Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is Contemporary African Art Ready to Jump?

The first decade of the new millennium was the domain of Latin America, Asia, Turkey and Russia. A robust art market emerged in the Middle East, which brought with it plenty of interest in the region's artist. But, what about Africa? The continent has been underrepresented in galleries and at auction, but it looks like collectors eager to try something new may be developing an appetite for African art.The region's offering is both large and incredibly diversified, according to a report by Artprice, and over the past 20 years, several African artists have been able to garner some attention at international art fairs and major exhibitions. Pieces have been featured sporadically, with a show at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1989 and anther two years later at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. The Africa Remix exhibition toured from 2004 to 2007 ... and that's about it. There's been a bit more action in the auction market, with Sotheby's becoming the first major house to sell contemporary African art in June 1999, when it sent the Jean Pigozzi collection under the gavel in London. It generated less than $16,000 but still set a record. Since then, Sotheby's hasn't dedicated any London or New York sales to African art (aside from its work with South African auctioneer, Stephan Welz & Co). Bonhams has taken more of an interest in the category, holding an African art sale back in April and moving 64 percent of the lots offered.
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Tags: africa, art, art auction, art auctions, art market, ArtAuction, ArtAuctions, artist, Artists, ArtMarket, artwork, auction, auction house, auction houses, AuctionHouse, AuctionHouses, auctions, bonhams, BonhamsAuction, Christies, contemporary art, ContemporaryArt, sothebys, south africa, SouthAfrica

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