAP Prize – (Contemporary African Photography) at Photo Basel.

The prize rewards photo projects by artists of any nationality that engage with issues pertaining to the African continent or its diaspora.

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5 New Contemporary African Art exhibitions to check out this month in London
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Lionel Smit, Aligned, 2019, Oil on Linen, Image courtesy of Everard Read London
Lionel Smit, Aligned, 2019, Oil on Linen, Image courtesy of Everard Read London

May in London could feel like an anticlimax; wedged between the Venice Biennale and the much-awaited Frank Bowling’s retrospective at the Tate; closely followed by the June blockbuster exhibition “Get Up Stand Up Now” at Somerset House, that will explore the last 50 years of “black creativity in London.”

However, the city is bristling with new exhibitions from established and up and coming artists, most of which fortuitously engage with issues of identity, representation, and memory. Here is a selection of 5 newly opened contemporary African Art exhibitions to check out this month.

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A new narrative of Nigerian Femininity and womanhood by Ayobola Kekere-Ekun
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Priviledge the Abridged edition, Ayobola Kekere-Ekun
Priviledge the Abridged edition, Ayobola Kekere-Ekun

Besides the bold and vivid colors, the most striking elements of Ayobola Kekere-Ekun’s figurative works are the myriad of lines sculpted out of paper. The curvaceous lines run harmoniously in parallel turning in unison inwards or outwards and at times, come to an abrupt halt to delineate the face, and reveal the facial expressions of the characters in the painting.

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