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Our unique in-house database is the most comprehensive and accurate specialized on modern and contemporary African art market and its diaspora. Continuously   enriched  by multiples sources:auction results,gallery sales, art dealer and art agent. Feeds both by algorithms and manually. All process rigorously check out  by our specialists.

We provide on demand wide range of custom tailored studies and reports.

Request a Quote

Request a Quote

Our unique in-house database is the most comprehensive and accurate specialized on modern and contemporary African art market and its diaspora. Continuously   enriched  by multiples sources:auction results,gallery sales, art dealer and art agent. Feeds both by algorithms and manually. All process rigorously check out  by our specialists.

We provide on demand wide range of custom tailored studies and reports.

Request a Quote

Request a Quote

Our unique in-house database is the most comprehensive and accurate specialized on modern and contemporary African art market and its diaspora. Continuously   enriched  by multiples sources:auction results,gallery sales, art dealer and art agent. Feeds both by algorithms and manually. All process rigorously check out  by our specialists.

We provide on demand wide range of custom tailored studies and reports.

Request a Quote

Our Story

We specialize in the knowledge, the confirmation of the value and the valorization of the African fine art – and any artwork circulating in Africa – presented as well in Africa as in the worldwide dating from the end of the 19th century until present-day. Our team of experts with unparalleled knowledge in arts & global art market work in transparency. The accuracy and reliability of the results of our research and analysis allow any owner of any artwork or agent to know the full size and full value to make decision.

Selected Press and Testimonies

“The other requirement of the internal market for art is training which is crucial. “Among the 100 African artists who have recorded the largest number of works sold, 62 have gone through arts schools …”, said Macky Sall, citing the “Africa Art Market Report 2015″.”

Excerpt from the speech of H.E. Pdt Maky Sall of Senegal at the opening ceremony of the Dakar Biennale 2018. Reported by Ibrahima Ba & Maguette Guèye Diedhiou (Le Soleil newspaper)

“ In the wake of reports that recent auctions sputtered in New York, London and Moscow, one region seems to defy the gloomy trends (…).

The net result of all these commas and zeroes? For the African art world, beaucoup millionaires could very well translate into a massive expansion of the continent’s art market.”

Christian Viveros-Fauné (Artnet News)

“ the Africa Art Market Report  brings a rare perspective on the state of the market for modern and contemporary African creation. Sweeping all regions of the continent, it analyzes the evolution of all the actors (foundations, museums, artists, galleries, collectors, etc.) under a rarely mentioned angle – that of market exchanges that govern it. It also provides a ranking of the most prominent artists ”

Nicolas Michel (Jeune Afrique Magazine)

” the bible of the African art market “

 AD Magazine

” Africa Art Market’: African art is top-class investment ” (AIRFRANCE-KLM  CLUB AFRICA)

” a thorough report “

Rob Perree (Africanah.org)

“ I really appreciate receiving this link.(…)I will let my guests know about your excellent publication ”

Kenneth Montague (Collector, Wedge Curatorial Projects, Canada)

 “ Really an interesting and eye opening report!  The market is so dynamic now, but there is also such an upsurge in terrific  art of high aesthetic quality and art historical significance. Thank so much for sharing.”

Dr. Warren Crichlow (Professor at New York University)

” Thank you so much for this book ! “

Rikki Wemega-Kwawu (artist, Ghana)

“ Dear Africa Art Market team, I found your Report highly interested; it’s a pioneer work that will help increase the visibility and understanding of african contemporary art and usefully serve as a baseline study to measure the sector’s progress. ”

Karin Barlet (gallerist, France)

Sean O’Toole, Through the Lens: How Photography Became Africa’s Most Popular Art Form », ARTnews, 19 June 2018, p. 76

(fr) Roxana Azimi, L’Afrique, nouveau terrain de chasse des collectionneurs, Le Monde,‎ 10 April 2018

Brian Boucher, Sotheby’s Bets Big on African Art, Launching a New Department in London, www.artnet.com, 21 June 2016

Sean O’toole, All’s fair in art out of Africa, Mail & Guardian,‎ 24 March 2016

(fr) Roxana Azimi, « La loi du marché de l’art africain », Le Monde,‎ 29 July 2016

Beyond Fair, Art Africa Magazine,‎ September 2016

Ruarc Peffers, « The Development of Value in the SA Market », Art Times,‎ May 2018, p. 70

(fr)  Sabine Cessou, L’art contemporain africain, toujours en plein essor,www.rfi.fr, 29 December 2017

(fr)  Genevieve Sagno, Dakar, capitale de l’art africain, BBC, 3 mai 2018

Collector by Art Africa Magazine, vol. 1,‎ December 2016 – February 2017, p. 10,12,38,58

Andrew Perters, « Light shines on the Dark Continent », Essence Magazine, vol. 76,‎ 1st November 2016, p. 18

Andrea Dijkstra, Contemporary art on the rise in Africa ,www.bluebiz.com, Air France – KLM,   9 June 2016

(fr)  Nicolas Michel, Art contemporain : les artistes africains ont-ils (vraiment) la cote ?, Jeune Afrique,‎ May 2016

(fr)  Nicolas Michel, « Les dix artistes africains les mieux cotés sont… , Jeune Afrique,‎ 11 January 2016

Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Hannah Oleary, A Look Inside The Contemporary African Art Market, www.facebook.com, 27 March 2017

(fr)  Nicolas Michel, Classement des Artistes Africains les Mieux Côtés, Jeune Afrique,‎ 1-7 April 2018, p. 83

Christian Viveros-Fauné, The Highs and Lows of Africa’s Art Market Bonanza ,www.artnet.com, Artnet news,5 May 2016

Sue Blaine, Contemporary African art still in favour, Business Day,‎ 9 May 2016

Lola Goffin, Art africain: un gisement au même titre que le pétrole, RFI,‎ 2 April 2016

(fr) Ibrahima Ba & Maguette Guèye Diedhiou, Cérémonie d’ouverture de la biennale, Le Soleil,‎ 4 May 2018

Lynsey Chutel, Hustle is as important as technique to cash in on Africa’s art boom,Quartz, 3 December 2017

Carin Smith, How to ‘read’ the SA art market, Fin24, 1st May 2018

(fr) Roxana Azimi, Le marché de l’art africain,à pas comptés, Le Quotidien de l’Art,‎ 8 November 2016, p. 9

(fr)   Arts : et les dix artistes africains contemporains les plus cotés sont… , www.lepoint.fr, 30 April 2017

Africa Art Market: African art is top-class investment ,www.bluebiz.com, Air France – KLM, 24 February 2018

(fr) Roxana Azimi, Foire AKAA : l faut faire attention à ce que l’Afrique ne devienne pas un effet de mode , Le Monde,‎ 9 November 2016

Joanna Grabski, Art World City: The Creative Economy of Artists and Urban Life in Dakar, Bloomington, Indiana : Indiana University Press, 2017 (ISBN 0253026059)

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Global Africa Art Market Report 2017

Contents

Introduction

The global market of modern and contemporary African art performed strongly in 2016 with a sell-through rate of 72% in a morose context of the international art market and the slowing down
of African economies. This segment proved to be an exception.

This vitality was led by modern art1 with a sell-through rate of 76% and 55% in value of the total amount of sales, reaching US$23.3 million. Contemporary art2, the majority of acquired works being by artists appearing at auction for the first time, had a sell-through rate of 66%.

The works sold beyond their high estimates represented 58% in value of the total number of sales during the year, including 66.9% for modern art and 33% for contemporary art.

Bids that exceeded the symbolic threshold of US$1 million rose by 200%, including 50% for modern art and 50% for contemporary art. Among the buoyant examples was the extremely mediatised Bowie/Collector sale organised by Sotheby’s in London on 10-11 November 2016 saw all 17 works by African artists find buyers, the works totalling £341,875 (with buyer premium), equivalent to US$425,504 seven times over the pre-sale estimate.

Art house Contemporary, the Nigerian auction house in Lagos, went from having two annual sales in 2015 to three in 2016.
There are several reasons for these results, the first being the strong potential in artistic and market value of the works proposed in galleries and at auctions. Secondly, the huge direct and indirect investments, such as institutional, commercial
and non-commercial projects and exhibitions, mainly in western countries as well as new structural initiatives in Africa.

The buyer base has also increased. Furthermore, reference prices have recently been consolidated: the average range of estimates of works proposed for auction were between US$7,140 and US$9,650 for modernist works and between US$7,420 and US$10,260 for contemporary art. This represents a progression of 60% and 70% respectively over seven years.

We are witnessing the first effects of the current structural changes that were observed in our previous reports. This market is at the end of a long cycle that could be defined as being “rudimentary” and right at the start of a new modernity. The trend is growing and its rhythm will be defined by how actors on the African continent organise themselves by becoming meaningfully and clearly involved in the economy and art market, how actors in classical African arts (African statuaries and masks) control their market, and the savoir-faire by the new generation of actors involved in this segment.

Strauss & Co, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the leading auction house for the total amount of works sold with 31% in value and 57% of lots. London held the most important place in the market in 2016, considering the number of operators in our study that organized sales (40% of the total), the number of proposed lots (2.9% of the total) and of sold lots (28.1% and US$11.9 million in the year) and institutional and commercial exhibitions. We’ll see how this pans out during the post-Brexit period.

Three factors can explain the attractiveness of the British capital for modern and contemporary African art: its number one place in finance; its appeal to African creators and investors, mainly from South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana; and the established and prosperous African diaspora involved in artistic/cultural initiatives and institutions, such as the Tate.

For players based on the African continent, the evolution of the sector is dazzling. But it is not felt in the same way by those from western countries due to differences in expectations and costs. At public sales in Africa, Europe and the US, records have become commonplace and galleries on the three continents remain in the same dynamic.

One of the pillars of this segment’s improvement is the African diaspora. In this new report, we have decided to scrutinize its
contribution, importance and impact because for a long time it has been active in making African art the segment with the biggest growth potential in the art market.

Findings

This segment, which had a sell through rate of 72%, proved to be an exception to the morose context of
the international art market and the slowing-down of African economies in 2016.

Bids that exceeded the symbolic threshold of US$1 million rose by 200%, including 50% for modern art
and 50% for contemporary art.

Strauss & Co, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the leading auction house for the total amount of works sold with 31% in value and 57% of lots.

Modern art led the market with a sell-through rate of 76%, and 55% in value of the total amount of sales,
reaching US$23.3 million.

London held the most important place in the market in 2016, considering the number of operators in our study that organised sales (40% of the total), the number of proposed lots (2.9% of the total) and of sold lots (28.1% and US$11.9 million in the year) and institutional and commercial exhibitions.

The enlargement of the buyers’ base in all categories.

In contemporary art, the works sold beyond their high estimates, representing 58% in value, or US$8 million, and 37.9% between their estimates or US$5,7 million with regard to the total number of sales in this category.

Female artists continue to lead this market for the second consecutive year and constitute a very important market share. They represent 60% of the top five most expensive selling lots in all categories and 66.5% in value for this same ranking.

Despite the majority of auction houses being young, they recorded a strong dynamic and good results,
sales organised on the African continent counting for 46.1% of the total value, fetching US$19.6 million and 93.2% of lots.

The most expensive work sold in any category is South African-born artist Marlene Dumas’s painting, “Night nurse” (1999-2000), which sold for US$2.5 million at Phillips New-York in 2016.

Rankings

Methodology modern ART

Given the specifics of the burgeoning African modern art market, it is essential to go beyond auction results alone in order to analyze it. This study ranks the 100 artists- whose birth range from 1850 through 1939 -who obtained the best scores according to four weighted criteria:

  1. turnover at auction in 20161 (40%)

  2. medium price of characteristic artworks on the first market (10%)

  3. number of exhibitions in museums throughout career (25%)

  4. number of exhibitions at commercial galleries throughout career (25%)

3 Artist Profiles

3 different artist profiles emerged through the analysis:

  • Global – The Global profile includes artists who are recognized internationally in both the museum and the commercial worlds, with stable prices on the first and the second markets.

  • Undervalued – The Undervalued profile includes artists with a strong presence on the art scene, both in the non-profit and the first market sectors. Their artworks appear sporadically on the second market, with undervalued prices.

  • High Potential – The High Potential profile includes artists whose recognition in the art circles is underway. Their presence is stronger in museums than in commercial galleries. Their artworks are hardly seen on the second market.

Methodology Contemporary Art

Given the specifics of the burgeoning contemporary art market, it is essential to go beyond auction results alone in order to analyze it. This study ranks the 100 artists –who were born after 1940– who obtained the best scores according to five weighted criteria:

  1. turnover at auction in 20161 (25%)

  2. medium price of characteristic artworks on the first market (25%)

  3. number of exhibitions in museums throughout career (20%)

  4. number of exhibitions at commercial galleries throughout career (20%)

  5. level of recognition among independent art critics (10%)

4 Artist Profiles

4 different artist profiles emerged through the analysis:

  1. Global – The Global profile includes artists who are recognized internationally in both the museum and the commercial worlds, with stable prices on the first and the second markets.

  2. Undervalued – The Undervalued profile includes artists with a strong presence on the art scene, both in the non-profit and the first market sectors. Their artworks appear sporadically on the second market, with undervalued prices.

  3. High Potential – The High Potential profile includes artists whose recognition in the art circles is underway. Their presence is stronger in museums than in commercial galleries. Their artworks are hardly seen on the second market.

  4. To watch – The To Watch profile includes emerging artists whose first artworks have recently been seen on the second market for the first time.

Marketplaces

 

  • Total lots sold at marketplaces by value in USD (%)

  • Total lots sold at marketplaces by volume (%)

  • Modern art total lots sold at marketplaces by value in USD (%)

  • Modern art total lots sold at marketplaces by volume (%)

  • Contemporary art total lots sold at marketplaces by value in USD (%)

  • Contemporary art total lots sold at marketplaces by volume (%)

Auction House Market Share

  • Auction houses total lots sold by value in USD (%)

  • Auction houses total lots sold by volume (%)

The Diaspora and the Global Art Discourse

  • Overview by Osei G. Kofi

  • Julia Grosse & Yvette

  • Mutumba | Co founders of Contemporary And

  • Tumelo Mosaka | Art curator

  • Mimi Errol | Journalist

  • Mustapha Orif | Art dealer

  • Lionel Manga | Art critic

  • Nii Andrew | Art reviewer

OVERVIEW by Osei G. Kofi

The African Diaspora is a worldwide church, covering millions of peoples across the seven continents, of a plethora of cultures, and whose ancestral DNA is etched into and resonates the Mother Continent – the Homeland. As an operational tool the term is applied to first-second generation Africans with national or constitutional identity outside Africa.

A remarkable innovation on the art scene is that many creatives have chosen to shuttle between the Homeland and Outer lands. In other words, the entire world is their inspiration, their canvas, their clay, their stone.

Cameroonian Barthélémy Toguo, Ghanaian Owusu Ankomah and Kenyan Wangechi Mutu are among the exemplars. Africa is the most recent region, barely two decades ago, to enter the global art space and its premium sub-spaces of museums, galleries, corporate & private collections, fairs and auction houses. The early years saw significant tension between the Diaspora and Homeland artists and curators.

The Diaspora operated within the core market, namely, Europe and North America. Logically, they were better placed to tap into the opportunities on offer. Nonetheless, they came under criticism from artists and gallerists in the Homeland who accused the impresarios of western art institutions and private galleries of favoring art labelled “African contemporary” but which were often anything but.

Too often the art aped uncomfortably the styles and tastes of the West, especially so in installation and performance art. There were those who argued, art is art and has no specific ID or geographic boundary. Right, up to a degree. Some might take umbrage at the “African” tag to “contemporary.” However, Geo-localization
is valued more for its inherent creative distinctiveness than its perceived negative connotation. Deny it at own peril.

Distinctiveness isn’t bad. It’s not ghettorization. The fact is western art, ancient and modern, has distinct Geo-social DNA. Ditto, Oriental, Latin American or Asian art within the global spectrum. A Japanese painting like a Rembrandt without a Japanese cultural in-flexion is soon submerged, to vanish without trace. Malian Seydou Keita’s photographs, shot in conditions that would befuddle a non-African photographer, exude a cadence, a mojo, that would escape other practitioners of the art form who hadn’t been weaned in Keita’s Mande-Bambara environment.

Julia Grosse & Yvette Mutumba
Co-founders of Contemporary And

Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba founded Contemporary And (C&), the online platform for international art from African perspectives, in Berlin in 2013. The duo were invited by Noah Horowitz, when he was director of the Armory Show in New York, to curate the Focus: African Perspectives section of the 2016 edition of the fair features 13 galleries. This followed on from the focus on China in 2014 and on the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean in 2015. They are the first women to curate an edition of Armory Focus in its seven-year history.

How did the invitation to curate Focus: African Perspectives at the 2016 Armory Show arise?

Noah Horowitz approached us, following a recommendation from some curators, and said that the Armory would like to put a focus on the African continent. That particular focus didn’t interest us, because for us, at C&, there’s no such thing as African art but art from African perspectives, such as an artist in Nairobi with parents from Ghana or an artist in London who comes from Tanzania. A painter from Johannesburg does completely different things from a performance artist from Cairo. But there’s still this tendency to put this overall “African art” label on very diverse practices in Africa and the diaspora. So we told Noah that we would love to curate this section but with a focus on African perspectives, including galleries from African cities and from the diaspora in Paris and London.

How did you envision Focus: African Perspectives?
We had this ideal scenario in mind that visitors would enter the Focus area, which was connected to another hall, and not realise that they were entering a section with art from Africa. We wanted them to see art mostly by very young artists and not see something typically African. There were no hints, like masks or patterns. From the feedback we got, we think people understood that there’s no such thing as African art but many styles and
approaches.

What was your concept?
It was to show youngsters together with old masters. We started from the artists that we wanted to include and then approached their galleries. So we asked the galleries to focus on one artist and do solo presentations instead of having five or six artists squeezed into a small, overloaded space. From a curatorial perspective, it was great and looked like a little exhibition show curated by a gallery. But we recognised that it was a big risk to ask the galleries to bring one artist only. But the Focus was financially successful, too, because all the galleries sold work. It would have been horrible if the concept had been aesthetically pleasing but not a single gallery had been able to sell something.

Besides the galleries that spotlighted very young contemporary artists, we included two galleries, Vigo Gallery and October Gallery in London, that showed older masters: the Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi (b.1930) and Aubrey Williams (b.1926-d.1990). It was an honour for us that their galleries agreed to take part because these artists’ pieces cost several hundred thousand dollars. Our reason for including them is that at C& we emphasise
that contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora didn’t just pop up 10 years ago. There are diverse African histories and modern art existed decades ago. The galleries with the young artists were in the middle of the floor
plan, with the old masters on either side.

What were the strongest sales?

There was one painting by El-Salahi that was almost $1 million. There were also some important museum acquisitions. For instance, Blank project, Cape Town sold sold out their entire booth dedicated to South
African artist Turiya Magadlela. Also The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York acquired a piece by Turiya Magadlela.

How did visitors respond to the Focus section?

Visitors were surprised to discover works, like photography and painting, by young artists that didn’t fall into their expectations of African perspectives. The artists weren’t big names in the art world context and their works weren’t
stereotypical. It was surprising for the black American visitors to see so much art from Africa and the diaspora in Europe that they weren’t aware of, in contrast to some of the black American artists being so huge and established. Everyone knows El Anatsui but this was a great platform to present the younger generation to potential collectors.

What feedback did you get from the galleries that participated in the Focus section?

The galleries, Addis Fine Art, from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia or Omenka Gallery from Lagos in Nigeria all said that it was worth doing because normally they can’t afford to be in an art fair such as the Armory and they wanted to
be seen and present their artists. A Seattle based gallery, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, which was part of Focus: African Perspectives, was accepted to participate in the main fair this year and won the prize for the best booth, which
made us happy.

What do you think of these country or region-focused sections in fairs and exhibitions, such as the Africa-themed
exhibitions?

It’s great for the artists who wouldn’t normally get the chance to have their work exhibited in Europe or the US. But it’s a trend-driven interest: a few years ago it was India, then China and maybe next it will be Australia. But at C&, we look at what we do with a long-term, sustainable vision. The problem of putting this “African art” label on everything is that the same names keep coming up. How are the dreams and ambitions of artists from the African diaspora
changing?

If you talk to young artists working in Nairobi or Johannesburg, they’re not dreaming of finally having a show in London. That’s not the trend any more, which you may have had with artists now in their late fifties who live in
Belgium or London. The younger generation is interested in working on the ground in their own cities, starting art spaces or residency programs. Europe or the western art world isn’t the paradise or goal any longer. Thinking
that once you’ve made it in London or New York, you’ve made it an artist, is less common now. Young artists have the possibility to travel a lot and do a residency in New York or Rotterdam, or stay in Berlin for a year. Over the
last 10 years, there’s been a tendency for them to return to work in their own city’s art scene afterwards and to recognise that there’s a lot going on beyond Berlin and London. A Ghanian artist might have a show in New York and then go back to Accra to establish their artistic infrastructure. We were in Congo in May, where we talked to a very established painter in his sixties. He told us, “I’m not interested in moving to Paris, I have my infrastructure and
my colleagues here, and I’m about to start a residency programme and build a house in the garden where artists from other African cities can stay.” So it’s not just the youngsters who are interested in staying on the ground instead of going to Europe.

What projects are you working on?
We’ve just published our first book, featuring some of the features published on C& in the last four years. The latest print edition of our magazine, focusing on education, was launched in collaboration with documenta in June. We’re
also running critical writing workshops, the third of which will be in Harara, Zimbabwe, in September. Next year we’re launching an extension of C&, focusing on the relationship between Africa and South America.

Tumelo Mosaka
Art curator

Tumelo Mosaka is a contemporary art curator whose projects have explored global and transnational
artistic production, especially from Africa, the Caribbean and North America, and have
examined subjects such as racial injustice, migration and identity. After being associate curator of
exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and contemporary art curator at the Krannert Art
Museum in Champaign, Illinois, Mosaka returned to South Africa in late 2016 and became chief
art curator of Cape Town Art Fair.

What was your goal when you became Cape Town Art Fair’s chief art curator and what was your vision for the Tomorrows/Today section?

My goal was to enter into a conversation with artists from Africa again and explore how Cape Town can be a gateway to the world, especially for contemporary art. My vision for Tomorrows/Today was to offer lesser
known artists a platform to participate in that dialogue. I was looking locally and internationally for under-represented artists making cutting edge works and for whom the fair would play a pivotal role in providing
exposure. I had conversations with many artists and galleries about how to make this section different. Curating at a fair is very different from curating museum exhibitions and requires constant negotiation between galleries and artists. What kept it real was the artists’ enthusiasm and their dynamic works.

Which artists from the diaspora did you work with?
Marcia Kure from Nigeria who lives in New York and is represented by Bloom Art Lagos in Nigeria, Joel Andrianomearisoa from Madagascar who lives in Paris and is represented by Sabrina Amrina Gallery from
Madrid, and Maurice Mbikayi from Congo who lives in Cape Town and is represented by Gallery Momo in Cape Town and Johannesburg. I was looking for works in different media and themes, and by artists in different age groups. Besides looking at geographical location, I was interested in how they use symbols to provoke, inform and construct alternative histories. Take Mbikayi’s photographs, which make a commentary on technological waste, urbanism and popular culture in the Congo.

How does working in the diaspora influence an artist’s work?
Because artists move from place to place, their histories aren’t linear but are far more complex and don’t necessarily respond to their place of birth. What interested me was how they negotiate multiple spaces and identities. Artists are very sensitive to how place and identity inform personal narrative and reflect their locality. As a curator, I’m always thinking about how the message is communicated and relates to the everyday experience.

How have your curatorial experiences in the US shaped your perspective on the diaspora?
There isn’t one diaspora but rather several which are defined by our relationship to people and places. Being from elsewhere entails being in contact with home and family while creating new communities in new spaces and redefining our existence. The diaspora is about the experience of building bridges, maintaining relations and finding a common ground with others, as migration remains a constant reality today. So it’s about understanding the rupture and distance and reshaping one’s way of life.

What effect do you think the African diaspora has had on the art world?
It’s huge. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world where there aren’t any black people today. Maybe Antartica! We’re talking about a history of forced and voluntary migration over centuries, which has resulted in generations of people living everywhere. The geographical distance and the historical distortions have meant that Africa has continued to be this misunderstood place. Most of the west wants to see Africa in a past image and yet contemporary Africa is very much in keeping with how the modern world has developed. With such a large diaspora, more artists are not only demystifying old narratives but resisting any stereotypical representation.
There are a lot of artists living and working in different parts of the world that have gained international attention and propose a different understanding of what “Africa” is today. It’s a challenge since the canon of art and representation of black people needs to be totally overhauled. At Cape Town Art Fair, you can see the scale and scope of creativity that’s being produced within and outside of the continent. The fair is about bringing all this to the forefront and creating a visible dialogue about these issues.

How would you describe the impact of the diaspora in South Africa?
Under apartheid, black South Africans grew up as foreigners in our own land. So the experience of internal immigration and temporary residency is all too familiar. The impact of the diaspora is also about understanding
that our experience isn’t unique in terms of systematic suppression. The ongoing dialogue of the diaspora presents the potential to address issues and offer new realities that are yet to be realised. In South Africa, we can begin to talk about race and inequality in a different way, which is much more complicated than addressing them in a black-and-white, racial dynamic.

What do you think of the so-called boom in contemporary art from Africa?
I keep hearing about a boom in Africa but I don’t believe it. I agree that contemporary African art has been steadily receiving more attention, partly thanks to people like the curator Okwui Enwezor who have championed the cause over time. To claim that there’s a boom is an exaggeration as many artists from Africa continue to be marginalized or only considered within the context of Africa. Secondly, the market has not responded in the same manner when
it comes to pricing works by these artists. Institutions are only now beginning to realize the gap they have in their collections when they talk about global art. Why is it so hard to accept African artists as being contemporary? Why is there the need to qualify them as African in this day and age?

Mimi Errol
Journalist

The diaspora, in all its senses, has played and continues to play an important role in artistic production in Ivory
Coast. This is true for all sectors of the art system, from galleries and collectors to the production of artworks, art
criticism and the academic teaching of fine art. However, the notion of the diaspora is nuanced, especially when one is talking about Ivory Coast. Indeed, one cannot talk about an Ivorian diaspora in the same way as one talks about a Senegalese diaspora with the Mourides – a diaspora based on something that is both about community
and religion and takes root in the host country. Equally, it is not a diaspora that has come about through deportation, even though this played a leading role in the development of contemporary art in Ivory Coast, especially with the Negro-Caribbean School and artists such as Serge Hélénon, the artist/painter and teacher at Abidjan’s National Fine Arts School from 1976-1983.

He was at the inception of what became known as the School of Abidjan and the Vohou-Vohou movement. At the
end of the 1960s, there was a reflux of emancipation, authenticity and black civil rights movements that followed those that happened in the US and the Caribbean. In this context, it is necessary to highlight the highly important patronage role played by the West Indian governor Guy Nairay, who President Félix Houphouët-Boigny retained as an adviser following Ivory Coast’s independence. He was the natural godfather of all the activities of Ivory Coast’s artists through the Pen Club, which he set up in order to accompany their exhibition projects. All this took place
in an era when there were hardly any real art galleries in Ivory Coast.

Furthermore, the most important Ivorian diaspora, which determined the principle by which different waves of immigration evolved until 1981 when François Mitterrand came to power in France, was sparked by Félix Houphouët-Boigny. Before becoming the first president of an independent Ivory Coast, Houphouët-Boigny was a deputy of the assembly (when Ivory Coast was still part of the French Federation of West Africa) and had the visionary idea of sending 146 young people from upper Ivory Coast (now Burkina Faso) and lower Ivory Coast
abroad. The aim of this adventure was to train them in all domains of society. Most of these young people returned to Ivory Coast after their studies and constituted the first wave of high-level officials of post-independence Ivory Coast.

This adventure, called the Adventure 1946, provided Ivory Coast with a major player in Ivory Coast’s art scene: Dalouman Simone, who created the country’s first art gallery, Galerie Arts Pluriels. However, it is worth mentioning that in addition to the young scholars from Ivory Coast that there were some young Ivorians
who made individual trips to France that were financed by their affluent parents. The most emblematic, in the domain of visual arts, of these migrants that went to France was Christian Lattier (1925-1978).

The son of a doctor, it was Lattier who instigated the era of Ivorian contemporary art – art that unfolds before our eyes and gives pre-eminence to an idea rather than the materiality of the work. Indeed, Lattier’s voluminous sculptures, which he made with his bare hands with materials like iron wire and sisal rope, overturned all the conventional techniques known to sculptural art. He justified his concept by saying, “If I’d have made them from wood, I’d have been accused of copying my ancestors. If I’d have carved from stone, people would have said that I was copying the white man. So I had to find something new.” From this refusal to imitate, an innovative work was born. The fact that he won the Grand Prix of Visual Art in the first festival of black art in Dakar, beating 219 other candidates from Africa, Europe and the US, gives an idea of the level of his artistic approach.

The award was given to the artist “who, according to the rules, has attained – by deeply taking root in the black world – an artistic and human expression of a high level, regardless of the technique.” Notably, Lattier participated in exhibitions with Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Bernard Buffet. Another fact that adds to the Ivorians’ tendency of not having a strong diaspora is underscored by Hélène Bergues in her 1973 report titled “The immigration of black African workers in France and particularly in the Parisian region”. On page 62, she describes how the countries with strong immigration are those where the land is poor and where the possibility of making use of arable land is short-lived.

This is not the case of Ivory Coast which, on the contrary, was the welcoming land of choice for all the migrants from the West African sub-region, which faced this difficulty of non-arable land. From this, one can understand the delayed date, in 1970, of the ratification of the “Treaty on co-operation”, signed in Paris in 1961, between France and the Ivory Coast, which countries such as Mali, Mauritania and Senegal made between 1963 and 1964. The agreements also made a distinction between the immigrants that wanted to exercise a salaried activity and those that did not, and specified that the volume of migrants arriving from black Africa mentioned the relatively low number coming from Ivory Coast.

The first wave of the pre-colonial diaspora determined the principle of immigration, which was essentially that of students and therefore temporary and inscribed in the period of studies. This continued until the French presidential election of 1981, which was won by the Socialist François Mitterrand. Mitterrand’s new government proceeded to carry out a huge regularisation of foreigners who had been living in an irregular situation.

This situation enabled artists such as Ouattara Watt to officially practice their profession. This was prior to Watt, an
artist-painter, meeting Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1988. Living in New York since 1988, he is a figurehead of art from Ivory Coast and is the standard bearer in international contests. He has participated in three editions of the Venice Biennale –
he is one of four artists representing the Ivory Coast Pavilion in 2017 – and in one edition of Documenta. His visits to Ivory Coast represent an opportunity for young artists to learn about how he got into the ferocious American art market through actively seeking out encounters.

Equally remarkable about this diaspora is the artist Ernest Düku. Born in 1958 in Bouake, he studied at Abidjan’s National
Fine Arts School and has been living in Paris since 1982. Qualified as an architect and holding a degree in sciences of
art and philosophy from Paris Panthéon Sorbonne, he divides his time between France, his host country, and the Ivory
Coast, his country of origin. When in Ivory Coast, he teaches interior architecture at INSAAC(Abidjan’s fine arts school).
His part-time presence is a considerable contribution, not only because of the quality of his pictorial production and the
pedagogical level of his classes, but also because of the quality and depth of his interventions in the formal and informal debates around art.

Dorris Haron Kasco, born in Ivory Coast, is the first Ivorian photographer to have presented his images in an art gallery. His exhibition, titled “La Femme Masquée” (The Masked Woman), showed all of the woman except her face and took place at Galerie Arts Pluriels. His book, “Les fous d’Abidjan”, was published by Revue Noire, the French publishing house, in 1994 following his exhibition, ”Ils sont fous, on s’en fout” in Abidjan the year before. The political-military crisis that hit Ivory Coast in 2002 interrupted his comings and goings between his native country and France, leading him to concentrate on teaching at Montpellier’s fine arts school.

Since 2011, when the crisis ended, he has been returning to Ivory Coast nearly every year in order to establish a collaboration with INSAAC, where he organises workshops for the students. Kasco co-organised the photography exhibition, “Bazouam”, in spring 2017 in the historic city of Grand-Bassam with the photographer/writer Armand Gauz. Gauz has been living and working between France and Ivory Coast since 1999. His novel “Debout-Payé”, published by Le nouvel Attila, was the best first French novel of 2014, according to “Lire” magazine’s “best books of the year” rating. Through their exhibition in an open-air gallery on the road, Kasco and Gauz sought to break down barriers to art and make it more accessible.

In the medium of photography, the career of Ananias Léki Dago typifies what the Ivorian diaspora has brought about in
the last decade. After studying photography at Abidjan’s INSAAC, he went to live in France at the beginning of the 2000s.
After re-locating, he travelled around the African continent, questioning its multicultural aspects in the urban context. This included observing the shebeens (drinking taverns) in Johannesburg’s townships in South Africa, the rickshaws in Bamako in Mali and the corrugated iron sheets defining the roofs of Nairobi in Kenya.

He extended this experience to the town of Cotonou in Benin and its motor bike taxis, called Zémidjan. This project led
to his work entering the collection of the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art, which acquired an important collection
of 20 photographs from his series on Johannesburg, Nairobi and Bamako. His success has brought immense national
pride. Then there’s the sculptor Jems Robert Koko Bi, the most emblematic sculptor from Ivory Coast. Born in 1966, he studied at the Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l’Action Culturelle (INSAAC) in Abidjan, where he trained under the sculptor Klaus Simon in a studio initiated by the Goethe Institute. Subsequently, he received a DAAD scholarship in 1997 allowing him to further his studies at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany, where his professor was Klaus Rinke, a friend and colleague of Joseph Beuys. Here he gained a Master’s degree. Currently based between Essen and Abidjan, Koko Bi establishes a link between the west and Africa in his work. His international career serves as a nice reminder of how Ivory Coast’s contemporary era opened with the sculptor Christian Lattier.

If Abidjan has become the scene of a contemporary art market, despite the crises that have slowed its pace, this is
partly thanks to the movement of young people from Ivory Coast in the diaspora. These artists have enjoyed an artistic
career that has opened them up to the art markets in Europe and the US. Also worth mentioning are the young, motivated collectors that have arisen from the diaspora. One such example is Georges Moulo, 47, who has been buying pieces by young emerging artists. Educated in Switzerland and with parents based in Canada, he has a collection estimated between CFA Francs 20-30 million (US$36 000-72 000).

It is mainly composed of works by young artists such as Sanogo Souleymane, known as Pachard, and Agoh Stefan Mobio in the diaspora in France, Youssouf De Kimbirila in Canada and others based in Ivory Coast. From a critical perspective, the critic Franck Hermann Ekra has made a valid contribution. He is the first winner of the AICA (International Association of Art Critics) prize for a young critic who has published pertinent articles on Ivory Coast’s art scene in the respected French magazine “Art Press”. On the commercial front, Laurence Aphing Kouassi has been
trying to get businesses involved in art after completing her marketing studies in Lyon and Canada. Inversely, there are the artists living in the Ivory Coast, such as Aboudia who is represented by Ethan Cohen in New York and Armand Boua represented by Jack Bell Gallery in London.

Our experts value your art within 48 hours or less

Mustapha ORIF
Art dealer

Algeria’s art market began in the mid-1980s thanks to two Algerian galleries: Galerie Xenia, which closed in 1987,
and Galerie Issiakhem, which was renamed Isma in 1989. They were joined by Galerie M, which closed in 1992. The market, which circulated around these three galleries, grew until 1992/1993 when it was suddenly interrupted by political upheavals from 1992-2000. The market picked up after 2002, shyly at first before growing steadily ever since. It is mainly dominated by unoriginal works; modern and contemporary art, and historical Orientalism art (19th and early 20th century) occupy a minor place for different reasons.

The rather conservative profile of the buyers explains the confidential character of the Algerian modern and
contemporary art market, while the limited offer of historical Orientalism art in Algeria explains its smaller part. However, the current trend is heading towards an inversion of this. Modern art, represented by artists such as M’hamed Issiakhem, Baya Mahieddine and Mohammed Khadda, is drawing more interest, mainly due to their
works entering public sales at the auction houses Gros & Delettrez, Aguttes, Ader and Million at Drouot in Paris, at Sotheby’s in Doha and at Christie’s in Dubai, where strong prices have been fetched.

Meanwhile, Christie’s Dubai is boosting contemporary artists, such as Rachid Koraichi, Ahmed Ben Bella, Abdallah Benanteur, Rachid Khimoune, Kader Attia and Djamel Tatah. The success of these artists has attracted the attention of Algerian collectors who had previously only been interested in Orientalism and unoriginal works. The prices of artworks by these artists are beginning to go up in Algiers, indicating how the contemporary
art market is taking off.

Since 2005/2006, the art market has been articulated around 10 galleries mostly located in Algiers. These galleries are mostly managed by young people who evidently enjoy their profession and seek to promote young Algerian artists. The exhibitions that they organise are regular and increasingly more numerous. However, it would seem that the artistic dynamic does not translate into commercial vitality; this is undoubtedly due to the
profile of the buyers but also due to the young galleries’ lack of experience. Al Marhoon Gallery, a young gallery
in Algiers, seems to have a professional approach. Besides organising exhibitions, it participates in fairs abroad, such as Art Dubai and AKAA in Paris, where it can present its artists to a foreign audience.

Furthermore, its well-designed website enhances the visibility of its artists. Another gallery, Seen Art Gallery,
seems promising as does the alternative structure, Les Ateliers Sauvages, which takes a particular interest in young artists, such as the group Picturie Générale (Mourad Krinah, Walid Bouchouchi and Youcef Krache).
Alongside these galleries, the MAMA (Musée Public National d’Art Moderne et Contemporain – the national museum of modern and contemporary art) has played a central role since its inauguration in 2007. It has earnt a reputation for the quality of its exhibitions, which have enabled the Algerian public, including collectors, to
discover Algerian modern and contemporary art and the artists of the diaspora, as well as those hailing from Africa and the Arab world.

The five exhibitions on African creation in 2009, coinciding with the second Panafrican festival that year, sparked a keen interest in art, Africa and the Arab world, encouraging artists – especially the young generation – to go and see what was happening in Arab and African cultures, thus broadening their artistic outlook. Websites such as founoune.com also contribute to a better legibility of art in Algeria, as do the sections on art in the daily press. The efforts of the galleries, along with the interest of auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, have strengthened the idea that it is perhaps time for Algerian collectors to look more closely at Algeria’s artistic heritage.

This indicates a progression from buying to decorate one’s interior to the desire to constitute a true collection of art with artistic and heritage strategies. This, in turn, would lead to the involvement of professional players – such
as art consultants, insurers, experts and restorers – who would bring solutions to managing artistic heritage.
The Algerian artistic diaspora constitutes a model for young artists and, to a lesser degree, for artists of the same age.

The increasing visibility of artists such as Attia, Tatah, Koraichi, Benanteur and Ben Bella in museums, galleries and the sales rooms is helping to make young people believe that success is possible for young artists living in Algeria. But they consider that they would have more chance of becoming successful if they settled in Europe. They reproach Algeria’s culture ministry for not having created an infrastructure with rules and key players so
that there is a full artistic life. The existence of galleries and museums, such as the MAMA is certainly a necessary condition but mechanisms of public support seem to be missing. There is not a sponsorship law
or any assistance for galleries developing the careers of young artists; there are inadequate budgets for museums to acquire artworks; there are not any tax incentives and there are strict, pernickety controls on exporting modern and contemporary artworks.

The system is developing solely thanks to the will of art professionals and some collectors. The influence of the diaspora is apparent as a model of success but less so in the artistic content, even though some young artists are sometimes inspired by well-known artists in the diaspora. Algerian collectors are not numerous; one can count around 20 that have a large collection of over 50 artworks. The collections are centred on Algerian art
(Orientalism and/or modern and contemporary art). Historically, collectors have been lawyers and doctors. But today, they are more likely to be industrialists or businessmen that have become wealthy through developing Algeria’s private sector in the last 30 years.

These collectors continue to acquire works and are inclined to pay for artworks by Algerian artists at higher prices, providing that the prices correspond to a real quota. This is where Algerian galleries have a role to play. It is no longer enough for them to put on exhibitions or be curators. They must transform themselves into
art dealers that are aware of all the market mechanisms and have a due sense of responsibility. A deontology code fixing the rules to observe between artists and galleries, collectors and galleries, and between
galleries themselves would be welcome. In the absence of a syndicate of Algerian galleries, the culture ministry could contribute to the market’s development by introducing such a code.

Lionel Manga
Art critic

Pascale Marthine Tayou and Barthélémy Toguo are the two most successful artists originally from Cameroon but living in the diaspora.

Pascale Marthine Tayou: Tayou often comes to Cameroon, where he piloted a project under the umbrella of the Goethe Institute for its fiftieth anniversary. He is a virtuoso of decontextualisation, surpassing everything
that resembles a border, be it the borders between nations, the borders separating objects by enclosing them in a space of usage, or those that isolate eras. Monumental installations constitute Tayou’s favourite mode of expression. Whether it’s tilting poles hung in a garden or the carcass of a second-hand car brought from Cameroon to Europe, he displaces objects to confer on them hitherto unseen identities that make them eloquent
in the exhibition space, by means of mental gymnastics. This exuberant and prolific work, which daringly combines precious crystal with trivial, everyday materials, is deployed within the realm of translation and displacement.

Barthélémy Toguo: Toguo is increasingly present in Bandjoun in the west of Cameroon, where he has built a contemporary art centre called Bandjoun Station. He can be described as a multi-faceted visual artist. From painting, drawing, video and installation to photography, printmaking and performance, Toguo expresses himself across all media in order to treat every aspect of the human condition. Watercolours in tender colours are never exempt from violence, and nor are his varied compositions, which are sometimes charged with irony and elicit astonishment. Or think of the dolls swathed in bandages in his performance “The Sick Opera” (Palais de Tokyo, 2004), which was rich in uncompromising remarks and political depth. Toguo also enjoys playing with stereotypes. This category-defying aptitude renders him elusive and unpredictable, which is the only trademark
of his oeuvre, the expansiveness of which is the never-ending nature of life itself. The artists of the diaspora don’t,
strictly speaking, have an impact on the boom and evolution of the local scene, even if one can see in the ever  widening practices, from installation art to performance, a clear effect of the exposure to contemporary art
through the media. However, the pluridisciplinary approach and the fields of questioning that Toguo and Tayou embrace is not yet common among many local artists in Cameroon. Nonetheless, upcoming artists have understood the importance nowadays of imbuing one’s practice with theory and having a coherent discourse.
Meanwhile, Simon Njami and Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung are the most successful curators with Cameroonian origins. Njami is a recurring guest of the Doual’Art contemporary art centre and recently gave a guest a talk at Galerie MAM in Douala, Cameroon’s largest port and main business city. Ndikung founder and artistic director of the art space SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin has been named curator at large of Documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany, and Athens.

NII ANDREWS
Art reviewer

THE EFFECT/INFLUENCE OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA ON THE GHANAIAN CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET
Understanding the term Diaspora (people settled far from their ancestral homeland) in our current epoch is
fraught with many potential problems. The issues become particularly acute when referring to the African Diaspora – a largely global phenomenon. Our best objective evidence indicates that the ancestral homeland of all
humankind is Africa.

Are we then to include almost all of the earth’s population located outside the continent? Or should we begin with the Arab slave trade from Africa to the territories of the east that started in 1300? Surely, an arbitrary set of parameters will enable us to better focus our discussion. We shall limit the Diaspora to two groups. First, Ghanaians that have settled (live, work) outside Ghana- and there are an estimated 3-4 million of them.

Up to 200 000 live in the US, the world’s largest economy. Only an estimated 5% of them are in the top 10% threshold income level of US$140 000. Another 80-100 000 live in the UK. The annual remittance contribution (to Ghana) of the US and UK diaspora is US$33 million and US$25 million respectively. However, two countries in the sub-region; Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire host 200 000 and 50 000 Ghanaians respectively with annual remittances from Nigeria at US$21 million and the latter at US$12 million. The proportion of the aforementioned groups earnings spent on Ghanaian contemporary art is not known. It will also be interesting to establish if the amount spent has been increasing over the last decade.

There exists another segment of the African Diaspora with a radically different genesis. It is composed of the descendants of the millions of Africans forcibly extricated from the homeland, taken across, up and down the Atlantic and made to endure the harsh conditions of chattel slavery from 1400-1900. No, we cannot say that they were immigrants-no matter how well intentioned! Up till today, they still experience structural long term barriers that make their social integration and upward mobility more difficult than for other groups. There is also among them (as in other Diaspora groups) a group identity that includes the ongoing creation of a community consciousness or mythology which links them to the ancestral land.

Intellectuals, professionals, artists and activists from this group (George Padmore, W.E.B. Dubois, Maya Angelou, Bill Sutherland, Maynard Rustin and others ) exerted a not insignificant influence on the thoughts and actions of the mid twentieth century nationalist leaders in Ghana especially Kwame Nkrumah. Jean Allman describes this as, a time when the West African state of Ghana was a pivotal site for imagining an entirely new, non-aligned world; when Ghanaians, joined by a host of transnational actors (African-American activists and intellectuals, Irish and Welsh nationalists, anti-nuclear peace activists, South African communists, Caribbean Pan-Africanists) cooperated, colluded and collided over how to build a non-racial, antiimperialist, nuclear free world at the height
of the Cold War.

We can surmise that their influence extended to the genesis of the African Personality and the artistic oeuvre of Kofi Antubam, Kobina Bucknor, Saka Acquaye, Vincent Kofi, Amon Kotei, A.O. Bartemius and Oku Ampofo. These artists and others pioneered paradigms in contemporary African art within the liberated cultural space of the newly independent Ghana. Even when they drew on African traditions in sculpture and iconography, they persevered and formulated alternative artistic ideas thus producing a new art that spoke to the resurgent masses of Ghana. This also resonated with the African Diaspora, particularly in the US, where the Diaspora was then
engaged in the epic civil rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s.

The power of the African ancestral symbols and aesthetic forms in providing cohesion and focus to African peoples thereby empowering them to confront existential problems cannot be underestimated. Two examples will suffice. The Sankofa sign served to encourage African peoples to look to their past in order to retrieve and retain useful indigenous precepts and utilize them for their progress and advancement. Second, when confronted with the apparent futility of their struggle for emancipation, they could seek to understand that the current
setbacks were only temporary; all shall pass except God says the Gye Nyame symbol. Through the incisive and glamorous interpretation of folk and indigenous African culture, the pioneering Ghanaian contemporary artists provided the ummph for a new social and political dispensation.

Perhaps both groups, on either side of the Atlantic, fed off and nurtured each other in ways that were alluded to by the African-American leaders, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. In the popular culture of that time, it manifested as dashikis, afro combs, nine inch afros and beads… and, “I’m Black and Proud”. Sadly though, within Ghana this indigenous flowering of contemporary art forms has to date not translated into the establishment
of a National Museum of Contemporary Art – a commonplace occurrence in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

This lacuna is unacceptable within the context of Ghana’s presumed role as a trail blazer in Africa. But there have been private efforts to collect, promote and showcase Ghanaian contemporary art. The examples include the Loom, Artists Alliance Gallery, the Dei Foundation and ARTcapital Ghana. These voluntary institutions have permanent displays of superb collections of contemporary Ghanaian artwork and there are always also pieces
available for sale.

Specialty exhibitions are also held in these institutions with accompanying well written glossy catalogs thus providing essential documentation on artworks for the local and international market. The collections include the work of promising young artists and important/ established artists who have participated in the ground breaking 1989 “Magiciens de la Terre” show in France, the Venice Biennial, Art Dubai, Art Basle and other important art events frequented by the international jet set, power brokers and trend influencers.

Ghanaian contemporary artists who have benefited from such international exposure include Ablade Glover, Ato Delaquis, George Afedzi Hughes and Wiz Kudowor. The huge media publicity generated by such international events for the individual artists is more readily accessible and often much better appreciated by the African
Diaspora; much less so for their compatriots domiciled in Ghana. Consequently, the former are more likely
disposed to effect purchases of the artist’s work at the “discounted” prices when visiting Ghana. Needless to state these “discounted” prices are often considered unfavorable by the latter- or perhaps art purchases are
very low on their list of priorities.

Another disadvantage for the market is the often unstable nature of the local currency. This works in favor of the diasporan buyer especially when s/he is prepared to buy several pieces. The hesitancy of the local artists to work
solely through gallery owners or a management/ marketing team again disadvantages the market. All of these factors make the Ghanaian contemporary art market a buyer’s market with peculiar advantages to the diasporan buyer. Two empirical observations for Ghana are also relevant here. First, it is much easier for potential
patrons to appreciate, relate to and want to purchase artwork when it is viewed in a furnished setting e.g. in a living room or an office instead of the stark white walls of a gallery.

This observation if taken seriously by art dealers should lead to an increase in the number of art buyers. Second, it is most unusual to find Ghanaian parents visiting an art gallery with their young children. They are much more likely to visit a shopping mall or a fast food joint together. Intuitively this does not auger well for the growth of the future client base for the local art market. The preponderance of evidence suggests that the economic power of several African states is on the ascendancy in the world just as the US and Europe begins to wane but their cultural power and proclivities remain largely intact.

The overwhelming majority of institutions that dictate the importance and monetary value of art are located in the west. David Dibosa sums it up as follows, “The big collecting institutions like Tate and Moma operate rather like the big banks. They are always safe, and can guarantee the cultural value of a work of art anywhere,
everywhere and forever. Which is why Tate’s recognition is such a big deal: it is a stamp of approval that will increase the value and collectability of the work.” However, even though the numbers may be increasing, there are still only a few African diasporans within the power and decision making apparatus of these influential institutions. Clearly, the power dynamic between the loosely structured Ghanaian contemporary art market and the big western collecting institutions is skewed in favor of the latter.

In 2012 when the Guaranty Trust Bank plc, a large Nigerian bank and one of West Africa’s most respected partnered Tate in the Tate Africa Program; Tate refused to give figures for its commitment. We could only speculate and hope that the bank’s role was substantial. Finally, the prestige value (or if you like-“cool factor”) in owning contemporary african art is not lost on Ghana and Africa’s growing list of home grown millionaires
and possibly billionaires. Furthermore, this group has shown that it is savvy enough to realize the investment potential in such an asset.

What is interesting is that just ten years ago, the aforementioned factors were only appreciated by a small group of cognoscenti in Ghana and the diaspora.This group is now steadily expanding. Hopefully, it will not expand to include the significant number of speculators that caused turmoil and overheating in the Western and Asian contemporary art markets.

Only time will tell.

Artists in the Diaspora

  • Wanguechi Mutu

  • Yinka Shonibare

A PROFILE – Wangechi Mutu | By Osei G. Kofi

“I was struggling with this idea, that perhaps the reason I was in this situation is I turned into something that didn’t belong. I didn’t belong at home, I didn’t belong here. I didn’t exist, or I shouldn’t exist, in that weird way. Like I’d left and grown on my own like these creatures that grow on Madagascar that are such anomalies. I think there is something about countries and nations that is hard to define. And in fact, that’s probably why we create such massive boundaries, because it’s so slippery where they begin and where they end. These conservative demarcations of nation and state and culture are soon going to be archaic. We have to redefine what we mean when we say “Who are your people?” “Where are you from?””

If you think the 130-odd words cited above and the sentiments therein are from a modern-day philosopher or a social scientist you are wrong. Or, perhaps not so wrong. Eureka – here is world-renowned artist Wangechi Mutu! She was talking to a writer in New York who’d gone to interview the Kenya-born emigrée on the eve of her ground-breaking exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, June 2013. Wangechi speaks little publicly. But when she does, as in this instance, she bares her soul, poignantly sharing the challenges that assail a nomad who belongs nowhere and everywhere, dealing with constant bifurcation as a fact of life. She’s a daughter of Mother Africa, fertilized by
the red soils of Kikuyuland, in the shadow of majestic Mount Kenya. Beckoned by goddess Diaspora Wangechi practises her craft far from home. Home, which home? Nairobi where she was born in 1972? America, whose shores she decidedly landed in her search for the golden fleece soon after high school at nuns’ run Loreto Convent Msongari, among the best secondary education in Kenya? Her search to hone her natural born talents far from home is paired with a hunger for technical expertise. Subsequently, the studies at the United World College of the Atlantic, Wales. At prestigious Parsons School of Art and Design, New York. At historic Cooper Union for the Advancement of the Arts and Science, New York. Capping it all with a Master’s in sculpture from Ivy
League Yale, if you please.

Wangechi is arguably the most cerebral and prolific among the dozen plus topnotch diasporic artists wowing museum goers and collectors. Her early art, when she first burst onto the scene, took grotesquerie to a level that would have made Bosch and Arcimboldo blush. She’d scissor images and texts from anthropologic, ethnographic and medical magazines, splicing and spicing them with gems or detritus from high fashion or porn, grafting the lot onto paper and later on mylar, in collages so distinctive they arrested first time viewers in their tracks. In shock and awe.

Wangechi’s works grab by the throat with their mishmash-ness, of order in chaos, beauty in horrors, that seem to emerge from our nightmares, or wet dreams, with a surrealist aplomb and Daliesque flair. Keeping with the spirit of the times Wangechi has segued into sculpture, installation and video, allowing her to better explore her most ardent preoccupations: cultural signifiers and the African identity, politics and the atrocities of war, plastic surgery and the body politics, gay and lesbian rights, etc.

The early grostesquerie got Wangechi noticed. Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor, eminent among the world’s power brokers in contemporary art, took her under his wings while she was still in college, including her in the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale which he curated. Enwezor again tapped her to be considered for Deutsche Bank’s inaugural Artist of the Year award in 2000 which she won, with a show at their Guggenheim Museum, Berlin.
“Her constant excavation of her process, the constant excavation of her own ideas, and her breaking boundaries within that” are what makes Wangechi so interesting,” Enwezor lauded at the award luncheon in New York.

Artistic director of the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, Enwezor gave Wangechi a pride of space in the coveted
Giardini where she presented a three-piece showcase: a sculpture of a multi-horned encaged bronze mermaid She’s Got the Whole World; a collage painting Forbidden Fruit Picker; and a video The End of Carrying It All, an apocalyptic visual of a Sisyphus figure battling the elements in a vast windblown landscape.

After years of biding time for an interview I finally caught up with the diva around her agistral installation in the Giardini. She was surrounded by a bevy of groupies. The scrum around her was such that all I got was being roped in as an extra in the fashion photo shoot in which she was starring. No time to talk beyond sharing her
“admiration and gratitude” for Enwezor. The year before, in 2014, another diasporic mover & shaker Simon Njami of Africa Remix fame included Wangechi in a select group of artists for an artistic enactment of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy. Heaven, hell, purgatory revisited by African Contemporary Artists” which Njami curated at the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt.

In April the stupendously successful show travelled to the National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, for a 4-month run. Wangechi’s collage, “The Storm Has Finally Made It Out of Me, Alhamdulillah,” depicting a mystical creature with an explosion emanating from her midsection, was located in hell among other works. In one of her most recent stunning sculptural works, Second Dreamer Wangechi unabashedly took from Brancusi’s 1910
Sleeping Muse, which the Romanian- Frenchman had borrowed from Africa’s totemic masks. Thus, we now have Africa to Europe to America to Africa! There’s also her Water Woman, an ebony-black sheen sculpture of Nguva or Mami Water of African folklore, depicted as a nubile with a fetching pair of tits and a lower body of slithery fish; a harking back to the millennia of mermaid mythology also shared by Starbucks’ on their coffee cups.

Wangechi has been quoted as using “the aesthetic of rejection and wretchedness to explore the hopeful or sublime.” The titles of her works are a world of its own, trenchant, instantly resonant, with deep hidden meanings – never perfunctory, as is the wont of too many among her peers. They surge from the wellspring of her creativity, embodying uplifting pathos, rarely descending into bathos. Sample: Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002, Misguided Little Unforgivable Hierarchies, 2005, The Bride Who Married a Camel’s Head, 2009, The End of eating Everything, 2013, Hundred lavish months of bushwhack and Intertwined, which is one of my favs, showing two scantily clad
small-titted damsels with heads of hunting dogs gnawing each other’s tongue. Does Wangechi like her women small-titted? In 17 years since college Wangechi’s exhibitions and awards would be the envy of older artists with decades of practice.

Someone recently described her art as “like seeing the world through a shaman’s eyes.” Well, the fact is Wangechi is the shaman. In 2006-2016 of her 20 solo shows 70% were in museums and public institutions, 30% in private galleries. Of her 155 group shows 86% were in museums and public institutions, 14% in galleries.

A PROFILE By Osei G. Kofi Yinka Shonibare MBE

Art must be fun. It must say something. Which contemporary artist best embodies this uncommon duality? Yinka Shonibare, MBE. He is fun. He is naughty. Never boring. He breaks boundaries. Always evokes something deep. Well, almost always. Huge dollops of humour save Shonibare from humdrum. When the almost entirety of an artist works revolve around fibre glass mannequins and wax prints one must be super talented to always pull it off – and Shonibare does it like a true maestro.

The London-born of Nigerian parents 50-something artist uses his work to explore human foibles, cultural identities, race and class, colonialism, post-colonialism, with their tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europeand the current zeitgeist, Globalisation. Shonibare does it all often with self-deprecation and putdowns
that belie the profundity of the subject matters and the messages they carry. While sculpture is his main thing
Shonibare has been active in painting, photography, film and performance lately.

A signifier of his art is the brightly coloured wax cotton prints first produced in Indonesia by the Dutch. His trademark media are resin or fibre glass headless mannequins wearing the colourful prints the Dutch exported to West Africa at the beginning of the last century. It caught fashion fire in the hot humid climate. By the 1950s and early independence years the fabric, like the Kente, had become a sign of African pride, notably in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin. Shonibare makes unique pieces of his sculptural creations. He might make variations
of a particular oeuvre, such as the Butterfly Girl and the wind vane series.

The latter has had the most international traction lately, with commissions from the US and Germany after it debuted in 2013 in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In December 2016 the latest wind vane, Wind Sculpture VII, was erected in front of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, the first sculpture to be honoured at the prime site.Shonibare was a proponent of installation art way before it became a currency
which in the hands of untalented practitioners the genre has turned gimmicky and a real bore.

His first solo exhibition was in 1989 at Byam Shaw Gallery, London. He burst onto the international stage in 2002
with an installation “Gallantry and Criminal Conversation” commissioned by OkwuiEnwezor for Documenta XI in Kassel, a take of humorous bathos on randy Victorians being naughty while pretending they were in serious conversation over serious business.A year later Shonibare gave us Scramble For Africa, 14 life-size mannequins decked out in 19th century costumes of the wax prints around a table somewhere in Europe carving up Africa
into exclusive real estates. Measuring 132 x 488 x 280 cm the installation was the Anglo-Nigerian’s most evocative memory pitch for Africans. His most iconic work must be How To Blow-Up Two Heads At Once, 2006. Two male mannequins in leather riding boots each with a gun pointed at the other’s non-existent head. Difficult
to tell who won the duel. There is also a female version. Talking about epistemic art, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle was Shonibare’s most complex and technically challenging work.

The medium consisted of a specially blown glass bottle, cork, wood, brass, textiles, acrylic, LED lighting and a ventilation system. At 300 x 535 x 250 cm and a 1:30 scale model of Horatio Nelson’s HMS Victory inside, the bottle was moulded by aquarium specialists in Rome. Commissioned by the Greater London Authority for the
fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, the work commemorated the Battle of Trafalgar,the 1805 naval fight by the Royal Navy against the combined fleets of French and Spanish navies in the Napoleonic Wars in which Nelson destroyed 27 Franco-Spanish ships without a single British vessel being lost. For Shonibare, who describes himself as a “post-colonial” hybrid, the work reflected the relationship between the birth of the British Empire and modern Britain’s multicultural context. “It’s a celebration of London’s immense ethnic wealth, giving expression to and honouring the many cultures and ethnicities that are still breathing precious wind into the sails of the United Kingdom,” he said. The installation, displayed from May 2010 to January 2012, was so widely admired that at
the end of its allotted reign in Trafalgar Square, the UK Art Fund launched a fund raiser to purchase and relocate it at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, now its permanent home.

Shonibare’s lawyer father moved the family back to Nigeria when the future artist was three. At 17, he returned to Britain for his A-levels at Redrice School, and study fine art, first at Byam School of Art now Central Saint Martin’s College, and later at Goldsmiths College where he received his MFA. At 18, Shonibare contracted transverse
myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord, which resulted in a physical disability that has paralysed one side of
his body. He moves about in an electric wheelchair and has assistants making the works under his direction.

In 2004, Shonibare was shortlisted for the Turner Prize. He didn’t win but in a BBC website poll 64% of the voters made his work their favourite among the four on the shortlist. Tellingly, he was awarded an MBE that year. An Honorary Doctorate, Fine Artist, from the Royal College of Art followed in 2010. He was elected Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts in 2013. A big deal in the UK. In 2006-2016 of Shonibare’s 45 solo
shows 31% were in museums and public institutions, 69% in private galleries. Of his 160 group shows 92%
were in museums and public institutions, 8% in galleries.

Seyni Awa Camara (b. c. 1945)
Grands genoux,2008
terracotta
Height 115 cm
court. private collection

2016 Teach the Future

  • Makgati Molebatsi | Art advisor

  • Moncef Msakni | Owner & Director of El Marsa Gallery

  • Julia Grosse & Yvette Mutumba | Co founders of Contemporary And (C&)

  • Tumelo Musaka | Curator

  • Mustapha Orif | Art Dealer

Makgati Molebatsi | Art advisor

There has been an increase in the interest to acquire art by African Artists, and the market is responding to that. The increase in Art Fairs which focus on art by African artists has contributed to this awareness and visibility. Established fairs which traditionally feature European or Western based galleries have also responded to this visibility by having galleries from Africa featuring as ”Guest of honour” or ”focus on Africa” for their presence in the fair. Although the FNB Joburg art fair has been in existence for close to ten years – celebrating its tenth year in 2017 – the addition by other art fairs focusing on Contemporary Art by African artists such as 1:54 and Cape Town art fair in the last five years; Artfair X Lagos in Nigeria, Akaa in Paris in 2016 and the inclusion of African galleries in The Armory Show and Art Paris art
fair has extended the interest in Art by African artists. Artists whose work is featured in biennales and major exhibition have gained exposure and enhanced the curiosity and desire towards Africa and its artists. The market has responded to this with new galleries opening across the continent, and these galleries showing interest in participating in the art fairs highlighting art by African artists globally.

Moncef Msakni | Owner & Director of El Marsa Gallery

Rediscovering Arab artists as a whole: modern and contemporary. A remarkable presence of Diaspora artists alike Nadia Kaabi and Ali Tnani.

Julia Grosse & Yvette Mutumba | Co founders of Contemporary And (C&)

What interested us was the events happening on the continent, like the Dakar Biennale in Senegal, which is the oldest biennale in Africa. In 2016, it was a completely international art event with all the collectors and curators from New York attending. Art X, an art fair in Lagos, made its debut last year and was a high-profile, successful first edition. Its founder is Tokini Peterside and its artistic director is Bisi Silva, the founder/artistic director of the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos. Nigeria has a lot of wealthy buyers and a strong collecting scene. Having a professional fair is a good step
to bring art to those people, like having Art Basel Hong Kong in Hong Kong. The Also Known As Africa fair, AKAA, also launched its first edition in Paris. It’s Europe’s second Africa-focused fair after 1:54 in London. I was happy that AKAA could realise its first edition after it had been cancelled the year before, following the terrorist attacks. It makes sense to have this fair in Paris, which has a strong collecting scene interested in African perspectives.

Tumelo Musaka | Curator

There were at least three fairs, plus the Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, so there was a real effort to bring art to the public. This was encouraging because we need more art events taking place on the continent in order to educate local audiences so there can be a greater appreciation of artists. Also, several initiatives were launched by artists’ collectives to create a platform for dialogue between artists and to show their work to the public.

Mustapha Orif | Art Dealer

Two or three exhibitions of young Algerian artists, including an independent group show titled Picturie Générale III featuring 23 artists, highlighted how the level of creativity has bounced back. This was not obvious 10 years ago when the trend for young artists was to“manufacture” copies of Orientalism works in order to satisfy the expectations of the majority of art buyers.

Publisher
Africa Art Market™

Editor-in-Chief
Jean Philippe Aka

Deputy Editor
Anna Sansom

Contributors
Osei G. Kofi

Columnist
(He’s a foreign correspondent and senior editor for a number of media houses including the Reuters News Agency)

Mimi Errol
Journalist & art reviewer

Nii Andrews
Art reviewer

Lionel Manga
Art critic

Graphic design
Marjorie Harrold

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Global Africa Art Market Report 2016

Contents

Introduction

The global market of modern and contemporary African art performed strongly in 2016 with a sell-through rate of 72% in a morose context of the international art market and the slowing down
of African economies. This segment proved to be an exception.

This vitality was led by modern art1 with a sell-through rate of 76% and 55% in value of the total amount of sales, reaching US$23.3 million. Contemporary art2, the majority of acquired works being by artists appearing at auction for the first time, had a sell-through rate of 66%.

The works sold beyond their high estimates represented 58% in value of the total number of sales during the year, including 66.9% for modern art and 33% for contemporary art.

Bids that exceeded the symbolic threshold of US$1 million rose by 200%, including 50% for modern art and 50% for contemporary art. Among the buoyant examples was the extremely mediatised Bowie/Collector sale organised by Sotheby’s in London on 10-11 November 2016 saw all 17 works by African artists find buyers, the works totalling £341,875 (with buyer premium), equivalent to US$425,504 seven times over the pre-sale estimate.

Art house Contemporary, the Nigerian auction house in Lagos, went from having two annual sales in 2015 to three in 2016.
There are several reasons for these results, the first being the strong potential in artistic and market value of the works proposed in galleries and at auctions. Secondly, the huge direct and indirect investments, such as institutional, commercial
and non-commercial projects and exhibitions, mainly in western countries as well as new structural initiatives in Africa.

The buyer base has also increased. Furthermore, reference prices have recently been consolidated: the average range of estimates of works proposed for auction were between US$7,140 and US$9,650 for modernist works and between US$7,420 and US$10,260 for contemporary art. This represents a progression of 60% and 70% respectively over seven years.

We are witnessing the first effects of the current structural changes that were observed in our previous reports. This market is at the end of a long cycle that could be defined as being “rudimentary” and right at the start of a new modernity. The trend is growing and its rhythm will be defined by how actors on the African continent organise themselves by becoming meaningfully and clearly involved in the economy and art market, how actors in classical African arts (African statuaries and masks) control their market, and the savoir-faire by the new generation of actors involved in this segment.

Strauss & Co, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the leading auction house for the total amount of works sold with 31% in value and 57% of lots. London held the most important place in the market in 2016, considering the number of operators in our study that organized sales (40% of the total), the number of proposed lots (2.9% of the total) and of sold lots (28.1% and US$11.9 million in the year) and institutional and commercial exhibitions. We’ll see how this pans out during the post-Brexit period.

Three factors can explain the attractiveness of the British capital for modern and contemporary African art: its number one place in finance; its appeal to African creators and investors, mainly from South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana; and the established and prosperous African diaspora involved in artistic/cultural initiatives and institutions, such as the Tate.

For players based on the African continent, the evolution of the sector is dazzling. But it is not felt in the same way by those from western countries due to differences in expectations and costs. At public sales in Africa, Europe and the US, records have become commonplace and galleries on the three continents remain in the same dynamic.

One of the pillars of this segment’s improvement is the African diaspora. In this new report, we have decided to scrutinize its
contribution, importance and impact because for a long time it has been active in making African art the segment with the biggest growth potential in the art market.

Findings

This segment, which had a sell through rate of 72%, proved to be an exception to the morose context of
the international art market and the slowing-down of African economies in 2016.

Bids that exceeded the symbolic threshold of US$1 million rose by 200%, including 50% for modern art
and 50% for contemporary art.

Strauss & Co, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the leading auction house for the total amount of works sold with 31% in value and 57% of lots.

Modern art led the market with a sell-through rate of 76%, and 55% in value of the total amount of sales,
reaching US$23.3 million.

London held the most important place in the market in 2016, considering the number of operators in our study that organised sales (40% of the total), the number of proposed lots (2.9% of the total) and of sold lots (28.1% and US$11.9 million in the year) and institutional and commercial exhibitions.

The enlargement of the buyers’ base in all categories.

In contemporary art, the works sold beyond their high estimates, representing 58% in value, or US$8 million, and 37.9% between their estimates or US$5,7 million with regard to the total number of sales in this category.

Female artists continue to lead this market for the second consecutive year and constitute a very important market share. They represent 60% of the top five most expensive selling lots in all categories and 66.5% in value for this same ranking.

Despite the majority of auction houses being young, they recorded a strong dynamic and good results,
sales organised on the African continent counting for 46.1% of the total value, fetching US$19.6 million and 93.2% of lots.

The most expensive work sold in any category is South African-born artist Marlene Dumas’s painting, “Night nurse” (1999-2000), which sold for US$2.5 million at Phillips New-York in 2016.

Lawrence Lemaoana (b.1982)
Real Power is not granted it is
performed, 2017
Khanga textile and cotton
embroidery,
155×115 cm, court. Afronova

Rankings

Methodology modern ART

Given the specifics of the burgeoning African modern art market, it is essential to go beyond auction results alone in order to analyze it. This study ranks the 100 artists- whose birth range from 1850 through 1939 -who obtained the best scores according to four weighted criteria:

  1. turnover at auction in 20161 (40%)

  2. medium price of characteristic artworks on the first market (10%)

  3. number of exhibitions in museums throughout career (25%)

  4. number of exhibitions at commercial galleries throughout career (25%)

3 Artist Profiles

3 different artist profiles emerged through the analysis:

  • Global – The Global profile includes artists who are recognized internationally in both the museum and the commercial worlds, with stable prices on the first and the second markets.

  • Undervalued – The Undervalued profile includes artists with a strong presence on the art scene, both in the non-profit and the first market sectors. Their artworks appear sporadically on the second market, with undervalued prices.

  • High Potential – The High Potential profile includes artists whose recognition in the art circles is underway. Their presence is stronger in museums than in commercial galleries. Their artworks are hardly seen on the second market.

Methodology Contemporary Art

Given the specifics of the burgeoning contemporary art market, it is essential to go beyond auction results alone in order to analyze it. This study ranks the 100 artists –who were born after 1940– who obtained the best scores according to five weighted criteria:

  1. turnover at auction in 20161 (25%)

  2. medium price of characteristic artworks on the first market (25%)

  3. number of exhibitions in museums throughout career (20%)

  4. number of exhibitions at commercial galleries throughout career (20%)

  5. level of recognition among independent art critics (10%)

4 Artist Profiles

4 different artist profiles emerged through the analysis:

  1. Global – The Global profile includes artists who are recognized internationally in both the museum and the commercial worlds, with stable prices on the first and the second markets.

  2. Undervalued – The Undervalued profile includes artists with a strong presence on the art scene, both in the non-profit and the first market sectors. Their artworks appear sporadically on the second market, with undervalued prices.

  3. High Potential – The High Potential profile includes artists whose recognition in the art circles is underway. Their presence is stronger in museums than in commercial galleries. Their artworks are hardly seen on the second market.

  4. To watch – The To Watch profile includes emerging artists whose first artworks have recently been seen on the second market for the first time.

Marketplaces

 

  • Total lots sold at marketplaces by value in USD (%)

  • Total lots sold at marketplaces by volume (%)

  • Modern art total lots sold at marketplaces by value in USD (%)

  • Modern art total lots sold at marketplaces by volume (%)

  • Contemporary art total lots sold at marketplaces by value in USD (%)

  • Contemporary art total lots sold at marketplaces by volume (%)

Abdallah Benanteur (b.1931)
Le Baiser (The Kiss), 1954
oil on panel
65.2×54.2cm
Court. private collection

Auction House Market Share

  • Auction houses total lots sold by value in USD (%)

  • Auction houses total lots sold by volume (%)

The Diaspora and the Global Art Discourse

  • Overview by Osei G. Kofi

  • Julia Grosse & Yvette

  • Mutumba | Co founders of Contemporary And

  • Tumelo Mosaka | Art curator

  • Mimi Errol | Journalist

  • Mustapha Orif | Art dealer

  • Lionel Manga | Art critic

  • Nii Andrew | Art reviewer

OVERVIEW by Osei G. Kofi

The African Diaspora is a worldwide church, covering millions of peoples across the seven continents, of a plethora of cultures, and whose ancestral DNA is etched into and resonates the Mother Continent – the Homeland. As an operational tool the term is applied to first-second generation Africans with national or constitutional identity outside Africa.

A remarkable innovation on the art scene is that many creatives have chosen to shuttle between the Homeland and Outer lands. In other words, the entire world is their inspiration, their canvas, their clay, their stone.

Cameroonian Barthélémy Toguo, Ghanaian Owusu Ankomah and Kenyan Wangechi Mutu are among the exemplars. Africa is the most recent region, barely two decades ago, to enter the global art space and its premium sub-spaces of museums, galleries, corporate & private collections, fairs and auction houses. The early years saw significant tension between the Diaspora and Homeland artists and curators.

The Diaspora operated within the core market, namely, Europe and North America. Logically, they were better placed to tap into the opportunities on offer. Nonetheless, they came under criticism from artists and gallerists in the Homeland who accused the impresarios of western art institutions and private galleries of favoring art labelled “African contemporary” but which were often anything but.

Too often the art aped uncomfortably the styles and tastes of the West, especially so in installation and performance art. There were those who argued, art is art and has no specific ID or geographic boundary. Right, up to a degree. Some might take umbrage at the “African” tag to “contemporary.” However, Geo-localization
is valued more for its inherent creative distinctiveness than its perceived negative connotation. Deny it at own peril.

Distinctiveness isn’t bad. It’s not ghettorization. The fact is western art, ancient and modern, has distinct Geo-social DNA. Ditto, Oriental, Latin American or Asian art within the global spectrum. A Japanese painting like a Rembrandt without a Japanese cultural in-flexion is soon submerged, to vanish without trace. Malian Seydou Keita’s photographs, shot in conditions that would befuddle a non-African photographer, exude a cadence, a mojo, that would escape other practitioners of the art form who hadn’t been weaned in Keita’s Mande-Bambara environment.

Ernest Dükü (b.1958)
Entre nous histoire elle court,
2003
mixed media
91x62x5 cm
court. the artist

Julia Grosse & Yvette Mutumba
Co-founders of Contemporary And

Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba founded Contemporary And (C&), the online platform for international art from African perspectives, in Berlin in 2013. The duo were invited by Noah Horowitz, when he was director of the Armory Show in New York, to curate the Focus: African Perspectives section of the 2016 edition of the fair features 13 galleries. This followed on from the focus on China in 2014 and on the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean in 2015. They are the first women to curate an edition of Armory Focus in its seven-year history.

How did the invitation to curate Focus: African Perspectives at the 2016 Armory Show arise?

Noah Horowitz approached us, following a recommendation from some curators, and said that the Armory would like to put a focus on the African continent. That particular focus didn’t interest us, because for us, at C&, there’s no such thing as African art but art from African perspectives, such as an artist in Nairobi with parents from Ghana or an artist in London who comes from Tanzania. A painter from Johannesburg does completely different things from a performance artist from Cairo. But there’s still this tendency to put this overall “African art” label on very diverse practices in Africa and the diaspora. So we told Noah that we would love to curate this section but with a focus on African perspectives, including galleries from African cities and from the diaspora in Paris and London.

How did you envision Focus: African Perspectives?
We had this ideal scenario in mind that visitors would enter the Focus area, which was connected to another hall, and not realise that they were entering a section with art from Africa. We wanted them to see art mostly by very young artists and not see something typically African. There were no hints, like masks or patterns. From the feedback we got, we think people understood that there’s no such thing as African art but many styles and
approaches.

What was your concept?
It was to show youngsters together with old masters. We started from the artists that we wanted to include and then approached their galleries. So we asked the galleries to focus on one artist and do solo presentations instead of having five or six artists squeezed into a small, overloaded space. From a curatorial perspective, it was great and looked like a little exhibition show curated by a gallery. But we recognised that it was a big risk to ask the galleries to bring one artist only. But the Focus was financially successful, too, because all the galleries sold work. It would have been horrible if the concept had been aesthetically pleasing but not a single gallery had been able to sell something.

Besides the galleries that spotlighted very young contemporary artists, we included two galleries, Vigo Gallery and October Gallery in London, that showed older masters: the Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi (b.1930) and Aubrey Williams (b.1926-d.1990). It was an honour for us that their galleries agreed to take part because these artists’ pieces cost several hundred thousand dollars. Our reason for including them is that at C& we emphasise
that contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora didn’t just pop up 10 years ago. There are diverse African histories and modern art existed decades ago. The galleries with the young artists were in the middle of the floor
plan, with the old masters on either side.

What were the strongest sales?

There was one painting by El-Salahi that was almost $1 million. There were also some important museum acquisitions. For instance, Blank project, Cape Town sold sold out their entire booth dedicated to South
African artist Turiya Magadlela. Also The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York acquired a piece by Turiya Magadlela.

How did visitors respond to the Focus section?

Visitors were surprised to discover works, like photography and painting, by young artists that didn’t fall into their expectations of African perspectives. The artists weren’t big names in the art world context and their works weren’t
stereotypical. It was surprising for the black American visitors to see so much art from Africa and the diaspora in Europe that they weren’t aware of, in contrast to some of the black American artists being so huge and established. Everyone knows El Anatsui but this was a great platform to present the younger generation to potential collectors.

What feedback did you get from the galleries that participated in the Focus section?

The galleries, Addis Fine Art, from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia or Omenka Gallery from Lagos in Nigeria all said that it was worth doing because normally they can’t afford to be in an art fair such as the Armory and they wanted to
be seen and present their artists. A Seattle based gallery, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, which was part of Focus: African Perspectives, was accepted to participate in the main fair this year and won the prize for the best booth, which
made us happy.

What do you think of these country or region-focused sections in fairs and exhibitions, such as the Africa-themed
exhibitions?

It’s great for the artists who wouldn’t normally get the chance to have their work exhibited in Europe or the US. But it’s a trend-driven interest: a few years ago it was India, then China and maybe next it will be Australia. But at C&, we look at what we do with a long-term, sustainable vision. The problem of putting this “African art” label on everything is that the same names keep coming up. How are the dreams and ambitions of artists from the African diaspora
changing?

If you talk to young artists working in Nairobi or Johannesburg, they’re not dreaming of finally having a show in London. That’s not the trend any more, which you may have had with artists now in their late fifties who live in
Belgium or London. The younger generation is interested in working on the ground in their own cities, starting art spaces or residency programs. Europe or the western art world isn’t the paradise or goal any longer. Thinking
that once you’ve made it in London or New York, you’ve made it an artist, is less common now. Young artists have the possibility to travel a lot and do a residency in New York or Rotterdam, or stay in Berlin for a year. Over the
last 10 years, there’s been a tendency for them to return to work in their own city’s art scene afterwards and to recognise that there’s a lot going on beyond Berlin and London. A Ghanian artist might have a show in New York and then go back to Accra to establish their artistic infrastructure. We were in Congo in May, where we talked to a very established painter in his sixties. He told us, “I’m not interested in moving to Paris, I have my infrastructure and
my colleagues here, and I’m about to start a residency programme and build a house in the garden where artists from other African cities can stay.” So it’s not just the youngsters who are interested in staying on the ground instead of going to Europe.

What projects are you working on?
We’ve just published our first book, featuring some of the features published on C& in the last four years. The latest print edition of our magazine, focusing on education, was launched in collaboration with documenta in June. We’re
also running critical writing workshops, the third of which will be in Harara, Zimbabwe, in September. Next year we’re launching an extension of C&, focusing on the relationship between Africa and South America.

Tumelo Mosaka
Art curator

Tumelo Mosaka is a contemporary art curator whose projects have explored global and transnational
artistic production, especially from Africa, the Caribbean and North America, and have
examined subjects such as racial injustice, migration and identity. After being associate curator of
exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and contemporary art curator at the Krannert Art
Museum in Champaign, Illinois, Mosaka returned to South Africa in late 2016 and became chief
art curator of Cape Town Art Fair.

What was your goal when you became Cape Town Art Fair’s chief art curator and what was your vision for the Tomorrows/Today section?

My goal was to enter into a conversation with artists from Africa again and explore how Cape Town can be a gateway to the world, especially for contemporary art. My vision for Tomorrows/Today was to offer lesser
known artists a platform to participate in that dialogue. I was looking locally and internationally for under-represented artists making cutting edge works and for whom the fair would play a pivotal role in providing
exposure. I had conversations with many artists and galleries about how to make this section different. Curating at a fair is very different from curating museum exhibitions and requires constant negotiation between galleries and artists. What kept it real was the artists’ enthusiasm and their dynamic works.

Which artists from the diaspora did you work with?
Marcia Kure from Nigeria who lives in New York and is represented by Bloom Art Lagos in Nigeria, Joel Andrianomearisoa from Madagascar who lives in Paris and is represented by Sabrina Amrina Gallery from
Madrid, and Maurice Mbikayi from Congo who lives in Cape Town and is represented by Gallery Momo in Cape Town and Johannesburg. I was looking for works in different media and themes, and by artists in different age groups. Besides looking at geographical location, I was interested in how they use symbols to provoke, inform and construct alternative histories. Take Mbikayi’s photographs, which make a commentary on technological waste, urbanism and popular culture in the Congo.

How does working in the diaspora influence an artist’s work?
Because artists move from place to place, their histories aren’t linear but are far more complex and don’t necessarily respond to their place of birth. What interested me was how they negotiate multiple spaces and identities. Artists are very sensitive to how place and identity inform personal narrative and reflect their locality. As a curator, I’m always thinking about how the message is communicated and relates to the everyday experience.

How have your curatorial experiences in the US shaped your perspective on the diaspora?
There isn’t one diaspora but rather several which are defined by our relationship to people and places. Being from elsewhere entails being in contact with home and family while creating new communities in new spaces and redefining our existence. The diaspora is about the experience of building bridges, maintaining relations and finding a common ground with others, as migration remains a constant reality today. So it’s about understanding the rupture and distance and reshaping one’s way of life.

What effect do you think the African diaspora has had on the art world?
It’s huge. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world where there aren’t any black people today. Maybe Antartica! We’re talking about a history of forced and voluntary migration over centuries, which has resulted in generations of people living everywhere. The geographical distance and the historical distortions have meant that Africa has continued to be this misunderstood place. Most of the west wants to see Africa in a past image and yet contemporary Africa is very much in keeping with how the modern world has developed. With such a large diaspora, more artists are not only demystifying old narratives but resisting any stereotypical representation.
There are a lot of artists living and working in different parts of the world that have gained international attention and propose a different understanding of what “Africa” is today. It’s a challenge since the canon of art and representation of black people needs to be totally overhauled. At Cape Town Art Fair, you can see the scale and scope of creativity that’s being produced within and outside of the continent. The fair is about bringing all this to the forefront and creating a visible dialogue about these issues.

How would you describe the impact of the diaspora in South Africa?
Under apartheid, black South Africans grew up as foreigners in our own land. So the experience of internal immigration and temporary residency is all too familiar. The impact of the diaspora is also about understanding
that our experience isn’t unique in terms of systematic suppression. The ongoing dialogue of the diaspora presents the potential to address issues and offer new realities that are yet to be realised. In South Africa, we can begin to talk about race and inequality in a different way, which is much more complicated than addressing them in a black-and-white, racial dynamic.

What do you think of the so-called boom in contemporary art from Africa?
I keep hearing about a boom in Africa but I don’t believe it. I agree that contemporary African art has been steadily receiving more attention, partly thanks to people like the curator Okwui Enwezor who have championed the cause over time. To claim that there’s a boom is an exaggeration as many artists from Africa continue to be marginalized or only considered within the context of Africa. Secondly, the market has not responded in the same manner when
it comes to pricing works by these artists. Institutions are only now beginning to realize the gap they have in their collections when they talk about global art. Why is it so hard to accept African artists as being contemporary? Why is there the need to qualify them as African in this day and age?

Mimi Errol
Journalist

The diaspora, in all its senses, has played and continues to play an important role in artistic production in Ivory
Coast. This is true for all sectors of the art system, from galleries and collectors to the production of artworks, art
criticism and the academic teaching of fine art. However, the notion of the diaspora is nuanced, especially when one is talking about Ivory Coast. Indeed, one cannot talk about an Ivorian diaspora in the same way as one talks about a Senegalese diaspora with the Mourides – a diaspora based on something that is both about community
and religion and takes root in the host country. Equally, it is not a diaspora that has come about through deportation, even though this played a leading role in the development of contemporary art in Ivory Coast, especially with the Negro-Caribbean School and artists such as Serge Hélénon, the artist/painter and teacher at Abidjan’s National Fine Arts School from 1976-1983.

He was at the inception of what became known as the School of Abidjan and the Vohou-Vohou movement. At the
end of the 1960s, there was a reflux of emancipation, authenticity and black civil rights movements that followed those that happened in the US and the Caribbean. In this context, it is necessary to highlight the highly important patronage role played by the West Indian governor Guy Nairay, who President Félix Houphouët-Boigny retained as an adviser following Ivory Coast’s independence. He was the natural godfather of all the activities of Ivory Coast’s artists through the Pen Club, which he set up in order to accompany their exhibition projects. All this took place
in an era when there were hardly any real art galleries in Ivory Coast.

Furthermore, the most important Ivorian diaspora, which determined the principle by which different waves of immigration evolved until 1981 when François Mitterrand came to power in France, was sparked by Félix Houphouët-Boigny. Before becoming the first president of an independent Ivory Coast, Houphouët-Boigny was a deputy of the assembly (when Ivory Coast was still part of the French Federation of West Africa) and had the visionary idea of sending 146 young people from upper Ivory Coast (now Burkina Faso) and lower Ivory Coast
abroad. The aim of this adventure was to train them in all domains of society. Most of these young people returned to Ivory Coast after their studies and constituted the first wave of high-level officials of post-independence Ivory Coast.

This adventure, called the Adventure 1946, provided Ivory Coast with a major player in Ivory Coast’s art scene: Dalouman Simone, who created the country’s first art gallery, Galerie Arts Pluriels. However, it is worth mentioning that in addition to the young scholars from Ivory Coast that there were some young Ivorians
who made individual trips to France that were financed by their affluent parents. The most emblematic, in the domain of visual arts, of these migrants that went to France was Christian Lattier (1925-1978).

The son of a doctor, it was Lattier who instigated the era of Ivorian contemporary art – art that unfolds before our eyes and gives pre-eminence to an idea rather than the materiality of the work. Indeed, Lattier’s voluminous sculptures, which he made with his bare hands with materials like iron wire and sisal rope, overturned all the conventional techniques known to sculptural art. He justified his concept by saying, “If I’d have made them from wood, I’d have been accused of copying my ancestors. If I’d have carved from stone, people would have said that I was copying the white man. So I had to find something new.” From this refusal to imitate, an innovative work was born. The fact that he won the Grand Prix of Visual Art in the first festival of black art in Dakar, beating 219 other candidates from Africa, Europe and the US, gives an idea of the level of his artistic approach.

The award was given to the artist “who, according to the rules, has attained – by deeply taking root in the black world – an artistic and human expression of a high level, regardless of the technique.” Notably, Lattier participated in exhibitions with Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Bernard Buffet. Another fact that adds to the Ivorians’ tendency of not having a strong diaspora is underscored by Hélène Bergues in her 1973 report titled “The immigration of black African workers in France and particularly in the Parisian region”. On page 62, she describes how the countries with strong immigration are those where the land is poor and where the possibility of making use of arable land is short-lived.

This is not the case of Ivory Coast which, on the contrary, was the welcoming land of choice for all the migrants from the West African sub-region, which faced this difficulty of non-arable land. From this, one can understand the delayed date, in 1970, of the ratification of the “Treaty on co-operation”, signed in Paris in 1961, between France and the Ivory Coast, which countries such as Mali, Mauritania and Senegal made between 1963 and 1964. The agreements also made a distinction between the immigrants that wanted to exercise a salaried activity and those that did not, and specified that the volume of migrants arriving from black Africa mentioned the relatively low number coming from Ivory Coast.

The first wave of the pre-colonial diaspora determined the principle of immigration, which was essentially that of students and therefore temporary and inscribed in the period of studies. This continued until the French presidential election of 1981, which was won by the Socialist François Mitterrand. Mitterrand’s new government proceeded to carry out a huge regularisation of foreigners who had been living in an irregular situation.

This situation enabled artists such as Ouattara Watt to officially practice their profession. This was prior to Watt, an
artist-painter, meeting Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1988. Living in New York since 1988, he is a figurehead of art from Ivory Coast and is the standard bearer in international contests. He has participated in three editions of the Venice Biennale –
he is one of four artists representing the Ivory Coast Pavilion in 2017 – and in one edition of Documenta. His visits to Ivory Coast represent an opportunity for young artists to learn about how he got into the ferocious American art market through actively seeking out encounters.

Equally remarkable about this diaspora is the artist Ernest Düku. Born in 1958 in Bouake, he studied at Abidjan’s National
Fine Arts School and has been living in Paris since 1982. Qualified as an architect and holding a degree in sciences of
art and philosophy from Paris Panthéon Sorbonne, he divides his time between France, his host country, and the Ivory
Coast, his country of origin. When in Ivory Coast, he teaches interior architecture at INSAAC(Abidjan’s fine arts school).
His part-time presence is a considerable contribution, not only because of the quality of his pictorial production and the
pedagogical level of his classes, but also because of the quality and depth of his interventions in the formal and informal debates around art.

Dorris Haron Kasco, born in Ivory Coast, is the first Ivorian photographer to have presented his images in an art gallery. His exhibition, titled “La Femme Masquée” (The Masked Woman), showed all of the woman except her face and took place at Galerie Arts Pluriels. His book, “Les fous d’Abidjan”, was published by Revue Noire, the French publishing house, in 1994 following his exhibition, ”Ils sont fous, on s’en fout” in Abidjan the year before. The political-military crisis that hit Ivory Coast in 2002 interrupted his comings and goings between his native country and France, leading him to concentrate on teaching at Montpellier’s fine arts school.

Since 2011, when the crisis ended, he has been returning to Ivory Coast nearly every year in order to establish a collaboration with INSAAC, where he organises workshops for the students. Kasco co-organised the photography exhibition, “Bazouam”, in spring 2017 in the historic city of Grand-Bassam with the photographer/writer Armand Gauz. Gauz has been living and working between France and Ivory Coast since 1999. His novel “Debout-Payé”, published by Le nouvel Attila, was the best first French novel of 2014, according to “Lire” magazine’s “best books of the year” rating. Through their exhibition in an open-air gallery on the road, Kasco and Gauz sought to break down barriers to art and make it more accessible.

In the medium of photography, the career of Ananias Léki Dago typifies what the Ivorian diaspora has brought about in
the last decade. After studying photography at Abidjan’s INSAAC, he went to live in France at the beginning of the 2000s.
After re-locating, he travelled around the African continent, questioning its multicultural aspects in the urban context. This included observing the shebeens (drinking taverns) in Johannesburg’s townships in South Africa, the rickshaws in Bamako in Mali and the corrugated iron sheets defining the roofs of Nairobi in Kenya.

He extended this experience to the town of Cotonou in Benin and its motor bike taxis, called Zémidjan. This project led
to his work entering the collection of the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art, which acquired an important collection
of 20 photographs from his series on Johannesburg, Nairobi and Bamako. His success has brought immense national
pride. Then there’s the sculptor Jems Robert Koko Bi, the most emblematic sculptor from Ivory Coast. Born in 1966, he studied at the Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l’Action Culturelle (INSAAC) in Abidjan, where he trained under the sculptor Klaus Simon in a studio initiated by the Goethe Institute. Subsequently, he received a DAAD scholarship in 1997 allowing him to further his studies at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany, where his professor was Klaus Rinke, a friend and colleague of Joseph Beuys. Here he gained a Master’s degree. Currently based between Essen and Abidjan, Koko Bi establishes a link between the west and Africa in his work. His international career serves as a nice reminder of how Ivory Coast’s contemporary era opened with the sculptor Christian Lattier.

If Abidjan has become the scene of a contemporary art market, despite the crises that have slowed its pace, this is
partly thanks to the movement of young people from Ivory Coast in the diaspora. These artists have enjoyed an artistic
career that has opened them up to the art markets in Europe and the US. Also worth mentioning are the young, motivated collectors that have arisen from the diaspora. One such example is Georges Moulo, 47, who has been buying pieces by young emerging artists. Educated in Switzerland and with parents based in Canada, he has a collection estimated between CFA Francs 20-30 million (US$36 000-72 000).

It is mainly composed of works by young artists such as Sanogo Souleymane, known as Pachard, and Agoh Stefan Mobio in the diaspora in France, Youssouf De Kimbirila in Canada and others based in Ivory Coast. From a critical perspective, the critic Franck Hermann Ekra has made a valid contribution. He is the first winner of the AICA (International Association of Art Critics) prize for a young critic who has published pertinent articles on Ivory Coast’s art scene in the respected French magazine “Art Press”. On the commercial front, Laurence Aphing Kouassi has been
trying to get businesses involved in art after completing her marketing studies in Lyon and Canada. Inversely, there are the artists living in the Ivory Coast, such as Aboudia who is represented by Ethan Cohen in New York and Armand Boua represented by Jack Bell Gallery in London.

Our experts value your art within 48 hours or less

Mustapha ORIF
Art dealer

Algeria’s art market began in the mid-1980s thanks to two Algerian galleries: Galerie Xenia, which closed in 1987,
and Galerie Issiakhem, which was renamed Isma in 1989. They were joined by Galerie M, which closed in 1992. The market, which circulated around these three galleries, grew until 1992/1993 when it was suddenly interrupted by political upheavals from 1992-2000. The market picked up after 2002, shyly at first before growing steadily ever since. It is mainly dominated by unoriginal works; modern and contemporary art, and historical Orientalism art (19th and early 20th century) occupy a minor place for different reasons.

The rather conservative profile of the buyers explains the confidential character of the Algerian modern and
contemporary art market, while the limited offer of historical Orientalism art in Algeria explains its smaller part. However, the current trend is heading towards an inversion of this. Modern art, represented by artists such as M’hamed Issiakhem, Baya Mahieddine and Mohammed Khadda, is drawing more interest, mainly due to their
works entering public sales at the auction houses Gros & Delettrez, Aguttes, Ader and Million at Drouot in Paris, at Sotheby’s in Doha and at Christie’s in Dubai, where strong prices have been fetched.

Meanwhile, Christie’s Dubai is boosting contemporary artists, such as Rachid Koraichi, Ahmed Ben Bella, Abdallah Benanteur, Rachid Khimoune, Kader Attia and Djamel Tatah. The success of these artists has attracted the attention of Algerian collectors who had previously only been interested in Orientalism and unoriginal works. The prices of artworks by these artists are beginning to go up in Algiers, indicating how the contemporary
art market is taking off.

Since 2005/2006, the art market has been articulated around 10 galleries mostly located in Algiers. These galleries are mostly managed by young people who evidently enjoy their profession and seek to promote young Algerian artists. The exhibitions that they organise are regular and increasingly more numerous. However, it would seem that the artistic dynamic does not translate into commercial vitality; this is undoubtedly due to the
profile of the buyers but also due to the young galleries’ lack of experience. Al Marhoon Gallery, a young gallery
in Algiers, seems to have a professional approach. Besides organising exhibitions, it participates in fairs abroad, such as Art Dubai and AKAA in Paris, where it can present its artists to a foreign audience.

Furthermore, its well-designed website enhances the visibility of its artists. Another gallery, Seen Art Gallery,
seems promising as does the alternative structure, Les Ateliers Sauvages, which takes a particular interest in young artists, such as the group Picturie Générale (Mourad Krinah, Walid Bouchouchi and Youcef Krache).
Alongside these galleries, the MAMA (Musée Public National d’Art Moderne et Contemporain – the national museum of modern and contemporary art) has played a central role since its inauguration in 2007. It has earnt a reputation for the quality of its exhibitions, which have enabled the Algerian public, including collectors, to
discover Algerian modern and contemporary art and the artists of the diaspora, as well as those hailing from Africa and the Arab world.

The five exhibitions on African creation in 2009, coinciding with the second Panafrican festival that year, sparked a keen interest in art, Africa and the Arab world, encouraging artists – especially the young generation – to go and see what was happening in Arab and African cultures, thus broadening their artistic outlook. Websites such as founoune.com also contribute to a better legibility of art in Algeria, as do the sections on art in the daily press. The efforts of the galleries, along with the interest of auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, have strengthened the idea that it is perhaps time for Algerian collectors to look more closely at Algeria’s artistic heritage.

This indicates a progression from buying to decorate one’s interior to the desire to constitute a true collection of art with artistic and heritage strategies. This, in turn, would lead to the involvement of professional players – such
as art consultants, insurers, experts and restorers – who would bring solutions to managing artistic heritage.
The Algerian artistic diaspora constitutes a model for young artists and, to a lesser degree, for artists of the same age.

The increasing visibility of artists such as Attia, Tatah, Koraichi, Benanteur and Ben Bella in museums, galleries and the sales rooms is helping to make young people believe that success is possible for young artists living in Algeria. But they consider that they would have more chance of becoming successful if they settled in Europe. They reproach Algeria’s culture ministry for not having created an infrastructure with rules and key players so
that there is a full artistic life. The existence of galleries and museums, such as the MAMA is certainly a necessary condition but mechanisms of public support seem to be missing. There is not a sponsorship law
or any assistance for galleries developing the careers of young artists; there are inadequate budgets for museums to acquire artworks; there are not any tax incentives and there are strict, pernickety controls on exporting modern and contemporary artworks.

The system is developing solely thanks to the will of art professionals and some collectors. The influence of the diaspora is apparent as a model of success but less so in the artistic content, even though some young artists are sometimes inspired by well-known artists in the diaspora. Algerian collectors are not numerous; one can count around 20 that have a large collection of over 50 artworks. The collections are centred on Algerian art
(Orientalism and/or modern and contemporary art). Historically, collectors have been lawyers and doctors. But today, they are more likely to be industrialists or businessmen that have become wealthy through developing Algeria’s private sector in the last 30 years.

These collectors continue to acquire works and are inclined to pay for artworks by Algerian artists at higher prices, providing that the prices correspond to a real quota. This is where Algerian galleries have a role to play. It is no longer enough for them to put on exhibitions or be curators. They must transform themselves into
art dealers that are aware of all the market mechanisms and have a due sense of responsibility. A deontology code fixing the rules to observe between artists and galleries, collectors and galleries, and between
galleries themselves would be welcome. In the absence of a syndicate of Algerian galleries, the culture ministry could contribute to the market’s development by introducing such a code.

Lionel Manga
Art critic

Pascale Marthine Tayou and Barthélémy Toguo are the two most successful artists originally from Cameroon but living in the diaspora.

Pascale Marthine Tayou: Tayou often comes to Cameroon, where he piloted a project under the umbrella of the Goethe Institute for its fiftieth anniversary. He is a virtuoso of decontextualisation, surpassing everything
that resembles a border, be it the borders between nations, the borders separating objects by enclosing them in a space of usage, or those that isolate eras. Monumental installations constitute Tayou’s favourite mode of expression. Whether it’s tilting poles hung in a garden or the carcass of a second-hand car brought from Cameroon to Europe, he displaces objects to confer on them hitherto unseen identities that make them eloquent
in the exhibition space, by means of mental gymnastics. This exuberant and prolific work, which daringly combines precious crystal with trivial, everyday materials, is deployed within the realm of translation and displacement.

Barthélémy Toguo: Toguo is increasingly present in Bandjoun in the west of Cameroon, where he has built a contemporary art centre called Bandjoun Station. He can be described as a multi-faceted visual artist. From painting, drawing, video and installation to photography, printmaking and performance, Toguo expresses himself across all media in order to treat every aspect of the human condition. Watercolours in tender colours are never exempt from violence, and nor are his varied compositions, which are sometimes charged with irony and elicit astonishment. Or think of the dolls swathed in bandages in his performance “The Sick Opera” (Palais de Tokyo, 2004), which was rich in uncompromising remarks and political depth. Toguo also enjoys playing with stereotypes. This category-defying aptitude renders him elusive and unpredictable, which is the only trademark
of his oeuvre, the expansiveness of which is the never-ending nature of life itself. The artists of the diaspora don’t,
strictly speaking, have an impact on the boom and evolution of the local scene, even if one can see in the ever  widening practices, from installation art to performance, a clear effect of the exposure to contemporary art
through the media. However, the pluridisciplinary approach and the fields of questioning that Toguo and Tayou embrace is not yet common among many local artists in Cameroon. Nonetheless, upcoming artists have understood the importance nowadays of imbuing one’s practice with theory and having a coherent discourse.
Meanwhile, Simon Njami and Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung are the most successful curators with Cameroonian origins. Njami is a recurring guest of the Doual’Art contemporary art centre and recently gave a guest a talk at Galerie MAM in Douala, Cameroon’s largest port and main business city. Ndikung founder and artistic director of the art space SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin has been named curator at large of Documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany, and Athens.

NII ANDREWS
Art reviewer

THE EFFECT/INFLUENCE OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA ON THE GHANAIAN CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET
Understanding the term Diaspora (people settled far from their ancestral homeland) in our current epoch is
fraught with many potential problems. The issues become particularly acute when referring to the African Diaspora – a largely global phenomenon. Our best objective evidence indicates that the ancestral homeland of all
humankind is Africa.

Are we then to include almost all of the earth’s population located outside the continent? Or should we begin with the Arab slave trade from Africa to the territories of the east that started in 1300? Surely, an arbitrary set of parameters will enable us to better focus our discussion. We shall limit the Diaspora to two groups. First, Ghanaians that have settled (live, work) outside Ghana- and there are an estimated 3-4 million of them.

Up to 200 000 live in the US, the world’s largest economy. Only an estimated 5% of them are in the top 10% threshold income level of US$140 000. Another 80-100 000 live in the UK. The annual remittance contribution (to Ghana) of the US and UK diaspora is US$33 million and US$25 million respectively. However, two countries in the sub-region; Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire host 200 000 and 50 000 Ghanaians respectively with annual remittances from Nigeria at US$21 million and the latter at US$12 million. The proportion of the aforementioned groups earnings spent on Ghanaian contemporary art is not known. It will also be interesting to establish if the amount spent has been increasing over the last decade.

There exists another segment of the African Diaspora with a radically different genesis. It is composed of the descendants of the millions of Africans forcibly extricated from the homeland, taken across, up and down the Atlantic and made to endure the harsh conditions of chattel slavery from 1400-1900. No, we cannot say that they were immigrants-no matter how well intentioned! Up till today, they still experience structural long term barriers that make their social integration and upward mobility more difficult than for other groups. There is also among them (as in other Diaspora groups) a group identity that includes the ongoing creation of a community consciousness or mythology which links them to the ancestral land.

Intellectuals, professionals, artists and activists from this group (George Padmore, W.E.B. Dubois, Maya Angelou, Bill Sutherland, Maynard Rustin and others ) exerted a not insignificant influence on the thoughts and actions of the mid twentieth century nationalist leaders in Ghana especially Kwame Nkrumah. Jean Allman describes this as, a time when the West African state of Ghana was a pivotal site for imagining an entirely new, non-aligned world; when Ghanaians, joined by a host of transnational actors (African-American activists and intellectuals, Irish and Welsh nationalists, anti-nuclear peace activists, South African communists, Caribbean Pan-Africanists) cooperated, colluded and collided over how to build a non-racial, antiimperialist, nuclear free world at the height
of the Cold War.

We can surmise that their influence extended to the genesis of the African Personality and the artistic oeuvre of Kofi Antubam, Kobina Bucknor, Saka Acquaye, Vincent Kofi, Amon Kotei, A.O. Bartemius and Oku Ampofo. These artists and others pioneered paradigms in contemporary African art within the liberated cultural space of the newly independent Ghana. Even when they drew on African traditions in sculpture and iconography, they persevered and formulated alternative artistic ideas thus producing a new art that spoke to the resurgent masses of Ghana. This also resonated with the African Diaspora, particularly in the US, where the Diaspora was then
engaged in the epic civil rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s.

The power of the African ancestral symbols and aesthetic forms in providing cohesion and focus to African peoples thereby empowering them to confront existential problems cannot be underestimated. Two examples will suffice. The Sankofa sign served to encourage African peoples to look to their past in order to retrieve and retain useful indigenous precepts and utilize them for their progress and advancement. Second, when confronted with the apparent futility of their struggle for emancipation, they could seek to understand that the current
setbacks were only temporary; all shall pass except God says the Gye Nyame symbol. Through the incisive and glamorous interpretation of folk and indigenous African culture, the pioneering Ghanaian contemporary artists provided the ummph for a new social and political dispensation.

Perhaps both groups, on either side of the Atlantic, fed off and nurtured each other in ways that were alluded to by the African-American leaders, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. In the popular culture of that time, it manifested as dashikis, afro combs, nine inch afros and beads… and, “I’m Black and Proud”. Sadly though, within Ghana this indigenous flowering of contemporary art forms has to date not translated into the establishment
of a National Museum of Contemporary Art – a commonplace occurrence in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

This lacuna is unacceptable within the context of Ghana’s presumed role as a trail blazer in Africa. But there have been private efforts to collect, promote and showcase Ghanaian contemporary art. The examples include the Loom, Artists Alliance Gallery, the Dei Foundation and ARTcapital Ghana. These voluntary institutions have permanent displays of superb collections of contemporary Ghanaian artwork and there are always also pieces
available for sale.

Specialty exhibitions are also held in these institutions with accompanying well written glossy catalogs thus providing essential documentation on artworks for the local and international market. The collections include the work of promising young artists and important/ established artists who have participated in the ground breaking 1989 “Magiciens de la Terre” show in France, the Venice Biennial, Art Dubai, Art Basle and other important art events frequented by the international jet set, power brokers and trend influencers.

Ghanaian contemporary artists who have benefited from such international exposure include Ablade Glover, Ato Delaquis, George Afedzi Hughes and Wiz Kudowor. The huge media publicity generated by such international events for the individual artists is more readily accessible and often much better appreciated by the African
Diaspora; much less so for their compatriots domiciled in Ghana. Consequently, the former are more likely
disposed to effect purchases of the artist’s work at the “discounted” prices when visiting Ghana. Needless to state these “discounted” prices are often considered unfavorable by the latter- or perhaps art purchases are
very low on their list of priorities.

Another disadvantage for the market is the often unstable nature of the local currency. This works in favor of the diasporan buyer especially when s/he is prepared to buy several pieces. The hesitancy of the local artists to work
solely through gallery owners or a management/ marketing team again disadvantages the market. All of these factors make the Ghanaian contemporary art market a buyer’s market with peculiar advantages to the diasporan buyer. Two empirical observations for Ghana are also relevant here. First, it is much easier for potential
patrons to appreciate, relate to and want to purchase artwork when it is viewed in a furnished setting e.g. in a living room or an office instead of the stark white walls of a gallery.

This observation if taken seriously by art dealers should lead to an increase in the number of art buyers. Second, it is most unusual to find Ghanaian parents visiting an art gallery with their young children. They are much more likely to visit a shopping mall or a fast food joint together. Intuitively this does not auger well for the growth of the future client base for the local art market. The preponderance of evidence suggests that the economic power of several African states is on the ascendancy in the world just as the US and Europe begins to wane but their cultural power and proclivities remain largely intact.

The overwhelming majority of institutions that dictate the importance and monetary value of art are located in the west. David Dibosa sums it up as follows, “The big collecting institutions like Tate and Moma operate rather like the big banks. They are always safe, and can guarantee the cultural value of a work of art anywhere,
everywhere and forever. Which is why Tate’s recognition is such a big deal: it is a stamp of approval that will increase the value and collectability of the work.” However, even though the numbers may be increasing, there are still only a few African diasporans within the power and decision making apparatus of these influential institutions. Clearly, the power dynamic between the loosely structured Ghanaian contemporary art market and the big western collecting institutions is skewed in favor of the latter.

In 2012 when the Guaranty Trust Bank plc, a large Nigerian bank and one of West Africa’s most respected partnered Tate in the Tate Africa Program; Tate refused to give figures for its commitment. We could only speculate and hope that the bank’s role was substantial. Finally, the prestige value (or if you like-“cool factor”) in owning contemporary african art is not lost on Ghana and Africa’s growing list of home grown millionaires
and possibly billionaires. Furthermore, this group has shown that it is savvy enough to realize the investment potential in such an asset.

What is interesting is that just ten years ago, the aforementioned factors were only appreciated by a small group of cognoscenti in Ghana and the diaspora.This group is now steadily expanding. Hopefully, it will not expand to include the significant number of speculators that caused turmoil and overheating in the Western and Asian contemporary art markets.

Only time will tell.

Artists in the Diaspora

  • Wanguechi Mutu

  • Yinka Shonibare

A PROFILE – Wangechi Mutu | By Osei G. Kofi

“I was struggling with this idea, that perhaps the reason I was in this situation is I turned into something that didn’t belong. I didn’t belong at home, I didn’t belong here. I didn’t exist, or I shouldn’t exist, in that weird way. Like I’d left and grown on my own like these creatures that grow on Madagascar that are such anomalies. I think there is something about countries and nations that is hard to define. And in fact, that’s probably why we create such massive boundaries, because it’s so slippery where they begin and where they end. These conservative demarcations of nation and state and culture are soon going to be archaic. We have to redefine what we mean when we say “Who are your people?” “Where are you from?””

If you think the 130-odd words cited above and the sentiments therein are from a modern-day philosopher or a social scientist you are wrong. Or, perhaps not so wrong. Eureka – here is world-renowned artist Wangechi Mutu! She was talking to a writer in New York who’d gone to interview the Kenya-born emigrée on the eve of her ground-breaking exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, June 2013. Wangechi speaks little publicly. But when she does, as in this instance, she bares her soul, poignantly sharing the challenges that assail a nomad who belongs nowhere and everywhere, dealing with constant bifurcation as a fact of life. She’s a daughter of Mother Africa, fertilized by
the red soils of Kikuyuland, in the shadow of majestic Mount Kenya. Beckoned by goddess Diaspora Wangechi practises her craft far from home. Home, which home? Nairobi where she was born in 1972? America, whose shores she decidedly landed in her search for the golden fleece soon after high school at nuns’ run Loreto Convent Msongari, among the best secondary education in Kenya? Her search to hone her natural born talents far from home is paired with a hunger for technical expertise. Subsequently, the studies at the United World College of the Atlantic, Wales. At prestigious Parsons School of Art and Design, New York. At historic Cooper Union for the Advancement of the Arts and Science, New York. Capping it all with a Master’s in sculpture from Ivy
League Yale, if you please.

Wangechi is arguably the most cerebral and prolific among the dozen plus topnotch diasporic artists wowing museum goers and collectors. Her early art, when she first burst onto the scene, took grotesquerie to a level that would have made Bosch and Arcimboldo blush. She’d scissor images and texts from anthropologic, ethnographic and medical magazines, splicing and spicing them with gems or detritus from high fashion or porn, grafting the lot onto paper and later on mylar, in collages so distinctive they arrested first time viewers in their tracks. In shock and awe.

Wangechi’s works grab by the throat with their mishmash-ness, of order in chaos, beauty in horrors, that seem to emerge from our nightmares, or wet dreams, with a surrealist aplomb and Daliesque flair. Keeping with the spirit of the times Wangechi has segued into sculpture, installation and video, allowing her to better explore her most ardent preoccupations: cultural signifiers and the African identity, politics and the atrocities of war, plastic surgery and the body politics, gay and lesbian rights, etc.

The early grostesquerie got Wangechi noticed. Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor, eminent among the world’s power brokers in contemporary art, took her under his wings while she was still in college, including her in the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale which he curated. Enwezor again tapped her to be considered for Deutsche Bank’s inaugural Artist of the Year award in 2000 which she won, with a show at their Guggenheim Museum, Berlin.
“Her constant excavation of her process, the constant excavation of her own ideas, and her breaking boundaries within that” are what makes Wangechi so interesting,” Enwezor lauded at the award luncheon in New York.

Artistic director of the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, Enwezor gave Wangechi a pride of space in the coveted
Giardini where she presented a three-piece showcase: a sculpture of a multi-horned encaged bronze mermaid She’s Got the Whole World; a collage painting Forbidden Fruit Picker; and a video The End of Carrying It All, an apocalyptic visual of a Sisyphus figure battling the elements in a vast windblown landscape.

After years of biding time for an interview I finally caught up with the diva around her agistral installation in the Giardini. She was surrounded by a bevy of groupies. The scrum around her was such that all I got was being roped in as an extra in the fashion photo shoot in which she was starring. No time to talk beyond sharing her
“admiration and gratitude” for Enwezor. The year before, in 2014, another diasporic mover & shaker Simon Njami of Africa Remix fame included Wangechi in a select group of artists for an artistic enactment of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy. Heaven, hell, purgatory revisited by African Contemporary Artists” which Njami curated at the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt.

In April the stupendously successful show travelled to the National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, for a 4-month run. Wangechi’s collage, “The Storm Has Finally Made It Out of Me, Alhamdulillah,” depicting a mystical creature with an explosion emanating from her midsection, was located in hell among other works. In one of her most recent stunning sculptural works, Second Dreamer Wangechi unabashedly took from Brancusi’s 1910
Sleeping Muse, which the Romanian- Frenchman had borrowed from Africa’s totemic masks. Thus, we now have Africa to Europe to America to Africa! There’s also her Water Woman, an ebony-black sheen sculpture of Nguva or Mami Water of African folklore, depicted as a nubile with a fetching pair of tits and a lower body of slithery fish; a harking back to the millennia of mermaid mythology also shared by Starbucks’ on their coffee cups.

Wangechi has been quoted as using “the aesthetic of rejection and wretchedness to explore the hopeful or sublime.” The titles of her works are a world of its own, trenchant, instantly resonant, with deep hidden meanings – never perfunctory, as is the wont of too many among her peers. They surge from the wellspring of her creativity, embodying uplifting pathos, rarely descending into bathos. Sample: Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002, Misguided Little Unforgivable Hierarchies, 2005, The Bride Who Married a Camel’s Head, 2009, The End of eating Everything, 2013, Hundred lavish months of bushwhack and Intertwined, which is one of my favs, showing two scantily clad
small-titted damsels with heads of hunting dogs gnawing each other’s tongue. Does Wangechi like her women small-titted? In 17 years since college Wangechi’s exhibitions and awards would be the envy of older artists with decades of practice.

Someone recently described her art as “like seeing the world through a shaman’s eyes.” Well, the fact is Wangechi is the shaman. In 2006-2016 of her 20 solo shows 70% were in museums and public institutions, 30% in private galleries. Of her 155 group shows 86% were in museums and public institutions, 14% in galleries.

A PROFILE By Osei G. Kofi Yinka Shonibare MBE

Art must be fun. It must say something. Which contemporary artist best embodies this uncommon duality? Yinka Shonibare, MBE. He is fun. He is naughty. Never boring. He breaks boundaries. Always evokes something deep. Well, almost always. Huge dollops of humour save Shonibare from humdrum. When the almost entirety of an artist works revolve around fibre glass mannequins and wax prints one must be super talented to always pull it off – and Shonibare does it like a true maestro.

The London-born of Nigerian parents 50-something artist uses his work to explore human foibles, cultural identities, race and class, colonialism, post-colonialism, with their tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europeand the current zeitgeist, Globalisation. Shonibare does it all often with self-deprecation and putdowns
that belie the profundity of the subject matters and the messages they carry. While sculpture is his main thing
Shonibare has been active in painting, photography, film and performance lately.

A signifier of his art is the brightly coloured wax cotton prints first produced in Indonesia by the Dutch. His trademark media are resin or fibre glass headless mannequins wearing the colourful prints the Dutch exported to West Africa at the beginning of the last century. It caught fashion fire in the hot humid climate. By the 1950s and early independence years the fabric, like the Kente, had become a sign of African pride, notably in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin. Shonibare makes unique pieces of his sculptural creations. He might make variations
of a particular oeuvre, such as the Butterfly Girl and the wind vane series.

The latter has had the most international traction lately, with commissions from the US and Germany after it debuted in 2013 in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In December 2016 the latest wind vane, Wind Sculpture VII, was erected in front of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, the first sculpture to be honoured at the prime site.Shonibare was a proponent of installation art way before it became a currency
which in the hands of untalented practitioners the genre has turned gimmicky and a real bore.

His first solo exhibition was in 1989 at Byam Shaw Gallery, London. He burst onto the international stage in 2002
with an installation “Gallantry and Criminal Conversation” commissioned by OkwuiEnwezor for Documenta XI in Kassel, a take of humorous bathos on randy Victorians being naughty while pretending they were in serious conversation over serious business.A year later Shonibare gave us Scramble For Africa, 14 life-size mannequins decked out in 19th century costumes of the wax prints around a table somewhere in Europe carving up Africa
into exclusive real estates. Measuring 132 x 488 x 280 cm the installation was the Anglo-Nigerian’s most evocative memory pitch for Africans. His most iconic work must be How To Blow-Up Two Heads At Once, 2006. Two male mannequins in leather riding boots each with a gun pointed at the other’s non-existent head. Difficult
to tell who won the duel. There is also a female version. Talking about epistemic art, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle was Shonibare’s most complex and technically challenging work.

The medium consisted of a specially blown glass bottle, cork, wood, brass, textiles, acrylic, LED lighting and a ventilation system. At 300 x 535 x 250 cm and a 1:30 scale model of Horatio Nelson’s HMS Victory inside, the bottle was moulded by aquarium specialists in Rome. Commissioned by the Greater London Authority for the
fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, the work commemorated the Battle of Trafalgar,the 1805 naval fight by the Royal Navy against the combined fleets of French and Spanish navies in the Napoleonic Wars in which Nelson destroyed 27 Franco-Spanish ships without a single British vessel being lost. For Shonibare, who describes himself as a “post-colonial” hybrid, the work reflected the relationship between the birth of the British Empire and modern Britain’s multicultural context. “It’s a celebration of London’s immense ethnic wealth, giving expression to and honouring the many cultures and ethnicities that are still breathing precious wind into the sails of the United Kingdom,” he said. The installation, displayed from May 2010 to January 2012, was so widely admired that at
the end of its allotted reign in Trafalgar Square, the UK Art Fund launched a fund raiser to purchase and relocate it at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, now its permanent home.

Shonibare’s lawyer father moved the family back to Nigeria when the future artist was three. At 17, he returned to Britain for his A-levels at Redrice School, and study fine art, first at Byam School of Art now Central Saint Martin’s College, and later at Goldsmiths College where he received his MFA. At 18, Shonibare contracted transverse
myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord, which resulted in a physical disability that has paralysed one side of
his body. He moves about in an electric wheelchair and has assistants making the works under his direction.

In 2004, Shonibare was shortlisted for the Turner Prize. He didn’t win but in a BBC website poll 64% of the voters made his work their favourite among the four on the shortlist. Tellingly, he was awarded an MBE that year. An Honorary Doctorate, Fine Artist, from the Royal College of Art followed in 2010. He was elected Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts in 2013. A big deal in the UK. In 2006-2016 of Shonibare’s 45 solo
shows 31% were in museums and public institutions, 69% in private galleries. Of his 160 group shows 92%
were in museums and public institutions, 8% in galleries.

Seyni Awa Camara (b. c. 1945)
Grands genoux,2008
terracotta
Height 115 cm
court. private collection

2016 Teach the Future

  • Makgati Molebatsi | Art advisor

  • Moncef Msakni | Owner & Director of El Marsa Gallery

  • Julia Grosse & Yvette Mutumba | Co founders of Contemporary And (C&)

  • Tumelo Musaka | Curator

  • Mustapha Orif | Art Dealer

Makgati Molebatsi | Art advisor

There has been an increase in the interest to acquire art by African Artists, and the market is responding to that. The increase in Art Fairs which focus on art by African artists has contributed to this awareness and visibility. Established fairs which traditionally feature European or Western based galleries have also responded to this visibility by having galleries from Africa featuring as ”Guest of honour” or ”focus on Africa” for their presence in the fair. Although the FNB Joburg art fair has been in existence for close to ten years – celebrating its tenth year in 2017 – the addition by other art fairs focusing on Contemporary Art by African artists such as 1:54 and Cape Town art fair in the last five years; Artfair X Lagos in Nigeria, Akaa in Paris in 2016 and the inclusion of African galleries in The Armory Show and Art Paris art
fair has extended the interest in Art by African artists. Artists whose work is featured in biennales and major exhibition have gained exposure and enhanced the curiosity and desire towards Africa and its artists. The market has responded to this with new galleries opening across the continent, and these galleries showing interest in participating in the art fairs highlighting art by African artists globally.

Moncef Msakni | Owner & Director of El Marsa Gallery

Rediscovering Arab artists as a whole: modern and contemporary. A remarkable presence of Diaspora artists alike Nadia Kaabi and Ali Tnani.

Julia Grosse & Yvette Mutumba | Co founders of Contemporary And (C&)

What interested us was the events happening on the continent, like the Dakar Biennale in Senegal, which is the oldest biennale in Africa. In 2016, it was a completely international art event with all the collectors and curators from New York attending. Art X, an art fair in Lagos, made its debut last year and was a high-profile, successful first edition. Its founder is Tokini Peterside and its artistic director is Bisi Silva, the founder/artistic director of the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos. Nigeria has a lot of wealthy buyers and a strong collecting scene. Having a professional fair is a good step
to bring art to those people, like having Art Basel Hong Kong in Hong Kong. The Also Known As Africa fair, AKAA, also launched its first edition in Paris. It’s Europe’s second Africa-focused fair after 1:54 in London. I was happy that AKAA could realise its first edition after it had been cancelled the year before, following the terrorist attacks. It makes sense to have this fair in Paris, which has a strong collecting scene interested in African perspectives.

Tumelo Musaka | Curator

There were at least three fairs, plus the Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, so there was a real effort to bring art to the public. This was encouraging because we need more art events taking place on the continent in order to educate local audiences so there can be a greater appreciation of artists. Also, several initiatives were launched by artists’ collectives to create a platform for dialogue between artists and to show their work to the public.

Mustapha Orif | Art Dealer

Two or three exhibitions of young Algerian artists, including an independent group show titled Picturie Générale III featuring 23 artists, highlighted how the level of creativity has bounced back. This was not obvious 10 years ago when the trend for young artists was to“manufacture” copies of Orientalism works in order to satisfy the expectations of the majority of art buyers.

Publisher
Africa Art Market™

Editor-in-Chief
Jean Philippe Aka

Deputy Editor
Anna Sansom

Contributors
Osei G. Kofi

Columnist
(He’s a foreign correspondent and senior editor for a number of media houses including the Reuters News Agency)

Mimi Errol
Journalist & art reviewer

Nii Andrews
Art reviewer

Lionel Manga
Art critic

Graphic design
Marjorie Harrold

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Introduction

From Disregard to Normal Art during the last 10 years, modern and contemporary African art has found an enthusiastic audience both on the continent and internationally. Significantly, this includes important institutions. Taking an interest in the viewpoint of the market and institutions enables the structural issues and initiated changes to be known and understood, and for the role of African artists and those working in this context to be situated. The vitality of artistic production is judged not just by its quality but also by the importance of its market.

Visibility and the market are intertwined with each another. Contemporary African art can be defined as the creation of the recent past and today, taking its sources from pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial periods. The precursors of the 1930s, like South Africa’s Ernest Mancoba (1904-2002) and the Nigerians Aina Onabolu (1882-1963) and Ben Enwonwu (1917-1994) are worth citing as they instigated change towards openness regarding classical arts, known as “primitive arts”.

The notion of contemporary art emerged in the 1960s, regrouping the diversity of artistic production on the continent. It consists of a large, variegated whole irrigated by three types of training: autodidact, including famous artist such as Moké from the Democratic Republic of Congo; studio and cooperative training, often informal, as in the case of Malian photographer
Malick Sidibé; and academic education (art schools and national and international universities), examples being Senegalese
painter Soly Cissé and Ghanians El Anatsui and Ablade Glover. African artists are producers of visual thoughts like anywhere
else. But the temporality1 is not the same in Africa due to the continent’s vastness and cultural complexity.

Marc Spiegler
Global Director Art Basel

Why did you decide to include a talk about Africa’s art scenes in last year’s Conversations?
Because the developments within the African art scene are hugely interesting for us, our galleries and the collectors who come to our fair, and it ran in parallel to the first Venice Biennale curated by an African, Okwui Enwezor.

In the global art market, what margin do you think art by African artists represents?
I am probably not the best person to answer this question, but it seems fair to guess that the margin is still rather small. However, the international interest from curators and patrons about the art scenes across Africa is growing, as is the number of potential collectors across the continent, and so its market seemed poised for expansion.

What’s your perspective on the African market in terms of its artists, collectors and other professionals, and what how do you think this will develop?
As I have said, it is certainly a growing and developing market. We are delighted that this year in Basel a second gallery from South Africa, Stevenson, has moved into the very selective Galleries sector of the fair where they will be presenting the depth of their gallery program. In addition, we have a gallery from Tunisia, Selma Feriani, the first time we have an African gallery from outside of South Africa. And other galleries will be bringing artists from Africa to the show. The market is developing in such a dynamic way that we have appointed a VIP representative for Africa and we are again expecting a number of new collectors from Africa to visit the fair for the first time.

Paolo Baratta
President of la Biennale di Venezia

“Our aim is to investigate how the tensions of the outside world act on the sensitivities and the vital and expressive energies of artists, on their desires and their inner song. One of the reasons the Biennale invited Okwui Enwezor as curator was for his special sensitivity in this regard”

However, its distinction and differentiation are situated in the freedom of creation, attitudes, production methods and hybridization2, like in the work of Kenyan-born, New York-based Wangechi Mutu. The bulk of the primary and secondarymarket is outside the Continent, mainly in the US and Europe, even though the offer and demand curves are intersectinglocally and an increase of buyers is being witnessed. The low number of galleries does not reflect the prolificacy of local production. The majority of actors, i.e. galleries, are beginning to gain international experience.

A handful of them, such as Goodman Gallery and Stevenson Gallery (both from Cape Town and Johannesburg), Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan) and Omenka Gallery (Lagos), are very active in international fairs. As central figures, artists are increasingly numerous and are being regularly invited everywhere in the world for various exhibitions, residencies and studies, such as the emerging Zimbabwean artist Gareth Nyandoro at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Beyond other advantages is the role of information technology and modern communication, internet and social networks being important levers because they profoundly modify and amplify the diffusion and access to African creation.

Long misunderstood and “despised”, contemporary art from Africa has eventually settled for the long-term on the globalized art scene. All the indicators come together. In order to understand the institutional acceleration of these last 10 years, it is necessary to go half a century backwards. Along this long path, several initiatives have set in place the plinth of the present enthusiasm, including Evelyn S. Brown’s pioneering book Africa’s Contemporary Arts and Artists (1967), published by the Harmon Foundation3. In 1979, the Moderne Kunst Aus Afrika exhibition from Gunter Péus’s collection at the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Berlin, curated by Sabine Hollburg and Gereon Sievernich, brought together 50 self-taught artists and more than 400 works, including Chéri Samba.

Matthew Partridge
Director of Cape Town Art Fair

“Founded in 2013 the fair takes place each February. Produced by Fiera Milano Exhibitions Africa, the fair showcases contemporary art from Africa and around the world, including the African diaspora and new markets. The Cape Town Art Fair showcases a diversity of work that represents the forefront of cutting-edge innovation which brings contemporary art from Africa to the world and the world to Cape Town. 2015 was the third edition and attracted over 8,500 unique visitors, some visitors came more than once as the total number of visits was 14,000. The fair generated more than US$2.1million in sales. The fair saw greater interest in African and South African art from international collectors and institutions, as well as greater participation in the South African art market from galleries and institutions from the continent and abroad. Cape Town boasts a vibrant arts scene, driven by the top galleries on the African continent. Thanks to its diverse cultural heritage and geographic beauty, Cape Town is a compelling destination for both art world professionals and collectors alike”

The considerable impact of the legendary exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre”, curated by Jean-Hubert Martin4 in 1989 at the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Grande Halle de La Villette in Paris, is a collision of concepts and aesthetics. It was one of the rare exhibitions, along with “When Attitudes Become Form” by Harald Szeemann in 1969, to have changed the history of art in the 20th Century. Then in New York in 1991, Susan Vogel curated “Africa Explores: 20th-Century African“ Art at the Center for African Art and at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. In London in 1995, the Africa 95 festival featured two exhibitions: “Big City”, on the theme of enigma and imagination, showcasing works from Jean Pigozzi’s collection and curated by Julia Peyton-Jones and André Magnin at the Serpentine Gallery; and “Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa” at the
Whitechapel Art Gallery, conceived by cocurator Clémentine Deliss.

The rhythm and quality of these international exhibitions, with an increase of solo exhibitions, is significant, as evidenced,
among others, by the retrospectives in 2013 of the Sudanese painter Ibrahim El-Salahi and the Benin artist Meschac Gaba at Tate Modern in London. Prior to this, the retrospectives of South African artists William Kentridge and Santu Mofokeng took place at the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

In 2015, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York dedicated an important exhibition to historical African photography,
titled “In and Out of the Studio: Photographic Portraits from West Africa”. A year later, the Grand Palais in Paris had a retrospective of Malian photographer Seydou Keïta (1921-2001). In 2007, Sidibé (1936-2016) was the first photographer in the history of the Venice Biennale to receive a Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at the 52nd edition. His genius had been crowned four years earlier, when he won the prestigious Hasselblad photography award.

Touria El Glaoui
Director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

“Touria El Glaoui, Moroccan-born, London based Touria El Glaoui is the director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, which she founded in 2013. The fair serves as a platform dedicated to promoting African and Africa-related art. After
launching the fair in London, she expanded it to New York in 2015. In New York, 1:54 receives good support and interest from institutions and museums in terms of acquisitions for public collections and private collections with a public component”

For New York 2015, highest sales were reported in the brackets $6–12,000 and $12–20,000. Since London is our home, and 1:54 came into its own at Somerset House, our voice is stronger there, and we’ve established a firm collector base and audience; whereas with our edition in New York, we’re still getting there. That said, visitor figures have
increased and the press have been overwhelmingly positive. In 2015, we had 15,000 visitors in London and 5,000 visitors in New York.

Buyers were reported as being established collectors as well as regular clients. The majority of galleries forged relationships with new clients, collectors, and institutions during both editions. We’re interested in providing a sustainable space for complexity, plurality, and difference, and in highlighting a spectrum of perspectives from the African continent and its diaspora – hence the reference to the 54 countries. It is not in our interest to homogenize artistic practices, but the inverse: to challenge reductive stereotypes that claim a totalizing aesthetic.

In 2015, the Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor was the artistic director of the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale, where 21 out of 136 artists and collectives that he showed were African. The market is no exception. One of the three dedicated fairs, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, inaugurated a New York edition in May 2015 following its success in London. And during its June 2015 edition, Art Basel hosted a series of debates about contemporary African art and more galleries were exhibiting African artists.

Until recently, the scene was dominated by patron-dealers, collector-dealers and pro-active galleries, then galleries whose illumination is restrained. The present configuration includes established brands in the global circuit, such as Galleria Continua which represents the Cameroon-born artist Pascale Martine Tayou and the French-Algerian artist Kader Attia, or Marian Goodman Gallery which represents Kentridge. It is worth noting the attempts of leading galleries to work with African artists, such as Gagosian presenting Keita in 1997, or Robert Miller showing Barthelemy Toguo in 2009, or Tornabuoni presenting Soly Cissé in 2013. It is undeniable that this category of galleries elevates the value of these artists’ works to a higher price level.

This is the case of Mutu, represented by Barbara Gladstone and Victoria Miro, and of Ethiopian-born, New York-based artist Julie Mehretu, represented by Marian Goodman and White Cube. The secondary market has long hoped for the take-off of modern and contemporary art. The collector Jean Pigozzi, who has the largest collection of contemporary African art – numbering some 10,000 pieces – in the world, was a pioneer in experimenting with auction houses and organized a sale of works from his collection at Sotheby’s in 1999. Christie’s and Sotheby’s have been integrating modern and contemporary art
from Africa into their collections for several years, while Phillips launched thematic sales seven years ago.

The sole criterion should not be the total turnover of this market but its progression: the value of the artworks in the first and secondary markets has increased, according to the artist’s profile, by 200-400%. It’s a segment that has experienced a strong progression both in volume and value, “200% in the last five years”, according to Gilles Peppiatt, director of Modern and Contemporary African Art at Bonhams. Compared to other markets, the important validation of institutions is not symmetrical
to its market which, however progresses constantly without yet reaching stratospheric figures. The auction houses see their
efforts rewarded with million-dollar sales, such as the world record for Mehretu in 2015 at Christie’s for her painting Looking
Back to a Bright New Future (2003), which fetched US$3,468 million (including buyer’s premium). She occupies the first place in our 2015 ranking according to the methodology of Africa Art Market Reporttm and realized the most important turnover
at auction.5 In this crucial stage of the evolution of African art, the insufficiency of players and the deficit of education are the urgent matters to resolve.

The tools of knowledge and its functioning need to be strengthened. Our expertise in the field, its players and the local and worldwide ecosystem enables us to bring reliable data and analysis of the market. In order to judge an artwork in general, one refers to the history of art and diverse contextual elements. Concerning African artists, we establish criteria allowing them

Federica Angelucci
Co-director/partner of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town and Johannesburg

“Federica Angelucci is one of four directors which jointly own Stevenson Gallery, which was founded in 2013. The gallery
has two spaces, one in Cape Town and another in Johannesburg. It participates in Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, Frieze London, Frieze New York and Paris”

Photo. Stevenson has an international exhibition programme with a particular focus on the region. In addition to exhibiting gallery artists, we have brought the work of people like Francis Alÿs, Rineke Dijkstra, Thomas Hirschhorn, Glenn Ligon and Walid Raad to South Africa, often for the first time. The gallery was conceived when two of the partners
saw Okwui Enwezor’s Documenta 11, and realized something new was afoot that did not yet have a home in South Africa. Our ambition was, and remains, to offer the best platform in the country for the art of our time.

Smaller works by younger artists can cost as little as US$2,200, while a major painting by someone like Barthélémy Toguo or Nicholas Hlobo can cost upwards of US$66,150. To borrow Harald Szeemann’s concept, our artists all create distinctly individual mythologies and influences range from art history to politics to pop culture.

Directly, perhaps 20% of our sales come from art fairs. But if we include indirect art fair sales to people we first meet at fairs but who acquire work down the line, that figure easily shoots up to 60%. Our supporters tend to be very informed about contemporary art globally and have a distinct sense of where our artists fit into the broader narrative of art
history. While some patrons are from our part of the world, many are not—and their collections often reflect their cosmopolitan outlook.

to be evaluated aesthetically by those who receive them. Thus, the receiver appreciates them better. However, when we look
at this art with “westernized” certainties, numerous nuggets pass us by. If one wants to understand and feel these modes
of expression that are relatively new for a fair number of art lovers, the context of production needs to be taken into account.
For example, the commercial question is inherent to the conception and realization of an artwork for the majority of self-taught artists and those trained in studios or cooperatives. An international career should not be the only criterion because certain artists do not necessarily wish to pursue one but nonetheless produce quality work, which can be appreciated if one takes a closer look.

The context of the completely reconfigured global art market provides an historic opportunity for African artists to integrate
efficiently. The great institutional (non-commercial and commercial) indicators have demonstrated their willingness to pursue
the development of African art. The massive structural investments6, both direct and indirect, that continue to flow into this
segment can only produce mid and long-term results. These aspects are explored later in this report and that clearly reflect
the decline of spontaneity and progress in the implementation of a structured, legible market.

These investments have resulted in a vast and palpable enthusiasm that can make this art definitively “normal” in the global
network. It still needs to be made ordinary, which seems to be happening.

Highlights

Art Fair Report
1:54 (London and New York)
Buyers profiles:

Established collectors as well as regular clients. The majority of galleries forged relationships with new clients, collectors, and institutions during both editions.

Sales:

Highest sales brackets US$6,000 – 12,000
and US$12,000 – 20,000 (New York)

Visitors:

15,000 (London)
5,000 (New York)

Cape Town Art Fair
Buyers Profiles:

Collectors, curators, cultural institutions, public bodies, artists, art-lovers and the general public

Sales:

US$2.1million

Visitors:

8,548 (unique visitors)
14,000 (visits)

Auction Report

Strauss & Co
4 dedicated sales

Turnover:

US$20,211,590
An increase of 16.83% from 2014
Sell-through rate 81.7 %

Buyers profiles:

Local and international collectors

Records:

21 new artist records, mostly for modern and contemporary Jacob Pierneef had a 94.4% sell through rate and Irma Stern had 87.5% Alexis Preller’s The Creation of Adam I,1968, sold R8 526 000 (US$602,893). Highest price achieved at auction for Preller in South Africa. Records achieved for Penny
Siopis Hunting and Nature Scene, triptych (1987), sold for R1 136 800 (US$85,176); Robert Hodgins
J’accuse (1995) sold for R2 500 960 (US$200,998); Deborah Bell, Sentinel III (2004) sold for R886 704 (US$71,667) and Norman Catherine, Hotel (1997) sold for R545 664 (US$38,585). Bonhams 5 dedicated sales

Turnover:

US$5,724,610 -46,5% from 2014

Sell-through rate 73%

Buyers profiles:

They tend to be people who are fortunate enough to have made money in business and some people who have inherited it.

Records:

Irma Stern, Arab in black (1939) sold for US$1,074,153 Ben Enwonwu, Anyanwu
Simplified sold for US$94,984

Top sales:

Africa Now El Anatsui, Al Haji (1990) sold for US$186,781
South African sale Jacob Pierneef, Bush camp of van Wouw (1918) sold for US$186781

Art House

2 dedicated sales

Turnover:

US$1,277,226

An increase of 10.5% from 2014
Sell-through rate 65%

Buyers profiles:

Mix of both Nigerian and international clients: healthy group of Nigerian
collectors, collectors from other countries in West Africa, UK, Europe, and USA.

Top sales:

Ben Enwonwu, Untitled (1976)
Estimate: US$40,000 – US$50,000
Sold for US$112,500

El Anatsui, Zata (2015)
Estimate: US$75,000 – US$90,000
Sold for US$77,000

Yusuf Grillo, Truly Hijab? (2011-2012)
Estimate: US$50,000 – US$60,000
Sold for US$55,000
Ablade Glover, Female Profile (2013)
Estimate: US$11,000 – 12,500
Sold for US$25,875

The top sales of the year indicate a steady general trend of auctions, with the works of master modern
artists Ben Enwonwu and Yusuf Grillo fetching top prices, along with contemporary artist El Anatsui. These three artists have cemented their market value and are in continuous demand. In addition, Nigerian artist Rom Isichei and Ghanian artist Ablade Glover reflect the growing interest in the contemporary as a viable asset.


Isamîla Fatt y, 2016 Individuals
132 x 20 cm
court.the artist

Recent Initiatives & Investments

Theo Danjuma
Collector, London

 

 

Theo Danjuma started his collection in London in 2008 when he was in his early twenties. The son of the Nigerian General and businessman Theophilus Danjuma, he has acquired over 400 artworks by over 100 artists and houses his collection in Surrey, England. The collection includes works by international artists such as Gilbert & George and Antony Gormley along with upcoming talents such as Nicholas Hlobo from South Africa and Sammy Baloji from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The contemporary art collection is broad in scope whilst also reflecting Danjuma’s family ties to the African continent.

In 2007, I started going to galleries with a friend of mine, initially focusing on younger galleries showing mostly street art. From there I went down the rabbit hole and slowly graduated to more serious contemporary art. I will always be grateful to White Cube, who were very welcoming, giving me catalogues to read and taking me on studio visits when other galleries didn’t take me seriously because of my age. The first piece that I bought by an African artist was probably a photograph by Pieter Hugo.

Contemporary art speaks to our time and we live in such a globalized time that any kind of geographic focus would feel arbitrary and insincere. I am very proud of the little Julie Mehretu drawing that I own; the work of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye speaks to me in a very direct and personal way; Nicholas Hlobo is a wonderful artist as are Zander Blom and Neil Beloufa. It has been a privilege to get to know Neil personally and support his shows at the ICA London.

The last piece that I acquired was a 1990s black-and-white photograph by Wolfgang Tillmans of Isa Genzken. It’s a really wonderful piece and highlights the great bond and respect the two artists have for one another. I mostly focus on people I already own and try and go in depth where I can. There are a number of artists – Tillmans is a good example – where the critical reception is way ahead of the market. For a while my focus was on younger artists. But I am learning to see that art history has a long arc so I have been revisiting artists in the generation above me like Isa Genzken, Albert Oehlen and Kathryn Andrews.

Stevenson in Cape Town and Johannesburg and Jack Shainman in New York are the obvious galleries for finding works by African artists or with African origins. But often you’ll find galleries happen to have one artist with a connection to Africa, like Lynette Yiadom-Boaky at Corvi-Mora in London or Neil Beloufa at Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles.

 

Stephen Tio Kauma
Collector, Kampala

 

 

Stephen Tio Kauma is a Uganda collector of contemporary art from Africa who is based in Cairo. He’s a strong supporter of the Kampala Biennale, which is run by Daudi Karungi and whose 2016 edition was curated by Elise Atangana.

My interest in art began in my childhood because my father liked to collect eclectic artworks for our home. His job involved a large amount of travel around Africa and so our house had pieces of art from different African places. I love the uniqueness, vibrancy and message behind this type of art because it captures the depth and peculiarity of our African heritage.

I am very proud of being African and so these attributes resonate with me. My position as human resources director at Afreximbank, an African Export-Import Bank headquartered in Cairo, has enabled me to travel extensively around Africa over the last seven years. When I am in other countries, I try to visit art galleries and contemporary art exhibitions if time allows. The beauty of the different types of art that I have seen on these trips has given me a chance to collect. Each piece that I buy takes me
back to a particular time, place and experience.

I have art from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Gabon, Tanzania, Egypt and the Seychelles. They tend to be medium-priced works by upcoming contemporary artists. My two latest purchases are a signed lithograph by Benon Lutaaya, a Uganda-born artist based in Johannesburg, and a watercolor painting by Lioda Conrad, an artist based in Cape Town. I have my eye on two Ugandan artists, Taga Nuwagaba and Nuwa Nnyanzi, among others

Black Collectors Forum
Investment fund in Johannesburg,
South Africa

The Black Collectors Forum (BCF) was launched in 2014 by Tshepiso Mohlala, director of the !Kauru African Contemporary Art project in Johannesburg. The BCF claims to be the only platform in South Africa that is targeting new audiences, notably affluent and young black professionals. It aims to enhance their access to contemporary art through what it describes as “culture broking” events to help first time buyers and introduce them to the purchasing of art.

The BCF’s launch event, which targeted affluent black individuals and industry professionals, was organised by Andile Magengelele, an independent curator and art broker, who invited several speakers: Makgati Molebatsi (art collector and board member of The Bag Factory Artist Studios), Dr Oupa Morare
(Collector and director of Becomo Art Centre), Michelle Constant (CEO of Business Arts South Africa), Ruarc Peffers (former senior specialist in contemporary art at Strauss & Co. auctioneers) and Sam Nhlengethwa (an artist and collector).

The incentive behind the BCF reflects the change in post-apartheid South Africa that has led to a growing black middle-class with greater disposable income. The BCF was established to nurture this generation of new black art collectors and encourage them to invest in African contemporary art.
A key objective is to broaden art audiences and potential markets for appreciating, acquiring and investing in visual arts. This follows on from how the !Kauru African Contemporary Art project – a platform for African contemporary artists and cultural practioners – seeks to change perceptions
of the continent through conversations about contemporary art, both in Africa and internationally, in order to stimulate cultural exchange.

Behind the BCF and !Kauru is the belief that black entrepreneurs should be involved in their country’s art scene. Indeed, the website features a quote from South African artist David Koloane saying that black African entrepreneurs will need to play a major role in the complexities of the art market.

Art Funds
Nahim Suti
Ceo First Finance,Abidjan

Please could you tell us the names of some of the African artists in your collection?
The main artists are Ablade Glover from Ghana, Ludovic Fadaïro from Benin, Christophe Sawadogo and Vivien Tapsoba from Burkina Faso, Ulliette Balliet from Togo, and Moné Bou, Youssouf Bath, Augustin Kassi, Soro Péhouet, Bamogo Séni, Aboudia, Blacaus, Samir Jacques Stenka from Ivory Coast.
When did you start acquiring art and which were the first artists whose works you acquired?
It was in 2005 and they were essentially young artists who had been at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts of Abidjan. I discovered their works through Houkami Guyzagn, who was then a young gallerist representing emerging artists from Ivory Coast. This allowed me, when I opened my micro-finance
business in 2009, to create an off-shoot structure called West African Private Equity (WAP’ART), focused on negotiating and being an intermediary for the acquisition of art.

Do you envisage acquiring more works by African artists?
Of course, especially beyond the West African region. We intend to look at artists from Central Africa and South Africa etc.
Which artists are you interested in that are not already represented in your collection?
Artists from the Ivory Coast diaspora such as Ouattara Watt and Ernest Düku; Ivory Coast pioneers such as Michel Kodjo, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and James Houra; the Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté; the Burkina Faso artist Ky Siriki; and numerous other Senegalese artists and perhaps artists from North Africa.
What do you think of the market boom for contemporary art from Africa?
This boom reflects the rise of the middle class, which is boosted by Africans of the diaspora that are returning to the continent with an awareness about art.
As a financier, what are you doing to contribute to the boom of contemporary art from Ivory Coast?
In my micro-finance company, for example, we accept as safe-havens gold, real estate, company shares quoted on the stock exchange and artworks even though artists’ quotas are not established in rigid ways. In this sense, we have experimented with the creation of a secondary market. Specifically, early on we acquired artworks that we considered to be in good order. We documented them then we later sold them for double if not triple the price for which we bought them in order to acquire more works by better-quoted artists.

Brett Scott
Collection Manager, Scheryn Art Collection, Cape Town

The Scheryn Art Collection Fund in Cape Town was founded in 2015 by two entrepreneurs, Herman Steyn and Dabing Chen. It purchases artworks by artists from Africa and the African diaspora for collectors who receive monetary and non-monetary returns.

The Scheryn Art Collection was set up as the first dedicated art collection in Africa to provide collectors with the opportunity to contribute to the growth of African art. Art from the African continent is becoming increasingly popular and the next five-10 years will see greater demand. Our collection is a collaboration between experienced art market specialists and professional investment advisors who have a uniquely strong appreciation for art. Through various support initiatives, Scheryn will nurture young artistic talent and preserve the cultural legacy of African art whilst providing collectors with aesthetic rewards and long-term capital appreciation.

We believe in the strength and cultural diversity of the continent’s artistic output and how it challenges the established norm of contemporary art. A global platform has arisen for African artists to present their works to an international audience and artists who are engaging in traditional and cutting-edge techniques are becoming increasingly sought after. Locally established artists yet to gain international recognition are the most interesting to observe.

This is due to demand from international expatriate communities longing for artists from their homelands and global buyers looking for new trends. There has been a price appreciation of African art in the secondary market following growing interest in contemporary African art in the primary market. The 1:54 art fair expansion into New York and The Armory Show’s recent focus on the African continent are prime examples of this.

The growth of the Ghanaian art market has also caught our eye. Currently we have three collectors. Scheryn looks for collectors who share our passion for the sustainability of the African art market. They
realize that joining the collection is a long-term commitment as we are not involved in speculation,
flipping or trading of art. We look for collectors who are unsure where to start or do not have
experience in African contemporary art. We also look for people who already have collections but
who might not have sufficient time or money to manage them properly. We provide an opportunity
to benefit from the aesthetic and financial return of their collection without the administrative worries.

The opening of the Museum Mohammed VI of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat, Morocco,
in 2014 and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town in 2017 are important
developments. To have two museums that meet international museum standards in Northern Africa
and Southern Africa is a great step on the path to cementing Africa’s place in the art world. This will
ensure that the surge in interest in African art will be sustainable, not a fleeting fascination. However,
the impact of Brexit will be hard to ignore as London is a large market for African Art. It will take two or three years to see what influence Brexit will have.

Lasri,1998 untitled oil on canvas
100 cm x 81 cm
court. the artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serge Tiroche
Co-founder of Art Vantage PCC Limited investment fund

Serge Tiroche co-founded the Tiroche DeLeon Collection with Russ DeLeon in 2011 with the objective of focusing on contemporary art markets across the developing world. The collection is owned by Art Vantage PCC Limited, an investment fund for investors. Through offices in Israel and Gibraltar, it concentrates on Africa, Latin America, South Asia, the Middle East, the Far East and Eastern Europe.

We made a strategic decision to focus on contemporary art from emerging economies for three principle reasons. The first is economic; we found them to have better long-term investment prospects. The second is personal; we are more interested in exploring new cultures and identify more with art that has tradition and craft embedded. The third is social; with the budget we had in mind we could do very little in the developed world whereas in the developing one, we could be a significant platform to promote new artists and greater dialogue and exchange with the west.

We have six regional sub-portfolios that make up the Tiroche DeLeon Collection. The net asset value of the fund we manage, Art Vantage PCC Limited, is driven to a large extent by the performance of the artworks in the collection. Our investors are usually experienced high-net-worth individuals or family offices that are ready to invest a minimum of $500,000. Some have already had exposure to art but generally not in these markets. Others are new to art collecting/art investment and are interested in the access, education, artwork borrowing, financial diversification and lifestyle enhancement that we offer.

Africa, as one of the oldest art-making cultures that has influenced generations of western artists, seemed undervalued and underexposed. It represents approximately 15% of our total investments. Of the six sub collections, the African portfolio has been one of the best performing. The performance of the artworks, gross of fees and holding costs, increased by 42.8% in 2013, 10% in 2014 and 5.41% in 2015.

We enjoyed huge returns in 2012-2013 primarily thanks to the increase in value of important artists such as El Anatsui and William Kentridge. In the last two years, the price levels reached for these works is such that the rate of increase in value must slow down to more realistic levels, as can be evidenced by the declining performance.

Galleries

Cécile Fakhoury
Gallerist in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
French-born Cécile Fakhoury opened her eponymous gallery in 2012 in Abidjan.

The gallery’s mission is to promote contemporary art in the African continent by developing a locally-based dynamic structure. A space entirely dedicated to contemporary artwork exhibitions, it is a place for discoveries, exchanges and encounters. The gallery shows a new exhibition every two months and aims to broadcast the work of its artists abroad, in order to connect the African continent with the rest of the world and to reach a
worldwide audience.

The gallery aims at promoting a better visibility of contemporary art in Africa and more specifically in the Ivory Coast by curating top-notch exhibitions. Cultural initiatives exist here but are few and far between, especially when it comes to commercial initiatives. My background working for galleries and auction houses in France and the US motivated me to develop an activity in that field when I moved to Abidjan.

With gallery actively supporting the production of artworks, the artists now have access to with a better range of material. Depending on the artwork, our price ranges between US$890 and US$55,125. The quality of the work had always been there but the resources and means were possibly lacking before. The majority of our clientele is made up of foreign collectors. However, we are seeing an increasing number of Ivorian natives following our work and supporting our artists, which is very encouraging.

From the beginning, one of our main goals was for our artworks to enter the local market. It is a real source of satisfaction when we make a sale knowing that the artwork will remain on the territory. In spite of 10 complex years, the Ivory Coast remains a crossroads in West Africa. Abidjan is a flourishing city with a curious public, eager to receive a dynamic cultural scene and there is a growing interest for the contemporary art market here. When I started, I did not have the means to evaluate the possible success of the initiative but the gallery rapidly gained recognition.

Nearly four years later, the results are very satisfying. During the first few months, we were already receiving
nearly 600 visitors at the opening evenings. We also customarily host school visits for each of our exhibitions in order to raise awareness from a young age. Over the past year, after participating in three fairs and two biennales, we have estimated art fairs to represent a third of our annual sales. We foresee a considerable increase for the year to come as we intend to participate in five fairs.

Maria Varnava
Director of Tiwani Contemporary, London

Founded in 2011, Tiwani Contemporary works with international contemporary artists. Tiwani Contemporary exhibits and represents international emerging and established artists, focussing on Africa and its diaspora. The gallery presents work through its exhibition programme and participation in art fairs. In addition to its commercial activities, Tiwani
Contemporary runs a public programme, Art Connect, supported by the A.G. Leventis Foundation. This provides a platform for discussing contemporary artistic practice through publications, talks and projects.

I grew up in Lagos Nigeria and that is where a personal interest was developed that eventually lead to the birth of Tiwani. The visual language I grew up around was that of art from Nigeria added to that my family collected some of that art and from a young age I was lucky to meet and interact with some of the artists.

I was living and working in the UK and was at a point that I was looking into my next professional steps. I wanted to launch a project that involved something I was deeply interested in and something that would be an interesting additional to the London art scene. In addition I envisioned this project would have along with the commercial element a strong element of collaboration, sharing of knowledge and experience. Indeed Tiwani in Yoruba loosely translates it belongs to us, it is ours. At this point I would like to mention that Bisi Silva the founder and director of CCA Lagos played a part in my taking the decision in launching the gallery and remains a mentor and trusted friend.

Along with the personal element just mentioned there was also the understanding that Tiwani would be occupying an important «space» and that visibility was something high on the agenda as was the understanding that an important space would be occupied and thus care would be taken in terms in term of the gallery’s internal and external associates, the artist stable created, how the gallery programme would develop and why a public programme was introduced early on. Finally there was a business element that came into play and the understanding that Tiwani would be an exiting challenge that if done properly and with hard work it could be a solid successful addition to the London and international art scene.

The long term vision is for tiwani to remain part of this community for the long term, to grow, to built strong and long lasting careers for our artists and to extend its public programme activities. For this reason Tiwani’s primary focus will be artists practices because in the end that is what counts. The average price varies between US$ 1-100,000. We work with an international collector base whose primary interests are contemporary art practices. In addition some of our collectors are looking into creating a truly global collection and thus our area of specialization is of interest. We also work with collectors that are particularly interested in young and emerging artists and find our program exciting in that respect.

It’s hard to differentiate because collectors you meet at fairs eventually become gallery sales so approximately let’s say 60% gallery and 40% art fairs. I haven’t noticed any sharp changes in terms of creative expression per se but I have noticed more and more artists interested in exploring a wide range of media from performance to sound to video and so on. Additionally I have noticed that artists from the south are increasingly more interested in south to south  conversations, are in a mind set that is at once local as it is global and does not look north to initiate a conversation.

Corporate Collections In Art

A Global View

The activity of corporations and businesses collecting artifacts dates back centuries. During the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century prominent trades and mercantile houses began to adorn their business premises with artworks. Siena’s Monte dei Paschi bank gave the practice its earliest corporate reference. The Popes, Medicis, Borgias, Sforzas and other Renaissance potentates, as well as 18th-19th century European royal houses, saw art and artistic splendor as important facets of their wealth and power.

They allocated huge resources to patronize the visual and plastic arts. Today, the Vatican, Florence, Venice, Rome, Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Budapest and St-Petersburg radiate with art treasures that underscore the prominence and sway that art and artists held in society in the bygone eras. Today, about 600 companies worldwide have art collections, mostly contemporary. While insurance titan AXA was, arguably, the first corporate to collect in an extensive and systematic manner, the Deutsche Bank, Union Bank of Switzerland, which has over 35,000 works, Microsoft, Russia’s Gazprombank and Japan’s Shiseido, the world’s fifth largest cosmetic company, have become prominent in the movement, particularly in the last two decades. Some of the companies, such as Italian fashion house Prada, and Bernard Arnault’s Louis Vuitton Foundation have constructed architect-appointed gallery/ museum spaces to showcase their impressive collections.

Africa Joins Corporate Art Collection Movement There is an unbroken thread in history of art being the quintessence of human creativity. In each era fine art has occupied a central role in human affairs; challenging us, daring us, surprising us, annoying us, going against convention, nonetheless, enriching us infinitely. Africa, its ancient greatness and earlier development pathways stymied by colonialism, has vestiges revealing tremendous creativity and artistic excellence over centuries, as attested by the Akan, Baule, Benin, Chokwe, Dogon, Ife, Nok, Oyo, Zimbabwe and other civilizations.However, contemporary Africa, just like other regions of the world outside Western Europe and North America, cannot be said to have a significant presence in the surge in the modern-day corporate art collection movement.

What pertains, and is steadily growing in fashion, is that some CEOs of family or listed companies, newly-minted commercial banks, rich individuals, and increasingly, middle class professionals, have started acquiring artworks in a regular manner. They are building collections to adorn the walls of their workplace and residences.

East Africa
Kenya
By Osei G Kof i

The Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and the Nation Media Group (NMG), both in Kenya, had modest corporate collections of contemporary art dating back to the 1970s and early 1980s. In that sense they were pioneers even on the global stage. The CBA and NMG collections were started by their then expatriate CEOs. Sadly, subsequent
CEOs during 1990s-early 2000s, Kenyanborn, didn’t have the same love for art or the bug of collecting.

The good news is today “younger” or more recent corporate chiefs in Kenya and across East Africa, such as Tanzania’s media mogul Reginald Mengi of the IPP Group, Kenya’s SK Macharia of Royal Media Services, Michael Joseph and Bob Collymore both of Safaricom, Patrick Quarcoo and William Pike both of the Radio Africa Media Group, have realized that art can add to a company’s image and prestige.

It must be emphasized that at this stage the collections are personal even if some of the pieces are used to adorn the corporate office. Quarcoo and Pike in particular collect partly as part of their commitment to support East African artists, many of whom struggle to make ends meet. Quarcoo a while ago told a group of East African artists who met him at his Nairobi office that his company “took its corporate social responsibility seriously” and that buying art and growing his collection was both a personal passion and a commitment to the development of art in East Africa and on the continent. Also notable in this category of art collection as personal enjoyment, company prestige and corporate social responsibility pursuit are the Mauritius-registered Kenya-based Catalyst Principal Partners Private Equity firm, the Centum Investments Company Ltd, both in Nairobi and Van Rampelberg Designs.

All three are headed by long-time art lovers who in recent years have embarked on a more systematic manner in collecting, even seeking out professional and curatorial advice. The numbers of acquired works involved here are quite modest, hardly more than a couple hundred artifacts in most collections. Concrete numbers are hard to come by. Collectors, mega or small-time, demur when asked to cite figures of their artifacts.

The reluctance to divulge the volume of artworks in one’s collection is ingrained worldwide, and not only in Africa. In Europe and North America the only time the public gets to know the extent of a private or corporate collection is when the owners place them in museums or galleries for public access.

In East Africa Kenya’s Centum Chairman Chris Kirubi, Allan Donovan formerly of African Heritage and Marc Van Rampelberg are perhaps the more experienced in the collection movement, with personal and close relationship with Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ugandan artists from whom they buy directly. Kirubi, American-born Donovan, Belgian-born van Rampelberg and Ugandan-born Paul Kavuma, the Catalyst Principal CEO, are all greatly admired collectors for the representational sweep and quality of the art they own. Again here, concrete numbers are hard to come by.

My take is, as the movement progresses, leading to publications of catalogues, publicity flyers and public showcasing of the collections in galleries, updated figures will be given by the owners.

Quarcoo, Pike, Kirubi, Macharia, Kavuma, Joseph, Mengi and others hold some of the most eye-popping masterpieces by older and middle-aged East African artists, such as Jack Katarikawe, Wanyu Brush, Sane
Wadu, Eunice Wadu, Rashid Diab, Sophie Walbeoffe, Joni Waite, Nani Croze, Mary Colis, Edward Tingatinga, George Lilanga, Rajabu Chiwaya, Kivuthi Mbuno, Theresa Musoke, Annabelle Wanjiku among others.

While Africa might be a latecomer on the global scene, and while the numbers of artworks involved to date cannot be said to be all that impressive in international comparative terms, dimensions that stand out in Africa include: energy, vibrancy, quality and exuberant innovative solutions. These are keys for a tremendous future for corporate art collection practice on the Mother Continent.

West Africa
Ivory Coast
Abidjan by Mimi Errol

In the absence of an environment favourable to the creation of a competitive, buoyant contemporary art market in Ivory
Coast, such as financial incentives, a true contemporary art museum and clearly defined valuation of artworks and of artists, the involvement of large financial establishments in the art scene can be seen as a form of corporate social responsibility.

One of the most prominent is the BICICI subsidiary of BNP Paribas Group. Since 2003, it has been organising an annual art exhibition, titled “BICICI Friend of the Arts”, in its Abidjan headquarters. The exhibition is sponsored by a leading figure in Ivory Coast and features an accompanying catalogue. Then there is the Société Générale de Banque, a subsidiary of Société Générale –one of the world’s largest bank groups. Not only does it organise exhibitions, mainly of established artists from Ivory Coast such as Kablan Cyprien’s 40 years of painting in its Abidjan headquarters, but it innovates in exhibiting a different painting every day during its internal seminars to help young contemporary artists from Ivory Coast become established. Meanwhile, banking establishments such as Access Bank (formerly known as Omnifinance), NSIA Bank, Banque Atlantique and its subsidiaries BACI and COBACI make huge acquisitions by young creators from Ivory Coast to adorn their branches.

All of these initiatives have allowed galleries and young artists from Ivory Coast to resist different political/military crises that Ivory Coast has known.

Nigeria
Bolanle Austen-Peters
Managing Director of Terra Kulture-Mydrim Gallery (TKMG)

Banks have the biggest corporate collections in Nigeria including Citibank, access bank and Gtbank Most Banks collect based on the taste of the CEO at that point in time so it is often a mixed collection. The younger CEOs have a mix of contemporary and masters works whilst the older generation CEO focused mostly on Masters works.

Senegal
by El Hadji Malick Ndiaye

Collecting practices have developed in the last few years in Senegal. Different forms of collecting practices are developing and are being sustained for very diverse reasons. An historical, public and political practice exists. Through this, works enter into the national heritage, following provisions taken by the decree n° 67-034 on 11 January 1967 relative to the artistic, private domain of the state. Managing this is incumbent upon the Directorate for Cultural Heritage under the protection of the ministry responsible for culture.

This collecting practice is encouraged by the 1% law, which involves a minimum of resources being allocated to the decoration of public buildings. On the occasion of the 15th Francophonie Summit organised by the Republic of Senegal from 29-30 November 2014, the state bought works by 50 artists to decorate the International Conference Centre of Diamniadio. In the same year, the family of the Senegalese artist Iba Ndiaye donated 145 works to the Republic of Senegal, which were registered in the heritage conserved by the DPC – Christian Democrat Party?

Collecting practices are equally popular with private companies and banks. This is how a collection was developed by Eiffage Senegal, which is very dynamic in its support of Senegalese artists. Banks operating in Senegal collect contemporary art; this is the case of the Central Bank of Western African States (BCEAO) and the International Bank for Trade and Industry of Senegal (BICIS) of the BNP Paribas Group. Over the last few years, the BICIS has been developing a collection composed mainly of contemporary works by Senegalese artists, of which the total value was estimated on 20 January 2015 at XOF 82.29 m Senegalese francs (US$0.14m). This study, carried out by Omar Diack (director of Typic Arts Gallery) and Fodé Camara (director of Tawfeex Design), inventoried 45 signatures, of which 37 were men, three were women and five were anonymous.

The diversity of techniques used in the artworks was inequal: a majority of 32 were paintings on canvas, and there were 17 paintings on paper, three sculptures, three photographs, two clipframes, three tapestries and two ceramics. This study did not take into account the artworks in the two branches in the capital: BICIS-Prestige and BICIS-Roume. Besides these important institutional funds, private collections are spread over diverse socio-professional categories, including lawyers, architects, ministers, entrepreneurs, teachers, businessmen and civil servants. They are also being developed across several layers of the population, particularly among the middle class. Although collecting might have believed to be confined to the most affluent layers of society, according to the latest trends it is generally happening in households with very modest incomes.

The reasons behind this evolution are complex. While the market for clip-frames found a local clientele partly thanks to the social and religious imaginary ideas that the objects conveyed, there are several sociological reasons for the current cultural consumption of contemporary art. These are at the intersection between a history of tastes, cultural evolution and a trajectory of mentalities (snobbery, mimicry, the need to belong to a social class and to identify with an elite etc). These reasons explain the diversity of collectors that we find in the field. The majority accumulate works whereas a minority distinguishes itself by a pronounced taste in their choices.

Among the latter, two categories can be identified. In the first category, the names of artists are carefully researched and purchased once they are esteemed by history and the community of peers and professionals. These systematic collections have two common characteristics. First, they are very attached to the great names in the history of art in Senegal as well as to its great periods. Secondly, this method is less focused on the discovery of talents than on a capitalisation of commercial success in a strategy of value-creation and towards possible financial ends. This type of collection is often exhibited in places with great visibility and consigned to catalogues expressly conceived with this in mind.

In the second category, we find collectors who follow the whims of their taste, looking out for the latest and most original creations. By collecting according to their desires and without worrying about the names of artist or commercial aims, these collectors are often true art lovers or art critics for whom the risk factor is meaningless. Accordingly, it should be remembered that in Senegal collecting practices translate deep socio-cultural changes. They reflect a respositioning of the arts in social life and an articulation of this within the visual arts culture, which only had institutional recognition beforehand.

North Africa
Mohamed Rachdi
Curator of the art collection, Société Générale, Casablanca

Mohamed Rachdi is an artist, critic, curator, scholar and is responsible for cultural sponsorship of Société Générale, a subsidiary of the French bank, in Casablanca, Morocco.

I’ve been responsible for Société Générale’s collection, its exhibitions and conservation since 2008. I conceive and produce exhibitions, organize meetings and debates, and publish books. My role is about conserving, enhancing and animating the bank’s collection, which has 1,300 artworks. There are two exhibition spaces: a 600 m2 space in the atrium of the bank’s headquarters, where we often have solo presentations by contemporary artists, and a separate 1,200 m2 gallery. In 2013, we had an exhibition, 100 Years of the Société Générale in Morocco in the gallery. Since 2014, we’ve had a two-year long exhibition, Connexion: Quatre Regards, which traces the history of art in Morocco through four outlooks: Orientalist, Singular, Modern and Contemporary.

I prolonged the duration of these exhibitions so that people could visit several times and so that school groups could come. We also have shorter exhibitions every December that last one and a half or two months. I’ve organised two other exhibitions, Corps et Figures du Corps on bodies and figures of bodies and Nature et Paysage on nature and landscape.Works from the collection are also exhibited in the bank’s headquarters in Casablanca.

When I arrived at Société Générale, I wanted to extend the collection beyond just Moroccan artists. In my exhibitions, I show and integrate international artists and different styles, generations and categories. I want to introduce new artistic practices, young artists and foreigners. If I do an exhibition with 70 artists, 20 of them can be foreign. I proposed to launch an annual art prize but the proposal wasn’t retained. But I initiated the producing and diffusing of artists’ works, which was not the case before, and paying artists to make interventions. I also introduced video, installations and performance.

I want to decentralize Morocco’s art scene because everything happens in Casablanca, Tangier and Marrakech and there’s not much happening outside of these three cities. So I’m going to organize an exhibition of work by French travel photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand in the Marrakech branch of Société Générale. My aim is to encourage Société Générale to decentralize a bit and open small spaces in different branches in Morocco. I’ve asked them if we can open an exhibition space in the town of Tetouan in the north of the country and I’d like to do something in Oujda in northeastern Morocco, near the border with Algeria.

I’m also working with the French Institute in Morocco so that a reduced part of our exhibitions can be shown in their spaces, including their space in Meknès in the north of Morocco. Culture in Morocco has developed a lot through the patronage of companies because the state hasn’t played an important role in culture and in the constitution of collections. It’s private companies, notably banks, that have really invested in this. For instance, another bank building a collection is Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank. I think there are 200 artists in their collection.

Ghita Triki
Head of Art & Culture at Fondation AWB of Attijariwafa Bank

Ghita Triki is head of art and culture at the foundation of Attijariwafa Bank in Morocco. In 1995, she joined the BCM (Banque Commerciale du Maroc), which later merged with Wafabank to form Attijariwafa Bank, and in 1996 she inaugurated its Actua art space for exhibitions in the bank’s headquarters in Casablanca. Since the merger and formation of Attijariwafa Bank in 2003, she has been leading the “Art & Culture” part of Attijariwafa Bank’s foundation.

My role is to develop the group’s cultural patronage strategy, the priority mission of which is the visibility of the artists and the accessibility of art to the largest number of people, especially the young, to raise awareness of the bank’s role in social responsibility. The bank’s commitment to art dates back nearly 30 years and constitutes an incalculable heritage and source of sharing and creativity for our collaborators, audience, partners, clients and students.

The painting collection is the spine of this. At the foundation, we organise guided visits, studio visits and conferences and produce publications. I am also involved in organizing an educational programme, ‘Academy of Arts, on a national and local level which reaches hundreds of students from modest backgrounds. It was initiated in 2009 and includes contemporary art, writing and multimedia for students at state schools for a period of three years.

The collection is the combined collections of the former BCM (Banque Commerciale du Maroc) and the former Wafabank, which merged in 2004. Both started in the mid 1970s at the initiative of Abdelaziz Alami, president of the BCM, and Abdelhak Bennani, president of Wafabank, who both believed in the importance of art for the company and the community beyond the profitable investment that artworks can constitute.

In the 1970s, the purchases were individualized. The collection developed more in the 1980s, coinciding with the favorable economic context, the opening of galleries and the artistic boom, which reflected the global movement of Moroccan intellectuals after the Independence of Morocco in 1956. Between 1980 and 2007, works were commissioned by Farid Belkahia, Hassan El Glaoui and Abdelkébir Rabi. We also acquired Jacques Majorelle’s painting, Les Alamates (1931).

The collection is a panorama of the pictorial creation of Morocco from the beginning of the 20th century to the 2000s, with historical depth, diversity of trends and generations. It comprises works by major artists and is focused on Abstract Expressionism from the 1950s and abstract painters from the 1970s-1990s. Moroccan artists constitute the majority of the collection but there are also Orientalist paintings by French artists.

Since the bank’s development in Africa, works by emerging artists from the African continent and diaspora, who have been discovered during the Dakar Biennale, have been acquired. There are nearly 2,000 paintings and multiples by artists including Ahmed Cherkaoui, Jilali Gharbaoui, Mohamed Chebâa, Mohamed Melehi and Chaïbia Tallal, and contemporary artists such as Amina Benbouchta, Meryem El Alj, Hicham Benohoud, Michèle Magema and Saïdou Dicko. We plan to continue our support of contemporary artists through our annual exhibitions, commissions and productions.

Two books about the collection and patronage have been published, in 1992 and in 2002, on the occasion of large-scale exhibitions. Half of the works are displayed in the offices, open spaces and halls of our headquarters and the others are in our regional offices and branches. The vision of the collection is : ‘Works everywhere for everyone’, which explains the importance of the limited edition multiples in some of the branches to help educate the way people look at art. The works move around several times a year, partly because of loans and temporary exhibitions.

The foundation has advised clients when it has been asked for advice but we do not have an actual advisory service. However, we publish a bimonthly newsletter, containing an article about the trajectory and quota of an artist in our collection or about artists exhibited at the foundation.

South Africa
Emma Bedford
Director at Aspire Art Auctions

Emma Bedford is a director and senior art specialist at Aspire Art Auctions, a new auction house in Johannesburg and Cape Town, which she joined after leaving Strauss & Co auction house.

2015 saw exciting developments within the primary and the secondary markets and phenomenal growth driven by public, corporate and individual collecting activity. How many corporate art collections there are in South Africa varies according to whom you consult and which criteria are used. One curator has estimated the number at around 17 and another at about 50. The important ones, include the Standard Bank, the Sanlam Art Collection, South32, MTN Art Collection and the Sasol Art Collection.

The first corporate collection is possibly that of the South African Broadcasting Corporation which began informally in 1916. Part-time curator, Koulla Xinisteris, draws on this collection of over 1,000 works to produce stimulating and educative exhibitions such as Making Waves and Scape for the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban in 2011. The curator was able to buy works at auction by the likes of Marlene Dumas, Dumile Feni and Fred Page at affordable prices without much competition.

The Standard Bank sponsors young artists and major touring exhibitions and maintains its impressive Corporate Collection as well as a unique African Art Collection jointly owned with the University of the Witwatersrand. The Reserve Bank’s collection makes around 80% of its acquisitions at auction houses since its predominant feature is landscape paintings from 1930-1980. But it also collects works outside landscape, especially from the 1960s and 1970s by Peter Clarke, Ephraim Ngatane, Gladys Mgudlandlu and Walter Battiss, and contemporary art. By contrast, the Sasol Art Collection, started in 1983, comprises over 2,000 mainly contemporary artworks by young, emerging South African artists.

The collection of Anton and Huberte Rupert, housed in the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch, is one of the earliest private collections and was begun in the 1940s. Showcasing the best of South African artists such as Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, Alexis Preller, Battiss, Jean Welz, JH Pierneef and Anton van Wouw, it continues to grow under the guardianship of the Rupert Art Foundation.

Traditionally, collectors have favoured auction houses for historical and modern acquisitions and commercial galleries and art fairs for contemporary purchases. But with the Cape Town Art Fair dedicating a Past/Modern section for older works, distinctions are blurring. Conversely, contemporary works are increasingly coming up at auction. Many important collections are vested in trusts. The Constitutional Court Trust owns an extraordinary collection of artworks donated by prominent artists and benefactors to celebrate the Court’s role in the transition to democracy.

The collection was primarily assembled by Albie Sachs, who practiced as a judge at the Constitutional Court from 1994 to 2009. Private collectors are the most visibly active buyers in the primary and secondary markets. Many factors have contributed to the rise of private collectors in the last 10 years. Works of art are increasingly sought after, whether for aesthetic satisfaction, as status symbols or as perceived hedges against the uncertainty of other markets.

Many also recognise the value of building family or private collections in an environment where the lack of funding for public institutions has resulted in the relative stagnation of state collections.

Michelle Constant
Ceo of Business and Arts, South Africa (Basa)

Michelle Constant has been CEO at Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), a public-private partnership between the corporate sector and government’s Department of Arts and Culture since 2008. Its aim is to develop strategic partnerships between the business and arts sectors in South Africa.

BASA is a not-for-profit organization and our core mandate is to leverage the relationship between business and the arts. Since the inception of BASA 20 years ago, we have been running an annual event, the BASA Awards. Partnered by Hollard (an insurance and financial services company) and Business Day (a national newspaper), it rewards and
recognizes businesses for their best practice in engaging in the arts. There are 14 different awards, three of which are not voted on by the committee of judges but by BASA’s board.

Barbara Freemantle
Curator of the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

Art enthusiast, art lover, and employee of a company that is committed to facilitate participation in, and access to the
arts.

What was the impetus for the inception of Standard Bank’s art collection and what was the vision?

The collection started in the early 1930s with painting of the various Standard Bank Chairmen. From then until the late 1960s the collecting policy was informal and was driven by the incumbent Chairman. The collection began in earnest in 1970 when the famous Head Office in Fox street was designed and built. The then Chairman Mr AAQ Davies commissioned four artworks to celebrate the opening of that iconic building.

The artists were Louis Maqubela, Cecil Skotness, Walter Battiss. The collection policy was and is proudly South African
and the aim is to support and grow South African artists. While the collection sits at the heart of Standard Bank’s sponsorships for the visual arts, our strategic support extends beyond the acquisition of artworks, focusing additionally on a number of sustainable long-term initiatives. The Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art provides a platform from which we can nurture and encourage future artists; and The Standard Bank Gallery which provide a world class exhibition venue in which we showcase the work of local and international artists of the highest order.

How would you describe the collection in terms of styles and diversity of artworks?
The collection is extremely diverse. It contains works in all media, ranging from 1755 to today.

How many works by how many artists are in the collection today?
About 1500 works and about 300 artists.

Which artists would you like to add to the collection?
We endeavor to include all artists in the collection so they are all pretty well represented. We have an ongoing collection process so we consider everyone.

How is the collection displayed in the bank’s headquarters and branches?

The collection is housed mainly in the public and executive areas of the Standard Bank Headquarters and the Standard Bank Gloval Leadership Centre in Johannesburg. Components are also located in Standard Bank offices in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Pretoria, London and New York.

What are your future objectives for the collection and for organising exhibitions of works in the collection?
To continue collecting – especially young emerging talent. The collection does appear in the Standard Bank Gallery regularly.

Do you offer an art advisory service to your clients?
No

Stefan Hundt
Curator: Sanlam Art Collection

The Sanlam Art Collection located near Cape Town. Sanlam is South Africa’s second largest Life Insurance Co and financial service provider including investment, short term insurance and medical insurance etc. The company has representation through about 18 countries throughout Africa and is expanding this footprint every year. The expansion on the African continent is a relatively recent strategy in comparison to the age of the company now close 98 years old.

The Sanlam Art Collection was founded in 1965 through an initiative of the then board of the company that saw the acquisition of South African Art as an important symbolic statement about the company’s commitment to the cultural heritage of the country and as an important aspect of the company’s broader educational programme of introducing staff to the appreciation of South African art.

The acquisitions strategy at the time was to develop a representative collection of South African art. Of course what is understood by representative then was quite different than today. The collection therefore feature works from the late nineteenth century the present. The bulk of the collection is unsurprisingly devoted to painting where the traditional themes of landscape, still life and portraiture are well represented. Much of SA art up until the late 1940’s was locked into a British inspired naturalist approach to painting. This was largely due to the country being a British colony and many of the artists here saw Britain as the place to study and follow.

There were of course some notable exceptions to this such as Maggie Laubser and Irma Stern per World War to and then many others followed afterwards as studying overseas became more affordable and desirable. The Sanlam Art Collection grew steadily from the 1960s to the 1970s. By the late 1980s the collection was expanded considerably when an entire private collection of approximately 1000 South African artists’ works was acquired in 1989. From then on regular acquisitions were made to augment the collection with contemporary and historical works. The collection presently holds some 1700 items.

These are displayed in office environments throughout South Africa. The company’s head office in Bellville near Cape Town houses the Sanlam Art Gallery where a selection of works from the collection are on permanent display. The exhibitions are changed on a regular basis. The gallery is open to the public at no charge. In 2015 the company opened an exhibition space in its regional head office at 11 Alice Lane in Sandton in Johannesburg, known as the Sanlam Art Lounge. The new space is still to develop a broader public profile.

The acquisitions strategy of the collection remains building a representative collection of South African art. The emphasis in the future will be more on contemporary art production in South Africa and there is a possibility that the collection may expand to countries in Africa where the company begins to establish a notable presence.

How did you start your collection and which were the first artists whose works you began acquiring?

Initially the Sanlam Art Collection acquired works of contemporary artists who had already received considerable recognition in 1960s and 1970s. Artists acquired then were Walter Battiss, Irma Stern, Sydney Kumalo to name a few.

What was the last piece you bought?
The most recent purchases have included a selection of 37 watercolours by Wopko Jensma, a sculpture by Shpeherd Mbanya and a work on paper by Zander Blom

Which other artists would you like to add to your collection?
There are of course many possible acquisitions. The collection looks for significant images that historically important or are currently of such significance that they will be important in time to come. Some names come to mind such as
Mary Sibande, Johannes Pokela, Bernie Searl, Moshekwa Langa, Robin Rhode, Air Patra Ruga are all potential artists in the contemporary sphere amongst many others that we will be considering seriously in the furture.

What do you think of the boom of contemporary art from Africa?
The booming contemporary art in Africa has two components to it. One; is that the through the efforts of a generation of curators originating from Africa and more broadly the “Global South” contemporary art practices in Africa are being researched, published and acknowledged in exhibitions throughout the world. This has taken many year to establish. Art historians and critics have charted the evolving interest in contemporary African art in various ways. There is no doubt that seminal exhibitions in the 1980s such as the Tributaries exhibition in Johannesburg and Magiciennes de La Terre in France were significant markers in the global acknowledgement of the African practice in the global art world. Further on the Johannesburg Biennials in the 1990s, the second one being directed by Okwui Enwezor had a profound effect on the South African art world and was a significant step for Okwui to become a globally recognised curator. His championing of African contemporary art, albeit much of it produced outside the continent in the diaspora, through shows as the The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994 and Global Conceptualism celebrated African art within a global paradigm. There are many other exhibitions and curators who have successfully championed Africa’s place in the global art world – too many to mention. The result is that great museums of art in Europe and the United States have taken notice and are reviewing their acquisitions strategies to incorporate representations from Africa and Global South. Two: as a result of the above, but also at the same time with European and American modern and contemporary arts shooting the lights out at auction sales, art fairs and gallery floors, African contemporary art presented an opportunity for savvy operators, agents, dealers and auctioneers to offer vital ground breaking works to clients at a significant discount to European and American practitioners. While African artists were becoming academically and historically acceptable they also become trad-able commodities. Not unlike the Chinese boom the African boom has had its positive as well negative effects. For anyone being part of this boom requires a steady head and a capacity to differentiate between quality and fashion.

In what ways do you think the growing market of modern and contemporary art from Africa will develop further?
There is no doubt that this market has grown and will grow rapidly into the future. With the rise of wealthy private collectors on the continent, hopefully the development of more institutions such as the MOCAA in Cape Town and the realisation of the value of culture by governments in Africa, the demand for modern and contemporary art is going to grow exponentially. That Sotheby’s is prepared to establish and contemporary African art department in competition with Bonhams in London and local auction houses in South Africa indicates there is much more to potential for this market to grow. The question would of course be to what extent will resident Africans benefit or be deprived if this
market remains primarily driven from Europe or the United States for time to come.

Do you think that African artists are creating a new era of a common art form, or forms, in the world’s art scene?
To what extent one can speak of a new era we will only be able to tell in a decade or so. There however seems to be an optimism and self consciousness in the market which presents all the symptoms of a new era being upon us.

Are you planning any new projects?
We are presently going through a re-strategisation of what the collection is going to do in the future. There are many new ideas which will involve more contemporary artists but also trying to build better links with established institutions to facilitate collaborations on exhibitions and possible acquisitions. Watch this space.

Paul Bayliss
CURATOR : ABSA ART COLLECTION AND MUSEUM, JOHANNESBURG

Dr Paul Bayliss is the art and museum curator of Absa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays Africa Group Ltd. Besides being responsible for Absa’s art collection and the Absa Art Gallery for the past six years, Bayliss curates the Absa Money Museum, South Africa’s only money and banking museum, and is project manager for the Barclays L’Atelier art competition across the African continent. Absa has an extensive art collection comprising of approximately 18,000 artworks representing several thousand artists. The collection is primarily South African but more recently has included artworks from artists across the continent.

Artworks from South African Masters and more recent contemporary works are included. The collection is displayed in the boardrooms and corridors of our head office and in regional offices and branches. We also continually loan works out to other galleries, museums or institutions for exhibitions. The Barclay’s L’Atelier art competition, now in its 31st year, is a platform for young and emerging artists to showcase their talent. It is aimed at artists aged 21-35. Artists resident in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius and the Seychelles are invited to participate therein. Historically, the competition was primarily aimed at South African artists. In 2015, as part of the 30-year celebration of the competition, it was broadened to include artists from Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and Botswana.

In 2016, the competition was further broadened and opened to artists from Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius and Seychelles. In 2016, the overall winner received a cash prize of 225,000 rands (US$15,000) and a six-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Several Merit prizes are also awarded: a three month residency at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg, a two-month residency with the Sylt Foundation on the Island of Sylt, a one-month residency at the Ampersand Foundation in New York City and a three month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts. The winning artist is also granted a solo exhibition in Absa’s Art Gallery.

Absa’s Art Gallery provides a platform for artists to continue to showcase their talent and build their brand. These works are also for sale through the gallery, which takes no commission from sales as all the proceeds go to the artist. As part of Barclays Africa’s Shared Growth initiative, which endeavors to make a difference to the various communities in which we operate, the objective of our exhibitions is to nurture talent and support young artists.

One of our big focal areas is around education – educating the public about what they’re looking at and how to think about investing in the visual arts. The gallery also provides an advisory service to our clients and stakeholders on how to manage their portfolios and on upcoming talent to watch.

Rankings

Methodology

Given the specifics of the burgeoning African modern and contemporary art market, it is essential to go beyond auction results alone in
order to analyze it. This study ranks the 100 artists who obtained the best scores according to five weighted criteria:

  1. turnover at auction in 20155 (25%)
  2. medium price of characteristic artworks on the first market (25%)
  3. number of exhibitions in museums throughout career (20%)
  4. number of exhibitions at commercial galleries throughout career (20%)
  5. level of recognition among independent art critics (10%)
4 artist profiles

4 different artist profiles emerged through the analysis:

  • Global – The Global profile includes artists who are recognized internationally in both the museum and the commercial worlds, with stable prices on the first and the second markets.
  • Undervalued – The Undervalued profile includes artists with a strong presence on the art scene, both in the non-profit and the first market sectors. Their artworks appear sporadically on the second market, with undervalued prices.
  • High Potential – The High Potential profile includes artists whose recognition in the art circles is underway. Their presence is stronger in museums than in commercial galleries. Their artworks are hardly seen on the second market.
  • To watch – The To Watch profile includes emerging artists whose first artworks have recently been seen on the second market for the first time. For this study’s purposes, the Global and the Undervalued profile can be split in two according to the artists’ birth dates: – Modern: artists who were born before 1940.- Contemporary: artists who were born after 1940.

Focus

Okwui Enwezor
Curator, based in Munich and New York

Born in Nigeria in 1963, Okwui Enwezor was a poet and critic before becoming a curator. He was the first non-European
art director of documenta, the five-yearly exhibition in Kassel, Germany, which he curated in 2002. In 2015, he became the first African to curate the Venice Biennale with his exhibition All the “World’s Futures”.

He has been director of Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany, since 2011. Enwezor moved to the US in 1982 to study political science at Jersey City State College near New York. He founded Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art in 1994, a biannual publication named after the Igbo word for art. The first issue drew the attention of Spanish curator Octavio Zaya, who invited Enwezor to join his curatorial team working on the exhibition “In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present” at the Guggenheim in New York in 1996. Enwezor was then appointed curator of the second Johannesburg Biennale in 1996 and six years later he was invited to be the director of documenta 11. Enwezor earned a reputation for proposing a different view of the world, the history of post-colonialism and what Africa contributed to the world’s development.

In 2011 he was made director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich for a five-year post which has been renewed until 2021. He has been credited with increasing the number of the museum’s exhibitions per year to 12 and introducing a broader discourse. Enwezor sought to make “All the World’s Futures“ for the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale deeply reflective and political. He anchored his show in one work of literature: Karl Marx’s Das Kapital. A team of performers staged daily readings, directed by British artist/ filmmaker Isaac Julien, from the text in a performance space designed by British architect David Adjaye. Enwezor brought in numerous artists born or working in parts of the world often underrepresented in such exhibitions, including African artists from Cameroon, Ghana, Congo and Nigeria and Middle Eastern artists from Jordan, Iraq, Palestine and Syria.

Many of the artworks focused on labour conditions, such as art as an investigation of labour, the changing nature of labour or how conditions of labour are expressive of global inequality. In 2015, Enwezor was also a consulting curator on the exhibition “Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design” at Vitra Design Museum in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany. Featuring the work of more than 120 artists and designers, it showcased how design accompanies and fuels the continent’s economic and political changes. The wide diversity of work varied from furniture by Malian designer Cheick Diallo, eyewear sculptures by Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru, animation films by South Africanborn, Berlin-based artist Robin Rhode, and photography by Mário Macilau from Mozambique and J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere from Nigeria.

Also on view were architectural projects by Francis Kéré, David Adjaye and Kunlé Adeyemi and cardboard city models
by Bodys Isek Kingelez.

Simon Njami
Independent curator, writer and critic

Born in Lausanne in 1962 and based in Paris, Simon Njami has been a pioneering player in the art world since his twenties. After conceiving the Ethnicolour Festival in Paris in 1987, he became one of the first curators to present contemporary works by African artists on the international scene. He was artistic director of the Rencontres de Bamako photography biennale in Mali from 2001-2007. Then he curated “Africa Remix“, which was presented at Museum Kunst Palast in Dusseldorf, the Hayward Gallery in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Moderna
Museet in Stockholm and Johannesburg Art Gallery between 2004-2007.

In 2015, Njami was invited to curate the exhibition “Après Eden, la collection Artur Walther” at La Maison Rouge in Paris. Njami selected more than 800 works by around 50 artists from the photography collection of German collector Artur Walther, who lives in New York. Walther has around 4,000 works in his collection and Njami picked out a fifth of them for his exhibition about paradise lost. “In looking at the Walther collection, I had the feeling of finding myself in front of a pagan version of the story of Adam and Eve chased out of paradise and projected into a space to the east of Eden”, he told Le Monde. Njami themed his exhibition around eight fictions: the garden, the city, identity, the novel, the body, the mask, others and the voyeur.

Hung on the walls were South Africa’s arid landscapes by David Goldblatt, images of Angola by Jo Ractliffe and child soldiers by Guy Tillim. Portraiture ranged from young revellers by Malian photographers Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta, South African transsexuals by Sabelo Mlangeni, homosexual by Nigerian photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayode and staged self-portraits by Samuel Fosso. Also on view were works by Sammy Baloji from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa’s Pieter Hugo, along with western photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Ruff, August Sander and Richard Avedon, Japan’s Hiroh Kikai and China’s Yang Fudong.

Njami also explored a fictional idea for his exhibition, “The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory” revisited by Contemporary African Artists. First shown at the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt in 2014, it traveled to Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC the following year. The multi-media show proposed a contemporary interpretation of the themes of Dante Alighieri’s 14thcentury epic poem, “The Divine Comedy”, through works of 40 artists from 18 African nations and the African diaspora.

On display were sculptures by British artist Yinka Shonibare, South Africa’s Nicholas Hlobo and Egyptian-born Ghada Amer. Plus collage by Kenyan-born Wangechi Mutu, videos by France’s Zineb Sedira, drawings by Ethiopian-born Julie Mehretu and photography by Edson Chagas, who won the Golden Lion for the Best National Participation for Angola at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Upcoming names included Wim Botha (South Africa), Kiluanji Kia Henda (Angola), Franck Abd-Bakar Fanny (Ivory Coast), Ato Malinda (Kenya) and Dimitri Fagbohoun (Benin).

 

Jean Servais Somian
Coconut wood and lacquer
170 x 38 cm
Photo A.L. Dago
court.the artist

Design Market

Katie de Klee
Design Indaba, Cape Town

Design Indaba is an annual design festival that was founded in 1995 by managing director Ravi Naidoo. Katie de Klee is the editor of designindaba.com, a digital platform for news, features and the Design Indaba creative conference and festival held annually in Cape Town, which is broadcast live to six Southern African cities.

Design in Africa is still a young industry. Historically, design on the continent has only been looked at as artefact and curio, with explorations into Africa’s material culture being more common than a deep exploration of its contemporary design scene. Design education is relatively new and still hidden behind the academic institutions of the west. In Rwanda, there was no school of architecture and no word for architect in the native Rwandan language, Kinyarwanda, until 2008. Italy alone has 153,000 qualified designers and architects, compared to 35,000 across the whole African continent.

The design scene in South Africa is growing but it mostly consists of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Very little design is being made at scale on the continent, although Ethiopia appears to be changing this. A huge leap in industrial design infrastructure is needed for African designers to keep up with global market demand.

African designers create in resource-scarce environments but are proving to be hyper resourceful. Despite often not having any formal training, they are hybrid creatives with intuitive skills, a problem-solving attitude and more heightened sensitivity than the well-meaning, charitable designers from the developed world. African design revives materials that much of the world would see as garbage, as seen in the work of Senegalese designers Ousmane Mbaye and Amadou Fatoumata. Mbaye makes unique pieces from material he scavenges from Dakar’s landfills, while Fatoumata reworks old car tyres into design creations and sculptures.

Similarly, Cairo-based Reform Studio makes brightly coloured, woven designs from reused plastic bags. The world’s eye is on African design – it has appeared on catwalks, in galleries and in museum exhibitions worldwide. Dokter and Misses, the South African design studio of husband-and-wife team Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin, create furniture and interior objects that have bold, graphic patterns. Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane makes surreal, cartoony clothing to disrupt Senagalese fashion codes. Laduma Ngxokolo, founding designer of MaXhosa, uses traditional Xhosa bead work motifs and patterns to celebrate the rich heritage of the Xhosa culture in his textiles.

Ghanian architect David Adjaye, who was awarded an OBE in 2007, is a major international figure in architecture. Whilst not subscribing to a specific geographic or cultural aesthetic, he seeks to bring a distinct «Afropolitan» view to his projects. And Rwandan architect Christian Benimana uses local artisans and materials to bring skills, income and dignity to the community, believing that architecture is a catalyst for peace. Design is key to the transformation of the continent and the re-imagining of its rapidly growing cities. Even small-scale design and entrepreneurship has the potential to provide young people with a means of making a sustainable income.

Snapshot
By Franck Houndegla

Franck Houndegla conceives design projects for sets, museums, public spaces and heritage sites in Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the US. Since 2012, he is artistic director of Liaisons urbaines, an initiative geared towards redeveloping pubic spaces in African cities that is supported by the Institut Français. Nowadays, three projects have been realized in Benin, Chad and Morocco.

On the African continent, we can find numerous quality designers – Africans, those from the diaspora and Europeans. The most visible among them are making design objects, such as furniture and products. They use artisanal production networks and produce in small or medium-sized series for an “enlightened” international and local clientele through direct sales or through representatives, such as international and local stores and galleries.

In the network called «francophone», the leading African designers are Cheick Diallo, Issa Diabaté, Bibi Seck, Hicham Lahlou, Khadija Kabbaj, Aïssa Dione, Jules Wokam and Vincent Bayilou, who are are all developing remarkable projects. But there are many others, be it in Ghana, Nigeria and of course South Africa, where Design Indaba in Cape Town shows the importance of this sector and where urban developments integrate the “design” dimension. In Johannesburg, one also finds the MOAD, Museum of African Design, which opened in 2013.

The influence of the above-mentioned designers is not measured by their economic power, meaning the number of pieces sold, but by their media coverage which makes them inspiring models for aspiring designers. Their objects, which are found in magazines, blogs and international exhibitions (such as the traveling exhibition “Making Africa” at Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany), give a positive image of African modernity. The media’s interest in modern creativity from Africa is quite a deep trend.

African contemporary creation arouses a certain interest, whether it’s in the form of literature, contemporary art, architecture, design, music, dance or theater. Even though this visibility does not necessarily have repercussions in economic terms, it is a powerful vector of influence and of image-construction. It is a form of “soft power”. Regarding other design domains, interior architecture and scenography are very present in Kenya, thanks to tourism and hospitality. Just take a glance at the hundreds of interior designers/architects in Kenya’s phone directory.

Some of them conceive the scenography of exhibitions for the National Museums of Kenya. Graphic design is omnipresent in Africa but paradoxically little known. Last year several important design events took place, such as “Making Africa” at Vitra Design Museum9. We also had the Africa Morocco Design Days festival conference and the Africa Design Award, both launched by Hicham Lahlou in Rabat and Casablanca.

9 – Touring exhibition “Making Africa” produced in 2015 by the Vitra Design Museum. Curated by Amelie Klein,curator at the Vitra Design Museum. Consulting curator Okwui Enwezor.

African Design Days and Award, Morocco

Africa Design Days was founded by Moroccan designer Hicham Lahlou and held its first edition, co-organized with the ONA Foundation, in Morocco in 2015. The first edition was titled Africa Morocco Design Days and took place in two cities: at Villa des Arts in Rabat from 20 March to 17 May 2015 and at the Villa des Arts in Casablanca from 22 May – 19 July 2015. The Rabat event was inaugurated by Salaheddine Mezouar, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

More than 90 objects made by 45 designers from more than 10 African countries, including designers and craftsmen in Morocco, were showcased at the two venues. Lahlou launched the idea for Africa Design Days (ADD) and African Design Award (ADA) in 2014 at the New York Forum Africa in Gabon, where he was an invited speaker. His aim is to promote African talent by enabling African designers to “participate in the momentum of the continent” through their creativity, and to highlight a new generation of designers as well as those already established in the African continent.

Following the success of Africa Morocco Design Days, Lahlou was asked to host a satellite event, Africa Design Days, in September 2015 during Paris Design Week and Maison & Objet interiors fair. The exhibition at Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design featured designers selected by Lahlou. One of his works was included in the Making Africa exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, in 2015.

2015 Teach the Future

Ghita Triki
Head of Art & Culture at Fondation AWB of Attijariwafa Bank

The market was very quiet compared to 2005-2008 but the Marrakech Biennale and some other important events served to reassure collectors about their purchases of works by mature artists. We noticed the appearance of a real hub of emerging artists involved in commenting on or interpreting current affairs and social issues. Despite having visibility thanks to their galleries, the media through which they express themselves (installation, video, interactive environment) remain difficult for the buyers and public to access because they necessitate a discourse.

Nahim Suti
CEO of First Finance

Of course! One feels that there is an awareness of art and of what if offers as a possibility of expression. At Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts of Abidjan, the students are becoming aware of deforestation issues and problems linked to the climate. It is also becoming increasingly common to offer a painting as a gift more than anything else. This makes me think that we are going to inevitably follow the evolution of Asian countries

Barbara Freemantle
Curator of the Standard Bank Gallery

It is great to see how Art Fairs are doing so well.

Touria El Glaoui
Director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

While wildly poetic, contemporary African art is frequently fiercely political in a myriad of ways. I think this touching combination – between lyricism and political resistance and action – is key to its rising recognition. People are certainly
taking note.

Cécile Fakhoury
Gallerist, Abidjan

The main thing I have noticed is the massive return of once expatriated artists. This has a tremendous beneficial impact locally as the interactions and exchanges that follow contribute to shaping and dynamizing the contemporary art scene.

Federica Angelucci
Co-director/partner of Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Of course, the Johannesburg and Cape Town art fairs have really changed our local landscape. The gallery ecosystem in the region has changed rapidly as well, particularly in South Africa. However, the biggest change seems to be the amount of attention paid to the African art scene by the global press. Artists from this part of the world have always been getting on with the business of making art but now it seems to have become fashionable to write about them.

Michelle Constant
CEO of Business and Arts South Africa (Basa)

We are definitely seeing a growth in and support of the visual arts. There are diverse art fairs that now take place on an annual basis: the FNB Joburg Art Fair, the Turbine Art Fair and the Cape Town Art Fair. The Joburg Art Fair has been running the longest and is extremely successful. There is a definitely a taste for buying art in South Africa and the secondary market or art auctions have been growing and becoming more successful

Serge Tiroche
Co-founder of Art Vantage PCC Limited investment fund

We’ve experienced a growing interest in African contemporary art by western collectors in recent years. This encourages big western galleries to add African artists to their roster, which increases the region’s exposure in international art fairs, which generates further academic and market interest. It is a virtuous circle that is well underway in African contemporary that I expect to continue. We now see more evidence that several key players are taking important steps to make African Art more accessible to traditional art collectors.

Theo Danjuma
Collector, London

It also seems that contemporary art from Africa has become a popular topic for art market journalists

Emma Bedford
Director at Aspire Art Auctions

New initiatives impacting on South Africa’s art market include private collections with public profiles and access. Financier Piet Viljoen pioneered this when he launched The New Church Museum, South Africa’s first contemporary art museum which opened in Cape Town in 2012. Such initiatives play a vital role in a scenario where public institutions like Iziko South African National Gallery are poorly funded and struggle to add significant acquisitions to their collections

Maria Varnava
Director of Tiwani Contemporary, London

I can share what I think are interesting developments recently and that is a consistent interest in further developing the discourse around art from Africa and its market. I feel this is interesting because in the past we saw perhaps an interest in the discourse but not the market so now you have both elements working together.

You have international fairs like the Armory in NY and Art Paris in Paris giving a focus platform to art from Africa. In London and New York you have the 1:54 African Art Fair going from strength to strength and Paris will see this year the first edition of AKAA African Art Fair. Also in the auction house sector you the successful Bonhams auctions being joined by Sotheby’s that are just launching the Africa sales.

More importantly you have like never before important positive developments on the continent. You have a growing numbers of biennials, the birth or non for profit spaces, more commercial galleries as well the upcoming opening of a museum of contemporary art in Cape Town. Again in South Africa the Cape Town Art Fair had its fourth edition and is preparing for its fifth. In West Africa we see the first edition of two new fairs one in Lagos and one in Ghana.

This is interesting because it shows there is local interest; so these are fantastic initiatives that will nurture a local collector base that can activate the local art scene for the long gem. This is important because the long term growth of art from Africa also depends on the creation and strength of a local art ecosystem and patronage. The future is absolutely exciting.

Stephen Tio Kauma
Collector, Kampala

The number of people interested in acquiring contemporary art from Africa has certainly grown in the last five years. The explosion of social media has made it easier for people like me to find pieces we like. The last two pieces I bought were through social media and I would have been unable to find them otherwise.

Publisher
Africa Art Market™

Editor-in-Chief
Jean Philippe Aka

Deputy Editor
Anna Sansom

Contributors
Osei G. Kofi

Columnist
(He’s a foreign correspondent and senior editor for a number of media houses including the Reuters News Agency)

Franck Houndegla
He teaches art, design, architecture and cultural heritage, and conducts research on the evolution of the architectural
and urban forms in contemporary African cities.

El Hadji Malick Ndiaye
Curator at The Théodore Monod African Art Museum,Dakar. Researcher in art history. IFAN. Cheick Anta Diop university, Dakar.

Mimi Errol
Journalist & art reviewer

Graphic design
Marjorie Harrold

© 2017 Africa Art Market. All Rights Reserved for all countries. No part of this document may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means without the written permission from Africa Art Market™. Disclaimer: The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended as professional advice or opinion provided to the user, nor a recommendation of any particular approach.

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Introduction

Beyond the long-standing, emotional impetus to exhibit, support and buy African art, the market shows clear signs of structuring. Although it is still a niche –the international auction market for modern and contemporary African art in 2014 was estimated at US$ 31.2 million1, records are regularly broken. And expectations are high. El Anatsui’s metal wall piece Paths to the Okro Farm (2006) was sold US$ 1.44 million on May 15th, 2014 at Sotheby’s New York –the highest price ever paid for an artwork by an African living artist.

The African art sector is also shaping up in terms of infrastructure. A number of museums were inaugurated, or announced, throughout 2014, including the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMVI) in Rabat, Morocco that opened in 2014, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa that is set to open at the end of 2016, and the Fondation Alliances’ contemporary African art museum (MACAAL) that is scheduled for 2017 in Marrakech.

Besides, the flourishing, on-going activity of established art centers boost the art scene, like the Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos in Nigeria and the Raw Material Company in Dakar, Senegal. Some galleries from Africa have become fixtures of the most renowned art fairs in the world, among which Goodman gallery and Stevenson that are both based in Joburg and in Cape Town. Concurrently, art fairs with an exclusive or dominant pan-African focus are burgeoning both in the UK and in South Africa the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, the Cape Town Art Fair, and the FNB Joburg Art Fair, which recorded US$ 2.3 million in sales in 2014, up 30% from last year.

Some galleries from Africa have become fixtures of the most renowned art fairs in the world, among which Goodman gallery and Stevenson that are both based in Joburg and in Cape Town. Concurrently, art fairs with an exclusive or dominant pan-African focus are burgeoning both in the UK and in South Africa: the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, the Cape Town Art Fair, and the FNB Joburg Art Fair, which recorded US$ 2.3 million in sales in 2014, up 30% from last year2.

Biennials -this other compulsory figure that has the art world’s favors, have developed across Africa as early as the 90s, including Dak’art in Senegal, the Bamako Encounters, and the East Africa Biennial in Dar es Salaam. The number of biennials has doubled over the past 5 years, up to 15 today.

Collections focusing on African modern and contemporary art have seen the light of day in a few years time. The collection of the French couple Gervanne and Matthias Leridon, which started in 2000 through the endowment fund ‘African Artists for Development’, now counts about 3000 artworks, while the London-based collector Robert Devereux has put together a collection of 800 artworks in four years. The African art production dating from the end of the 19th century up to now remains chronically under- evaluated. Even the most prominent periods are still low in price.

For the past 5 years, the results of auction sales focusing on the Africa modern and contemporary art at Phillips, Bonhams and Christies have been mixed. However, as a result of Africa’s economic growth, the increasing number of millionaires3, and a maturing taste for contemporary art, the domestic market is starting to fuel the demand. Nigerian businessman Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon owns the largest known private collection on African soil to date, including 7000 artworks, 70% of which are modern and contemporary, and 95% by African artists.

A generation of African collectors who acquire art as an asset class is developing. Consequently, auction houses are prospering locally -for an example, sales for Bonhams Africa in May 2014 raised US$ 1.9 million, up 47% from 20134. 3. From 2000 to 2014, the number of dollar millionaires in Africa rose by 145% compared with a global average of 45%. Source : New World Wealth, Joburg 4. Bonhams Our study’s Top 1005 ranking is dominated by the South Africans in first place (40 out of 100 artists, 53% of the Top 100 auction turnover in 2014) and the Nigerians in second (12 out of 100 artists, 3% of the Top 100 auction turnover in 2014).

Like anywhere else, the development of the art scene relies on an active market and an efficient infrastructure, which are expected to strengthen on the African continent as a whole, while a healthy competition settles in. Knowledge, and a trained eye, will be paramount for future collectors.

Highlights

Africa Art Market Top 100 Ranking 2014
  • The Top 100 Ranking 2014 is dominated by South African artists in first place (40 out of 100 artists) and Nigerian artists in second (12 out of 100 artists).
  • 42% of the 100 artists practice painting, 28% sculpture, and 14%photography.
Art market
  • The number of biennials has increased by 50% in the past 5 years, up to 15 today.
  • Sales for Bonhams in Africa in May 2014 raised US$ 1.9 million, up 47% from 2013.
  • The FNB Joburg Art Fair recorded US$ 2.3 million in sales in 2014, up 30% from last year.
Private collections
  • Gervanne and Matthias Leridon’s collection counts about 3000 artworks (assembled in 14 years) while Robert Devereux’s counts 800 artworks (assembled in 4 years). Both have an average acquisition rate of 200 artworks per year.
  • The largest known private collection on African soil is owned by Nigerian businessman Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon. It includes 7000 artworks, 70% of which are modern and contemporary, and 95% by African artists.

West Africa

The artistic landscape of West Africa is as dynamic as it is uneven. In Nigeria, the art market is burgeoning, so much so that the commercial capital, Lagos, has the highest density of galleries per square meter on the continent after South Africa.

Commercial art galleries play a significant role in diffusing contemporary African art around the world. They often are hybrid structures, such as art centers that sell artworks or galleries associated with publishing ventures. For example, Art Twenty One is a contemporary art space founded in 2013 by Nigerian art consultant Caline Chagoury in Lagos.

It aims to strengthen the growing Nigerian art scene by positioning it on the international art scene and participated in the FNB Joburg Art Fair and the new 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London in 2014. Another example in Nigeria is Omenka, a leading art gallery run by Oliver Enwonwu in Lagos. With a particular focus on Nigerian and African art, it participates in major art fairs, including Art Dubai, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Cape Town Art Fair, Docks Art Fair in Lyon, LOOP in Barcelona and 1:54 in London.

It also publishes a celebrated quarterly print and digital magazine that aims to position Africa on the international visual culture scene. In Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, veteran art dealer Simone Guirandou- N’Diaye has run the Galerie Guirandou Arts Pluriels since 1981. In 2012, the Cécile Fakhoury Gallery opened and stimulated a revival of the art market following Ivory Coast’s recent political and military conflicts.

In Mali, Chab Touré who used to exhibit African and international photography at Gallery Chab in Bamako, opened Maison Carpe Diem (a gallery, cafe and bookshop) in Ségou in 2010. It represents African painters, sculptors and photographers and participates in art fairs, including 1:54 in London and Art Dubai.

“Lagos has the highest density of galleries per square meter on the continent after South Africa”

Private foundations can be found in Benin, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Created in 2005 by the Beninese art collector Marie-Cécile Zinsou, the Fondation Zinsou plays an important role in promoting and exhibiting African contemporary art in Benin. Since its inception in Cotonou in 2005, it has been organizing exhibitions with a view to educating
people about art, especially the younger generations. In 2013, the foundation inaugurated a museum of contemporary African art, the Musée Zinsou, in Ouidah, where it exhibits artworks by major African artists from the Zinsou collection.

In Ghana, the Nubuke Foundation in Accra was founded by Nubuke Investments managing partner and art collector Tutu Agyare and Ghanaian artist Kofi Setordji in 2006. It collaborates with local and international institutions including the University of Ghana and KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) to nurture young Ghanaian artists and promote Ghanaian art, culture and heritage through exhibitions, workshops, residences, a library, poetry and drama. Businessman and art collector Seth Dei opened the Dei Centre in Accra to house his collection, which is curated by the New York University’s Africa House.

In Ivory Coast, the Fondation Donwahi hosts international exhibitions curated by its artistic director Simon Njami. It was founded in 2008 in Abidjan by Illa Donwahi in honor of her father, late businessman, politician and humanist
Charles Bauza Donwahi. Art centers and large-scale art events are crucial for the art scene across the region for building audiences for modern and contemporary art in Africa. Two such art centers are the Centre for contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria, founded in 2007 by contemporary art curator Bisi Silva, and the Raw Material
Company, founded in 2011 by artistic director Koyo Kouoh in Dakar, Senegal, which has an exhibition space and an archive center on contemporary art.

Major large-scale art events include Lagos Photo, the first international arts festival in Nigeria that was launched in 2010 – since its inception, its art art director is Azu Nwagbogu and its main sponsor is Etisalat (Emirates Telecommunications Corporation). Lagos Photo was selected by Art Basel and Kickstarter’s crowdfunding
initiative in order to help it expand into a year-round program of exhibitions and workshops in 2015.

In Bamako, Mali, the increasingly successful Bamako Encounters is a biennale of African Photography that has been taking place since 1994, thanks to the financial support of Mali’s Ministry of Culture, the French Institute (spearheaded by France’s foreign and culture ministries) and the European Union. Bisi Silva has been appointed artistic director of the 10th edition of the Bamako Encounters in 2015. The Dakar Biennale, or Dak’Art, was
launched by the Senegalese government in 1990 and has focused on contemporary African art since 1996. It is a stepping stone for African artists and a key player in the development of the contemporary art scene in Africa.

“A plethora of ventures originate from artists themselves”

A plethora of ventures originate from artists themselves. Among these are the Nike Center for Art and Culture founded by textile artist Nike Davies-Okundaye in four Nigerian cities (Lagos, Osun, Kogi and Abuja) in 1983; Espace Tchif launched by artist Francis Tchiakpe in Cotonou, Benin; the Musée de l’Art de la Vie Activeinitiated by Meschac Gaba in Cotonou, Benin; Unik-Lieu de Création Contemporaine in Abomey, Benin; and Artistik created by Kossi Assou in Lomé, Togo

BENIN

Fondation Zinsou is a private foundation launched in 2005 by Marie-Cécile Zinsou, with her father, French-Beninese financier Lionel Zinsou, as the main sponsor. Mr Zinsou is the chairman and CEO of private equity firm PAI Partners,
based in Paris. His daughter, who grew up in France and the UK, is the instigator and director of the foundation. They founded an art centre in Cotonou, the largest city in Benin, and developed an artistic, cultural and pedagogical program.

The foundation’s annual budget ranges from € 800,000 – 1 million (US$ 1.1 – 1.4 million) and is funded by private and corporate sponsors. It has a staff of about 60 people. Entrance is free, and the targeted audience is school children from 9 to 15 years, followed by their parents. Since 2005, 4.8 million people have visited the foundation, 80% of which are under 20 years old.

“The Fondation Zinsou’s annual budget ranges from US$ 1.1 to 1.4 million and is funded by private and corporate
sponsors. (…) Since 2005, 4.8 million people have visited the foundation, 80% of which are under 20 years old.”

The foundation, an important hub for the modern and contemporary art scene in Benin, is engaged in various types of projects. In 2004, the Zinsou family acquired a throne that had once belonged to King Béhanzin of Abomey (18th century) at a Sotheby’s sale in Paris, a very unique piece for the history of the country that had been on foreign soil since 1894. In 2007, the foundation exhibited a group of Basquiat canvases in Cotonou and also co-produced an exhibition on the Abomey kingdom at Musée du Quai Branly in Paris as well as in Cotonou. It has also provided an
unparalleled opportunity for local artists, including Tchif, Romuald Hazoumé, Zinkpè and Aston, to have their work presented

“In November 2013, the Fondation Zinsou opened the first museum of contemporary African art in Ouidah, 42 km from Cotonou”

In November 2013, the Fondation Zinsou opened the first museum of contemporary African art in the city of Ouidah, 42 km from Cotonou. Musée Zinsou, which occupies a historic Afro-Brazilian building, La Villa Avajon (built in 1922), is open six days a week, free admission. Like the Cotonou art venue, the museum is entirely private and aims to introduce the Beninese to contemporary art. It is popular among school teachers, who can bring their classes thanks to a specially organised “cultural bus”. Its exhibitions are drawn from the foundation’s art collection, which
consists of about 1000 artworks. The inaugural show featured artworks by 14 artists from 9 African countries, representing 10% of the collection.

Interview
Marie-Cécile Zinsou, founder, Fondation Zinsou

“Both my father and I buy artworks, from artists, auction houses, and galleries. I select the acquisitions depending on the exhibition program – we buy artworks that have already been exhibited and others that make sense from an historical and pedagogical point of view for our audience. The collection is designed for the public, as opposed to
a personal collection. We don’t impose any geographical restrictions: artists come from Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, etc. Some are foreigners based in Africa. They range from the most established to the most emerging artists.
We will continue to acquire artworks but we also want to start archiving the present. There is not enough writing material about artists in Africa today. We want to document the contemporary art scene now, because it will be crucial to have such an archive 30 years from now. The program is called ‘Les Archives du Présent’ (Archives of the Present).

“New projects don’t stem from the nation states, they come from the civilians, which is very specific to the African continent.” Marie-Cécile Zinsou

We have been witnessing an explosion of new initiatives on the African art scene since 2005. New projects don’t stem from the nation states, they come from the civilians, which is very specific to the African continent. The old model of the colonial museum is obsolete and the younger generations come up with new ideas, whatever the financial means available. Initiatives like the Apartment 22 in Rabat, Morocco, don’t have a huge budget, but they are very dense intellectually speaking.”

GHANA

Overview
by Nii Andrews

Migrations, intermingling and hybridization provide a useful perspective from which to consider the contemporary art of Ghana. The art reveals a giddy complex of influences, almost always produced by artists who as individuals are cultural composites – no pejorative intent here, but an honest attempt to describe an authentic concrete reality. Judging from their work, these contemporary Ghanaian artists have formed a secure and uncompromising sense of identity.

They are happy to showcase blends of Ghanaian, African and other world influences as they engage the world as it actually exists and as they attempt to envisage and posit themselves into the future. The old categorizations, tropes
and boxes are certainly outdated and hopelessly limited; we need to migrate away from them. The best spectacles to wear is one of interconnections of a world tradition which for now and the foreseeable future appears inextricably linked. That is surely the most useful perspective from which to gaze purposefully on the works in oil, acrylic,
collages, multimedia, sculpture, textiles, photographs, video and whatever else that constitutes contemporary art in Ghana.

Ghanaian society is a vibrant polyglot resulting from migrations; a steaming cauldron of peppery influences
and inflections – some great, some not so great, as it is with contemporary art. Some of the leading artists include
Prof. Ablade Glover, the master of the palette knife who creates order within disorder; George Hughes, a mixed media impresario with a poignant viewpoint; Max Boadi, a promising artist who works with great sensitivity in oil and charcoal, Marigold Akufo-Addo, a consistently provocative interpreter on canvas of Africa’s myths and legends, and Fredrick Oko Matey, a sculptor who is not intimidated by Africa’s formidable sculptural tradition.

The impressive gallery venues where contemporary art can be seen include the flagship Artists Alliance Gallery, The Loom African Art Gallery, The Dei Center and the Nubuke Foundation. Two important private contemporary art collections are those of the industrialist Seth Dei and the consummate stylist, Damali Kelly. We can only continue to hope that soon there will be a public institution that will record, collect and showcase this patrimony.

Focus
Dei Center

Seth Dei, a co-founder of Blue Skies Holdings, is one of Ghana’s most successful investors with stakes in multiple businesses in the areas of leasing, insurance, pharmaceutical manufacturing, fruit processing and marketing. Blue
Skies is a world-leading, freshlycut fruit business generating over $100 million in annual turnover and contributing 1% of Ghana’s total exports. Mr Dei is known to own the largest private collection of Ghanaian painting in the country, comprising 350 to 400 artworks.

He founded the Seth and Carleene Dei Foundation in partnership Focus Dei Center with New York University’s Africa
House, which curates the art collection at the Dei Center.

Overview
by Malick Ndiaye

Dakar, the Senegalese capital, is home to several cultural institutions which may be presented in three categories according to their date of creation. Although the selected examples are far from exhaustive and do not indicate the homogeneity of these establishments, this presentation should provide for a clearer understanding of Dakar’s
art scene.

The first category regards public institutions created in the 1960s-1970s. They form an historical heritage that has long provided a backbone for cultural action. These public institutions include: Ecole Nationale des Arts du Sénégal,
Théâtre National Daniel Sorano, Musée Dynamique, Fondation Léopold Sédar Senghor and the Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor. Besides these heterogeneous structures, there’s also the Musée Théodore Monod d’Art Africain
(1961), managed by the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire and an establishment belonging to the Université Cheikh Anta Diop.

The second group dates from the 1980s-1990s and paved the way for the new dynamic of the 21st century. At this point, it is necessary to distinguish two types of infrastructures. On the one hand, there are the public structures such as the Galerie Nationale d’Art, Dak-Art – the Biennale de Dakar, the Maison de la Culture Douta Seck, and the Village des Arts. Second, there are private establishments such as the Atelier Céramiques Almadies, the Museum Boribana and the following art galleries: Arte, Kemboury and Atiss.

The third category, which redefined the cultural scene, came to life in the 2000s. It accounts mostly for art centres, creation and research: Kër Thiossane, Espace Timtimol, Résidences Vives Voix, Rechercheet de Création, Raw Material Company and ArtHouse. This category has three distinctive features. First, it regards self-funded structures
with precarious financing. Sponsoring and patronage initiatives are not encouraged by legal measures (a long-awaited law in favour of patronage is still under discussion at the Ministry of Culture). A few firms do sponsor culture in Senegal, namely Eiffage Sénégal, Fondation Sonatel and Fondation Sococim, which supports the Musée Théodore Monod d’Art Africain.

Second, these structures retain a characteristically cosmopolitan form. They are rich of the various origins of its
actors. Lastly, they are efficient in their networking approach, which increases their visibility. This is observed in their collaborations with sub-regional and international institutions, or via participations in satellite fairs during the Dakar
Biennale.

These art centers opened in the last decade and all have heterogeneous programs. They are polyvalent, alternative spaces (including artist residencies, exhibition spaces, spaces for creation, research and publishing, development
of knowledge, debates and the diffusion of art) and are involved in multidisciplinary fields (visual arts, theatre, design, cinema, fashion, multimedia). In relation to the extent of ideas from the Senegalese intellectual class, these platforms lead to break out by playing a part in the creation of knowledge, as well as in its spread.

Their cultural activities are connected to contemporary thoughts, subversive practices and progressive ways of
interpretations. These spaces are new independent actors, on the fringe of the establishment, and have been active participants in the global process defining new borders of artistic geopolitics since the late 1980s.

Interview
Sylvain Sankalé
collector, Senegal

He is currently a foreign trade advisor to France and an economic diplomacy advisor to the Kingdom of Belgium, based in Dakar. Sylvain Sankalé has a doctorate in History of Law, Economics and Sociology. “I was born in Senegal, to a Senegalese father with origins from Mali, France and England, and a West Indian mother, whose family roots
can be traced to Martinique, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Lucia and Scotland. Several of their friends were artists, in particular Iba N’Diaye. I learnt very early that it was better to own a small but original artwork by an unknown artist than the copy of a large one by a famous artist! My father gave me my first artwork, in red chalk, when I was 11. I still have it.

When I was 20, my childhood friend, the journalist Marie-Jeanne Serbin-Thomas, came from Paris to research her PhD dissertation about Senegalese painting in Dakar. I visited artists’ studios with her and started to appreciate their
work. I curated my first exhibition of Senegalese contemporary art at the age of 21. My art collection has always grown in two directions – traditional art and contemporary art. Both are equally important to me. The 500 artworks that constitute my collection so far come mainly from Senegal, with a few from West Africa, depending on chance encounters, opportunities and possibilities.

For me, it is almost compulsory to meet the artists whose works I collect. I think that I have met every artist whose work is in my collection.

“In the future, I would like to create a foundation with other collectors. We are already talking about it.”
Sylvain Sankalé

Sometimes, I have bought an artwork before knowing the artist, but the encounter has always followed. Although I don’t have a systematic policy of making my collection available to the general public, I often loan artworks to exhibitions and I am always pleased to invite people to see my collection. In the future, I would like to create a foundation with other collectors. We are already talking about it.”

Interview
Bassam Chaitou Collector, Senegal

Born in Dakar, Senegal, Bassam Chaitou divides his time between West Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He studied in France, where he began his career in consulting and finance, then returned to Africa at the age of 31 to become an entrepreneur. He recently created his own strategic consulting company. “I am fascinated by the universalism of human values and the coming together of civilizations through the arts and economic development,
entrepreneurship and leadership.

Based in West Africa, I travel extensively across the three continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia. I started collecting 15 years ago in 1999. The oldest artworks in my collection date from 1960. Everything began after I’d just got back
to Africa. I came across an article in the daily newspaper Le Soleil titled ‘Chérif Thiam, a painter from the Dakar School : The Keen Eye’, by Joanna Grabski, who was then an American PhD student from Illinois preparing her dissertation about the Poto Poto School in Congo and the Dakar School. Intrigued, I decided to visit the first exhibition of the West African Research Center and discovered the work of major Senegalese artists and a whole artistic movement funded in the 1960s by Pierre Lods.

This is when I acquired my first artwork, Le baobab by Gouye Biram Coumba, an oil painting representing African
myths and beliefs that are essential to Léopold Sédar Senghor and Aimé Césaire’s ideas about Negritude. This painting is still part of my collection. And it was the first stone on which I built my entire collection. It was also the start of my friendship with Joanna Grabski, who has become one of the best specialists of African contemporary art. My collection focuses on one country only: Senegal. It comprises 325 artworks by about 50 artists.

Although my initial intention was to open up the selection to artists from other African countries, I quickly took on the mission to reconstitute the rich cultural history of Senegal. The collection stands at the crossroads of art, history and sociology. I deliberately opted for a vertical reading of art history in one country rather than a horizontal reading that encompasses various countries. Beyond the mere aesthetic component, the collection aims at providing an historical, critical, documented understanding of the major artistic trajectories in Senegal from the 1960s until now.

The collection is becoming more retain only major pieces. It includes well-known names – Iba Ndiaye, Soly Cissé, Ousmane Sow, Seyni Awa Camara, Mor Faye, Viyé Diba, Moustapha Dimé, Ndouts, Fodé Camara –but also lesser known artists, for example the sculptor Djibril André Diop, who will become a safe bet on the market. The total value of the collection is higher than the juxtaposition of the individual values of the artworks because of the collective and historical component, which is difficult to evaluate. The collection includes major artworks as Tabaski – La
Ronde à Qui le Tour? (1970) by Iba Ndiaye, which is regarded as one of the most important African modern art pieces and has been exhibited worldwide for decades.

It also includes rare but less publicized artworks, for example an Indian ink drawing from the 1960s by Ibou Diouf (whose work was shown at the Festival des Arts Nègres in 1966) and about 50 drawings by Alpha Walid Diallo (a Senegalese artist from the Dakar School’s first generation) that represent scenes from historical battles and the great warriors of pre-colonial West Africa. This series of drawings actually documents three centuries of national
history.

I keep on acquiring new artworks. Nowadays, I am looking into Senegalese photography in order to balance the techniques that are represented in the collection. When in Europe, I always visited museums such as the Musée d’Orsay, Musée Marmottan, Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern and Guggenheim Bilbao, and the galleries of the Rue de Seine in Paris. My taste was eclectic, extending from Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism. I was also interested in the exhibitions of traditional African art at Musée Dapper in Paris.

“Artworks from my collection have been shown in exhibitions including ‘Senegalese Art of Today’ at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1974, ‘Short Century’ curated by Okwui Enwezor at MoMA PS1 in New York in 2001, and (…) ‘Africa Remix’ from 2004-2007.’’ | Bassam Chaitou

In 2007, a selection of 130 artworks from my collection was shown at the IFAN Museum of African Arts in Dakar. The exhibition was accompanied by a 200-page catalogue, ‘Trajectories – 40 years of Senegalese contemporary art’,
which is available in universities and museum libraries worldwide. Artworks from my collection have been shown in exhibitions including ‘Senegalese Art of Today’ at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1974, ‘Short Century – Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa’ curated by Okwui Enwezor at MoMA PS1 in New York in 2001, and the traveling exhibition ‘Africa Remix’ from 2004-2007. Another exhibition aiming to present the development of the collection since 2007 is being planned.

I try to act as a pioneer or a researcher. I don’t haunt the galleries and the art fairs because I am looking for things that have not been shown there yet. I like to discover artists before anyone else. So I always meet the artists at their studios or homes. However, I never influence the artist by commissioning pieces.”

NIGERIA

Focus
Auction houses in Nigeria

Since the Nimbus Art Center organized the first contemporary art auction in Nigeria in 1999, which fetched 22 millions Nairas (US$ 230’000), the local market for contemporary Nigerian art has been burgeoning. In 2013, the Nigerian secondary art market was worth 250 million Nairas (about US$ 1.5 million). ArtHouse Contemporary Limited has been organizing two auctions per year, in May and November, since 2008 and TKMG auction house,
resulting from the merger of Terra Kulture and Mydrim, also organizes a yearly auction sale, now in its seventh
edition.

ArtHouse Contemporary Limited was founded in 2007 by Kavita Chellaram, whose goal was to provide a greater transparency of pricing and a wider exposure to the Nigerian and West African art market. Sales have been strong
and steady since the inception. The debut auction in 2008 produced a record sale of 9.2 million Nairas (US$ 77’100) for Bruce Onobrakpeya. More recently, the November 2014 auction made a total sale of US$ 600’000 (including premium). 81 out of 115 lots were sold (70%). It featured artworks spanning from 1955 to 2014, including pieces by El Anatsui, Ben Enwonwu, Yusuf Grillo and Bruce Onobrakpeya.

The ArtHouse auction of November 2014 made a total sale of US$ 600’000 (including premium). 81 out of 115 lots were sold (70%).

Kavita Chellaram also acts as gallerist – she opened a pop-up space in September 2014 where she has already held exhibitions by Kainebi Osahenye and Yusuf Grillo. She plans to open a foundation in Lagos that will host artist residencies.

Interview
Bisi Silva, curator, CCA Lagos, Nigeria

Bisi Silva is independent curator and the director and founder of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. “The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos) is an independent, non-profit, art institution founded in 2007. One of the leading art organizations in Africa, it was established to provide a plat-form for the development, presentation
and discussion of contemporary art and culture both locally and internationally. In addition to promoting media such as photography, animation, film and video, and performance art, CCA, Lagos also encourages and supports the
professionalization of art and exhibition-making in Nigeria and West Africa, as well as the professional development of emerging curators, writers and researchers.

We are not a museum but more of an alternative art space with an exhibition space and a large library. Each exhibition and program features the work of different artists. Over the past seven years we have shown the works of artists including Ghariokwu Lemi, Ndidi Dike, Lucy Azubuike, Kelani Abass, Jide Alakija, Odun Orimolade and many
more, most of which are featured on our website.

CCA, Lagos exhibits contemporary art from anywhere in the world. However, we do feature predominantly Nigerian artists as well as artists from across Africa and the African Diaspora. In collaborations with other institutions and curators, we have featured artists from around the world. We have a very dynamic and innovative public program that provides a discursive platform for talks, panel discussions, round-tables involving artists, curators, art historians, writers and others. All our exhibitions involve the participation of the presented artists doing talks and
sometimes workshops.

We target the widest audience possible. We want to encourage a diversity of people to engage with our programs and some of the themes that we present. Most of our audience is composed of students from the nearby University of Lagos and the Yaba College of Technology’s School of Art, as well as artists and other art enthusiasts. We don’t target schools in particular because of our limited human resources, but there are some that visit regularly with their students.

CCA, Lagos is interested in going beyond being a commercial gallery providing works for sale. It is positioning itself as a critically and socially engaged institution that explores, through art and culture, some of the topics that are important in our society and the world at large. Initially, there was some reticence to our program especially in its presentation of art forms outside the conventions of painting and sculpture.

From the beginning, we have been adamant about widening the parameters of what contemporary artistic practice could be in Nigeria to include photography, video art, installation, performance art, sound art etc. These art forms are now becoming an integral aspect of the art scene. The biggest deficit that the cultural industry faces in many African countries is the lack of government interest and investment.

“We have moved ahead considerably with new initiatives coming to light regularly and the pace is quickening with some individuals building the much-needed museums to professionalize and give more visibility to the field.’’
Bisi Silva

Almost every activity happens without government input. Infrastructure and funding come from abroad – mainly
Europe and America. Corporate sponsorship is negligible too. If this situation continues, then it is going to be difficult to witness real, long-term sustainable growth. We have moved ahead considerably with new initiatives coming to light regularly and the pace is quickening with some individuals building the much-needed museums to professionalize and give more visibility to the field.”

Interview
Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon, Collector, Nigeria

Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon is the founder of the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF), which is the largest private collection of art in Nigeria. “My collection includes 7,000 paintings and sculptures, covering antiques, traditional, neo-traditional, modern, and contemporary art. In 2011, we started a program to photo-document the fast-disappearing cultural festivals and other art scenes in Nigeria and West Africa. We regularly lend artworks to museums and universities throughout Nigeria and internationally.

Every year since 2009, our Graduate Fellowship offers an opportunity for international scholars to spend a month
in Lagos to study and research Nigerian visual art and culture (15 guest scholars to date from the US, Austria, Switzerland, and South Africa). We also sponsor touring competitions and workshops, among which the Unilag/Oyasaf workshop organized by artist and lecturer Akin Onipede at the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos. This workshop aims at providing participating artists with entrepreneurial skills. For the first edition, in 2014, the workshop focused on ceramics, bead and wire works, photography, drawing and experimental art forms, with artist mentors Ato Arinze, Ojetunde Oluseyi, Ayodeji Adewunmi, Boye Ola, Ariyo Oguntimehin, Temilola Marindotin, Adedamola Runsewe and Sola Ogunfuwa.

I started collecting in 1975, when I was a student in Engineering at the University of Ibadan in Western Nigeria and I have been collecting since then. I never stopped. At the foundation, we have all sorts of art in one place, from traditional statuary to contemporary photography. Modern and contemporary art represents about 70% of my collection, the rest being traditional art. I do have works from England, Haiti, Russia, South Africa and Spain – including Salvador Dalí – but non-African art represents only 5% of my collection. With my foundation, I decided to display and promote Nigerian art in Nigeria.

“Every year since 2009, our Graduate Fellowship offers an opportunity for international scholars to spend a month
in Lagos to study and research Nigerian visual art and culture.’’ Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon

I believe that if you want to see Salvador Dalí’s work, you go to Spain. When you come to Nigeria, you should be able to see Nigerian art. We have lent artworks to galleries in Nigeria and museums abroad, whenever there is a need of Nigerian art (recently, an artwork by El Anatsui to the Museum for African Art in New York). In 2013, we donated
18 monumental sculptures to the Freedom Park in Lagos.

I know most of the major artists in Nigeria. Most of my contemporary sculptures are commissions. I have a sculptural garden with about 100 pieces. I stand beside the artists, I am part of the main artist organizations
in Nigeria.”

IVORY COAST

Focus
Art galleries in Abidjan

The Ivorian art galleries landscape is experiencing a rebirth following about 10 difficult years. A few galleries are leading the art scene, including Galerie Arts Pluriels, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, La Rotonde des Arts Contemporains, Galerie Amani, and Galerie Le Basquiat (directed by artist Jacob Bleu). Art historian Simone Guirandou-N’Diaye is one of the pioneers of the Abidjan art scene. She initiated Galerie Arts Pluriels, the first art residency program of its kind, in 1985. The gallery hosts exhibitions by international artists in art, crafts, sculpture, painting and design.

“My artistic activities during the past 30 years are the result of my conviction that African artists, and Ivorian artists in particular, are worthy of competing at the international level. I created Galerie Arts Pluriels to give Ivorian artists
an opportunity to express their vision of the evolution of society and the world they live in. It contributes to help them to emerge and to be better known.” In 2015, Mrs Guirandou-N’Diaye will open a second gallery in Cocody Mermoz.

In 2012, Cécile Fakhoury, the stepdaughter of Ivorian-Lebanese architect Pierre Fakhoury, opened her gallery in a 600 square-meter space. She represents mostly African artists, including Aboudia from Ivory Coast and Cheikh Ndiaye from Senegal. The gallery features artworks by cutting edge international and African artists and participates
in art fairs abroad. La Rotonde des Arts Contemporains is midway between an art center and a commercial gallery,
directed by art critic and curator Yacouba Konaté, and has been supported by the Nour Al Hayat Foundation

since 2008 (Nour Al Hayat is a supermarket chain in Ivory Coast, owned by the Prosuma Group).

Sokari Douglas Camp, Green Leaf Barrel, 2014. photo: Sylvain Deleu


Sokari Douglas Camp, Green Leaf Barrel, 2014. photo: Sylvain Deleu

East Africa

Paradoxically, East Africa has less of an active art scene than the other regions of the continent, even though it is the homeland of several contemporary African artists who have gained global recognition including Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu and Georges Lilanga.

The East African country with the best positioning in the arts field is Kenya, where the first independent art agency in East Africa has been established. The Circle Art Agency promotes and supports the contemporary African art market by exhibiting artists and holding auctions. It is also the administrator of The African Arts Trust, founded in 2011 by Robert Devereux, a collector, philanthropist and former partner of Virgin.

In 2013 and 2014, the agency organized the first two auction sales of East African contemporary art. The latest, in November 2014, featured art from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan, dating from 1970 to 2014. The auction grossed KSH 18.8 million (US$ 210,000) and 87% of lots got sold. Also in Kenya, multidisciplinary artist Jimmy Ogonga created the Nairobi Art Trust/Centre for Contemporary Art of East Africa (CCAEA) in 2011.

The organization is committed to developing contemporary art and culture in Eastern Africa. The Changamoto Arts Fund was initiated by the partnership between the Kenya Community Development Foundation and the Go-Down Arts Centre along with funding from the Ford Foundation. This arts fund focuses on building new audiences for the arts while enriching the Kenyan cultural sector and supporting Kenyan artists economically in the areas of theater, dance, music and visual art.

“Paradoxically, East Africa has less of an active art scene than the other regions of the continent, even though it is the homeland of several contemporary African artists who have gained global recognition including Julie Mehretu,
Wangechi Mutu and Georges Lilanga”

Tanzania, which is the homeland of the artist Georges Lilanga, has several innovative initiatives. In Dar es Salaam, the Nafasi Art space, founded in 2010 with the cooperation of the Danish embassy, is dedicated to contemporary creation. It welcomes 15 Tanzanian artists and offers residencies to international artists. The East Africa Biennale
is a non-profit, non-governmental organization launched in January 2003 with headquarters located in the University of Dar es Salaam. It promotes East African artists by diffusing information about their production to stakeholders in the art sector. The biennale exhibits artworks by East African artists and also has a space dedicated to artists from around the world.

KENYA
Overview
by Osei Kofi

Art in East Africa is arguably the most professionalized on the continent, outside South Africa. There is a riot of genres steeped in traditional, modern and avant-garde art; works created in canvas, leather, batik, clay, glass, marble, soft stone, granite and scrap metal; and prints, lithography and photography. Since the birth of contemporary art
in the 1960s, Kenya has led the way for artists across the sub-region.

Nairobi remains a favoured hub for Burundian, Ethiopian, Rwandan, Sudanese, Tanzanian and Ugandan artists to showcase their best works and fetch top prices. Incubative art centres such as the Go Down, Kuona Trust and
the contemporary art sections of the National Museum offer seminars, tutorials, rented studio space, exhibitions, art retreats and residencies. Every year, East African artists depart for residencies, mainly in Europe and North America.

The synergies they acquire abroad are reflected in the professionalism of their work. The vibrancy of art in East Africa rests on the success of three generations of full-time artists, from octogenarian icons to teenagers with chutzpa. Prominent among the old-timers is Jak Katarikawe, a self-taught maestro called ‘Africa’s Chagall’ for his naïve, dreams-infused storytelling. The Ugandan-born Katarikawe is East Africa’s most lauded artist due to the
instant recognizability and bankability of his work. The first African to have a painting in the Kremlin, Katarikawe has exhibited worldwide and won a string of prizes.

Hamburg’s Museum für Volkerkunde alone has a collection of 140 Katarikawes. Its catalogue raisoné on Katarikawe was the first of its kind on an East African artist. Museum commissioners and private collectors are spoilt for choice
in the monumental stone, marble and granite sculptures of Elkana Ong’esa, Gerard Motondi, Samuel Wanjau, John Dianga and Gakunju Kaigwa. They are spoilt for choice in the neo-Chagall aesthetics of Jak Katarikawe, the horror vacui grotesquerie and brutal chronicles of Wanyu Brush and John Yoga; the art brut of Sane Wadu, Eunice Wadu and Francis Kahuri; the pastoral romance of Camille Wekesa, Yoni Waite and Geoffrey Mukasa; the stained glass works of Nani Croze; the spirit-medium renditions of Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga, George Lilanga, Kivuthi Mbuno and Richard Onyango; the modernist socio-politico commentary of Rashid Diab, Maria Kizito Kasule, David Mzuguno, Anne Mwiti, Justus Kyalo, Sophie Walbeoffe, Ssali Yusuf, Anwar Nakibinge, Meek Gichugu, Collin Sekajugo, Peterson
Kamwathi, Samuel Githui, Joseph Bertiers, Michael Soi, Leonard Ngure, Kamau “Cartoon” Joseph – and hundreds of others.

Several galleries sprang up across the region in the early independence years of the 1960s. Most failed to survive. Ruth Schaffner’s Gallery Watatu, which at one time had 150 artists on its books, prospered for over 42 years but closed in 2012 after its owner Adama Diawara died. The RaMoma closed its doors in 2010. In 2013, Circle Art Agency (CAA) emerged from the ashes of Gallery Watatu and the RaMoma with an exciting programme of “pop-up”
art, showcasing in corporate offices and private homes. CAA’s first and second Modern and Contemporary East African Art Auction held in Nairobi in November 2013 and 2014 were hugely attended, with 90% of lots sold each time and grossing US$ 210,000 in 2013 and US$230,000 in 2014.

Although the figures might be paltry by international levels, they mark a promising start. CAA’s success is partly
thanks to the professionalism of its founders, some of whom have experience in the London modern art scene and, more importantly, encouraging business corporations to become interested in arts patronage. Gallery Watatu had struggled unsuccessfully in the 1980s to get banks and other corporate brands to sponsor art auctions. Clearly, the
idea was ahead of its time in East Africa.

“Art patronage remains overwhelmingly expatriate in the region. (…) However, the situation is changing fast as more Africans, both individuals and businesses, begin to seriously collect. Osei Kofi”

Art patronage remains overwhelmingly expatriate in the region. Indigenous Africans constitute, perhaps, 5-10 % of art buyers. However, the situation is changing fast as more Africans, both individuals and businesses, begin to seriously collect. Notable collections of East African contemporary art include those of Jean Pigozzi, Sindika Dokolo,
Isaia Mabellini-Sarenco, Osei G. Kofi, Marc van Rampelberg, Yoshio Ishida, Manu Chandaria, Samuel K. Macharia, Sandeep Desai, Robert Devereux, Patrick Quarcoo, Nani Croze, Elimo Njau, Anthony Athaide, Joydeep Guha, Michael
Drechsler, Jochen Zeitz, Chris Kirubi, Andrew Njoroge, Mary Collis, Paul Kavuma, and Tony Wainaina.

George Hughes, Scream, 2010

North Africa

MOROCCO
Focus
Fondation Alliances, Morocco

Alami Lazraq founded Groupe Alliances, the real estate development company, in 1994. The largest constructor of hotels in Morocco, the group has also diversified in low-income housing and has expanded outside of Morocco in Ivory Coast and Senegal. An architect by training, Mr Lazraq owns a collection of about 2000 contemporary art pieces, mostly from Morocco and the rest of Africa.

He is also interested in international art, Chinese art in particular. Foundation Alliances, a foundation backed by Groupe Alliances, supports economic, social and cultural development in the Kingdom of Morocco in the fields of solidarity, culture and health. In the arts field, Fondation Alliances financed and created the Al Maaden Sculpture Park within the Al Maaden Golf Resort, at the foot of the Atlas mountains near Marrakech.

The first monumental sculpture park in Africa, it features 12 commissioned sculptures by artists from Morocco (Mahi Binebine, Hassan Darsi, Adiba Mkinsi), Egypt (Moataz Nasr), Algeria (Yazid Oulab), Argentina (Antonio Seguí), India (Sunil Gawde), France (Claude Gilli, Philippe Hiquily, Daniel Hourdé), China (Wang Keping) and Canada (Jean Brillant). Fondation Alliances also promotes emerging creation through its Camera Lucida biannual exhibition of emerging photography.

The Fondation Alliances plans to open a contemporary African art museum in 2017 that will occupy a 7500 square meter space in Marrakech, with an estimated budget of US$ 27 million.

The foundation plans to open a contemporary African art museum in 2017 that will occupy a 7500 square meter pace in Marrakech, with an estimated budget of € 20 million (US$ 27 million). “This museum will be accessible to all audiences, especially the youth, and will offer an important cultural mediation programme –an initiative in line with the transmission, sharing and proximity values conveyed by the Fondation Alliances’’, says Alexandra Balafrej, Fondation Alliances general director.

Focus
CMOOA, auction house, Morocco

The Compagnie Marocaine des Oeuvres et Objets d’Art (CMOOA, Moroccan Company of Art Works and Items) is the first auction house in Morocco. It was founded in 2002 by Hicham Daoudi, who is also the president and CEO of Art
Holding Morocco (AHM). In May 2014, the CMOOA recorded the worldwide auction record for Moroccan art, with an
oil painting by Ahmed Cherkaoui, which sold for 3.5 million dirham (US$ 430,000).

The CMOOA auction sales feature mainly Orientalist and Moroccan painting. It has participated in raising the rating of national artists. In 2005, it recorded its first auction sale above 1 million dirham (US$ 120,000), for an artwork by
Jacques Majorelle. In May 2014, it recorded the worldwide auction record for Moroccan art, with an oil painting by Ahmed Cherkaoui, which sold for 3.5 million dirham (US$ 430,000). AHM is dedicated to promoting contemporary art from Morocco through initiatives such as the Diptyk magazine (featuring contemporary art in Morocco and the
Arab world) and the Marrakech Art Fair, which took place in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, through AHM, Mr Daoudi convinced local patrons to give an annual € 150,000 grant (US$ 200’000) for three years to the Centre Pompidou in Paris toward the acquisition of artworks by artists from the Maghreb.

In 2011, through AHM, Hicham Daoudi convinced local patrons to give an annual € 150,000 grant (US$ 200’000) for three years to the Centre Pompidou in Paris toward the acquisition of artworks by artists from the Maghreb.

Focus
Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Morocco

Inaugurated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in Rabat in 2014, the Musée Mohammed VI d’Art Moderne & Contemporain (MMVI) is the first museum entirely dedicated to modern and contemporary art in Morocco. In a new building of classical Andalusian style with state-of-the-art facilities, the museum traces the development of Moroccan visual arts from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. Budgeted at € 17 million, the project took 10 years to complete. The inaugural exhibition, presented for six months, was titled ‘1914-2014 : 100 Years of Creation’ and featured 400 artworks by 150 Moroccan artists, including Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Chabâa, Mohamed Kacimi, Chaïbia Talal and Hassan El Glaoui.

Interview
Hassan Hajjaj artist, Morocco

Photographer Hassan Hajjaj was born in Larache, Morocco, in 1961. He moved to London at an early age, and now splits his time between London and Marrakech. “In the last few decades, there has definitely been a change on the
African art scene, within Africa and outside Africa. There is still a lot to do, but there has been a lot of light, interest, and a trend on Africa from outside. I hope it is not just a passing phase as we are here to stay. For me, the 2005 Africa Remix, curated by Simon Njami, opened doors, and my work got shown in established museums. Shows like
the African Photography Encounters in Bamako, and people like Simon Njami, among other African curators, have helped the new scene of African artists.

When museums outside Africa take interest in an African artist, the artist gets more recognition and is taken more seriously in the West. It can open more doors around the globe. My expectations for the cultural future of African countries are positive, but there is still a lot of work to do. We should try to make it even better for the next generation

Austral Africa

The most mature market for contemporary art in Africa is South Africa, which in many ways reflects the stability of its economy. The country has a multitude of collaborative artist studios, artist-run spaces, schools and universities for artists and art historians, century-old and recently-founded art galleries,
private collections and stateof-the-art museums. An ever-larger number of artists and critics from
South Africa have achieved international recognition in the past 20 years.

“South Africa had a noticeable presence at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.”

South Africa had a noticeable presence at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Besides the South African
Pavilion curated by Brenton Maart, Santu Mofokeng’s photographs were exhibited next to Ai Weiwei’s
work in the German pavilion. In addition, South African Nobel Prize winner John Maxwell Coetzee curated the Belgian pavilion, which was dedicated to Flemish artist Berlinde De Bruyckere.

The South African art scene began to flourish during the apartheid era and exploded in the 1990s. In
1995, the first Johannesburg biennial, Africus, curated by Lorna Ferguson and Christopher Till, was the
symbol of this coming-of-age at an international level. Today, a generation of established artists such as William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Marlene Dumas, Candice Breitz, Kendell Geers and Irma Stern
share the spotlight with younger contenders such as Zanele Muholi and Billie Zangewa.

“The most mature market for contemporary art in Africa is South Africa, which in many ways reflects
the stability of its economy”

The institutional system in South Africa is based on the European model where the state supports the arts. Unfortunately, the recent economic downturn has seen the public support fade and several art
galleries, art schools and non-profit organizations collapse. Consequently, the commercial galleries
became far more involved in supporting art production, museum exhibitions and catalogues.

Among the commercial galleries, the oldest one is Everard Read (established in Johannesburg in 1913), which represents well-established modern and contemporary artists such as Irma Stern, Jacob Heindrik Pierneef and photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa. The Goodman Gallery was founded by activist and philanthropist Linda Goodman in 1966. Now owned by Liza Essers, the gallery represents over 40 South African and international artists and has been participating in art fairs including Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach since 2003. Stevenson Gallery, Gallery MOMO, Brundyn+, WhatIfTheWorld and Blank Projects constitute the younger generation of contemporary art galleries launched in 2000-2010.

Art from the 19th and 20th century up to contemporary, is found at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery, while
David Krut Projects encompasses an experimental print workshop, a bookstore and a gallery space.
This commercial scene contributes towards providing advice to a growing number of collectors in
South Africa.

In addition to the art dealers and galleries, local auction houses – mainly Stephan Welz & Company
Limited and Strauss & Co – cover the secondary market. Founded in 1968 by Stephen Welz and then resold, Stephan Welz & Co is South Africa’s longest-established auction house with salesrooms in Cape Town and Johannesburg. It has achieved several record prices for South African artists including William Kentridge, Ephraim Ngatane and Cecil Skotnes.

“Two “boutique” art fairs, FNB Joburg Art Fair and Cape Town Art Fair, also drive the modern and
contemporary art market.”

Two “boutique” art fairs, FNB Joburg Art Fair and Cape Town Art Fair, also drive the modern and
contemporary art market. Other fairs include Design Indaba, which is dedicated to design, and Turbine
Art Fair, which focuses on more affordable artworks (below 30,000 rands or US$ 2,600). The newest
venture is That Art Fair, an art fair focusing on younger audiences and collectors that will be launched
in 2015 alongside Cape Town Art Fair.

Private and corporate collections show the strength of the private art sector in South Africa. The Zeitz
Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) will open at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in
2017. It is a US$ 120 million public-private partnership between German collector Jochen Zeitz and
the V&A. It will spread through the nine floors of the historic Grain Silo building redesigned by British
architect Thomas Heatherwick.

Jochen Zeitz commits his collection in perpetuity, underwrites the museum’s running costs and provides an acquisition budget. According to Zeitz MOCAA’s executive director and chief curator Mark Coetzee (former director of the Rubell Family Collection in Miami), the funds were raised in six weeks and the permanent collection is being assembled at the pace of 80 to 150 acquisitions per month.

The Spier Collection is another extensive private collection and a dynamic actor of the South African
art scene. On a smaller scale, there is the New Church Museum, which opened in 2012 thanks to art collector Piet Viljoen who committed his collection of 400 artworks in perpetuity. South African businessman and art collector Gordon Schachat also intends to open a private museum in the near future.

Sixteen universities across the country have Master and PhD level art education. They often have their
own exhibition spaces, including the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery and Substation at the Wits
School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. A plethora of non-profit organizations
stimulate the visual arts communities of the main cities, encouraging professionalism and providing studio spaces, residency programs and workshops.

Prominent museums range from the Johannesburg Art Gallery, established in 1910 to the very recent
Museum of African Design (MOAD). The latter is a multi-disciplinary exhibition and performance space housed in a 1500 square-meter factory warehouse from the 1920s, with 15 meter-high ceilings, and an on-site workshop for artist and artisan collaborations.

While Angola does not appear as well established as South Africa, its capital boasts one of the biggest
collection of African Art on African soil. The Sindika Dokolo Foundation was created in 2004 in Luanda,
Angola, by the Danish-Congolese businessman and art lover Sindika Dokolo and the Angolan artist Fernando Alvim. The purpose of the Sindika Dokolo African Collection of Contemporary Art is to keep African art on the African continent. In 2005, Sindika Dokolo bought the collection of the German collector ans Bogatzke, which represents a quarter of his collection today.

The foundation collaborates with Western museums to increase the visibility of African countries abroad. The collection has been shown in several international fairs and exhibitions, such as the ‘Africa Remix’ traveling exhibition between 2004 and 2007 and the African Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

SOUTH AFRICA
Focus
Spier Arts Trust, South Africa

Spier is an award-winning wine estate, located 50 km from Cape Town and owned by the investment
holding company Yellowwoods. Since 1996, the group’s main community social investment has been
in the visual and performing arts. Spier owns one of the most extensive contemporary art collections
in South Africa, which is exhibited in the group’s premises on a yearly rotational basis. The Spier Arts
Trust’s initiatives include the Spier Arts Academy, whose founding director is Jeanetta Blignaut, the
Creative Block project and Spier Films, all of which aim to support South Africa’s arts community.

The Artist Patronage Programme provides support over a four or five-year period to artists in order
to give them creative freedom. Selected artists include Wim Botha, Paul Emmanuel, Tamlin Blake and
Berco Wilsenach.

Interview
Fred Scott, Stephan Welz & Co., South Africa

Dr Fred Scott, a specialist in modern and contemporary art, is head of the Fine Art department at Stephan Welz & Co. “Historically, South Africa formed the hub of the art market in Africa. The wealth created through the early diamond and gold mining brought the culture of art collecting to South
Africa. Besides a few art galleries and auction houses throughout the country, the launch of Sotheby’s
offices in Johannesburg in 1968 further stimulated the collecting of fine art amongst the South African
public. Contemporary South African art has traditionally been sold through art galleries and recently
through art fairs in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Galleries such as Goodman, Stevenson, WhatIf-
TheWorld, MOMO, Afronova and Christopher Møller making special efforts to introduce the work of
contemporary artists from the African continent into South Africa.

Although operating in the secondary market, the major auction houses like Stephan Welz and Co, Strauss and Co, as well as Bonhams in the UK, are actively sourcing contemporary African art and promoting it by publishing it in their catalogues. Besides purchasing from galleries throughout the African continent, direct transactions with artists via the internet are also creating opportunities for collectors.

“Historically, South Africa formed the hub of the art market in Africa. The wealth created through the
early diamond and gold mining brought the culture of art collecting to South Africa.” Fred Scott

Any shift towards Nigeria would depend on the region’s economic stability. Political and religious turmoil may also be stumbling blocks, preventing Nigeria from taking over the lead as the art powerhouse of contemporary African art.

What could be the main threats to the future of the African contemporary art market?
The creation of an artificial bubble when works lacking real artistic quality are indiscriminately pushed
into the market due to the current hype surrounding contemporary African art could damage an artist’s
market value in the long term. To counter this, advice from reputable galleries and curators should
be considered in order that trust in respect of the worth and excellence of art emanating out of Africa is
maintained. One wonders whether the Ebola epidemic and fear surrounding it could become a factor, hampering sales, growth and the movement of art out of Africa.

What are the most important event(s) for the African contemporary art market in 2015?
2015 kicks off with the 3rd Cape Town Art Fair organized by the leading global exhibition group, Fiera
Milano. The fairs in Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as the UK’s 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair promise to offer more exciting African contemporary artworks. Following in the footsteps of the
newly opened Fondation Zinsou museum in Ouidah, Benin, dedicated to contemporary African art
in sub-Saharan Africa, the launch of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art was announced
in Cape Town. Before it opens in 2016, a selection of works from the Zeitz collection will be on display at a temporary exhibition space in the vicinity of the new museum. These exiting movements will no doubt increase awareness of contemporary African art on the continent.

“It was recently announced that the Nigerian economy became Africa’s largest economy and portions of the newly created wealth is being channeled towards purchasing contemporary art. This is evident from the 22% growth in art sales. ” Fred Scott

What is the volume of transactions on the African contemporary art market? Why is it still small in comparison to other emerging markets like the Middle East, Latin America and China? It was recently announced that the Nigerian economy became Africa’s largest economy and portions of the newly created wealth is being channelled towards purchasing contemporary art. This is evident from the 22% growth in art sales.

There is growing interest in Nigerian art from countries besides Nigeria. While the South African art market is estimated at around 150 million USD, it makes up only a very small fraction of the total global art market. The Nigerian art market is in a similar situation. An under-developed collecting culture, as well as the perception that art collecting is elitist and only for the wealthy, contribute to the fact that these markets remain small.

Sales for Bonhams in Africa in May 2014 raised US$1.9 million, up 47% from 2013. According to the
Deloitte’s Art and Finance Report 2014, the increase of wealthy individuals, as well as growth of the
African art market, has created a new generation of African collectors who are acquiring art as an
asset class. This is creating possibilities for a future art and finance industry as the African art market
matures. It is being speculated that the Nigerian art market is set to take on the more established South
African art market in the next 12 months.

Interview
Emma Bedford, Strauss & Co, Cape Town, South Africa

Emma Bedford is senior art specialist at Strauss & Co, South Africa’s leading fine art auction house in
Cape Town “It is impossible to quantify the volume of transactions in the African modern and contemporary art market as we do not have statistics from across the continent where in many
countries galleries and auction houses are thriving. However, we do know that in 2014 Strauss & Co
took the lead in the secondary market for modern and contemporary South African art having secured
52.2% of the market as against the biggest London competitor (34.2%) and the biggest local competitor
(13.6%). With four auctions per annum alternating between Cape Town and Johannesburg, Strauss
& Co’s annual turnover is in the region of 200 million rands (US$ 17.3 million).

While this may not seem that large in comparison to other international markets, there is no doubt that interest in contemporary African art is growing exponentially with local and international collectors keen to buy into this market. African economies are predicted to boom, raising the prospects of what some pundits have called the ‘African lion’ emulating the ‘Asian tiger’. With increasing prosperity comes the desire to diversify assets and invest in culture. We are witnessing a hunger for contemporary art fueled by the interests and passions of a new generation of collectors.

There are a number of significant drivers contributing to the growing interest in contemporary African art. Rapid globalization has brought increased possibilities for travel and the exchange of ideas. We see ourselves as global citizens: we attend Documentas, biennales and art fairs around the world. African-born artists, curators and intellectuals are studying, living and working abroad – many in key positions. Remember that it was a South African artist, Marlene Dumas, who commanded the highest price ever paid for a living female artist at auction when her painting, The Teacher (Sub A), 1987, fetched US$ 3.34 million in 2005.

“In 2014 Strauss & Co took the lead in the secondary market for modern and contemporary South African art having secured 52.2% of the market as against the biggest London competitor (34.2%) and the biggest local competitor (13.6%).” Emma Bedford

Leading African intellectuals such as Okwui Enwezor are playing a vital role in defining our understanding of contemporary art. All eyes are on the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz
MOCAA) which, under executive director and chief curator Mark Coetzee, will redefine contemporary
African art for local and global audiences through exhibitions at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town
and that will tour internationally.

Designed by the London-based architect Thomas Heatherwick, the building will have its soft opening
in late 2016 and formal opening in early 2017. However, cutting-edge exhibitions are already taking place in the Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion and surrounds, contemporary art appetites for what is to come.
The calibre of African artists and the quality of their art has seen a phenomenal growth of interest in
contemporary African art and artists from their inclusion in major museum and gallery exhibitions to
international public and private collections.

Strauss & Co’s auctions are inspiring increased confidence in the modern and contemporary African art
market as collectors perceive that there is a strong secondary market for quality art with impeccable
provenance, exhibition history and literature. An exponential growth in the South African contemporary
art market over the last few years has seen record-breaking prices achieved for a rare Jane Alexander
sculpture (5.5 million rands/ US$ 513,970), a significant Wim Botha sculpture (966,280 rands/ US$ 90,300), a Robert Hodgins composite painting (1.8 million rands/US$ 168,210), two early William Kentridge drawings (4.1 million rands/US$ 383,140 and 3.1 million rands/US$ 289,690), a Sydney Kumalo sculpture (1.4 million rands/ US$ 130,830), a Penny Siopis early pastel drawing (668,400 rands/US$ 62,460) and a Lucas Sithole sculpture (946,900 rands/US$ 88,490). Further boosting
market confidence, most of these artists had 100% sell-through rates.

Younger artists such as Zimbabwe-born Kudzanai Chiurai and Swaziland-born Nandipha Mntambo also performed well while Ethiopia-born, US-based Julie Mehretu has had her work snapped up by an astute collector. Almost all the works of art on offer at Strauss & Co’s auctions are by African-born or based artists and about 95% were produced between the mid-twentieth century and the present day.”

Interview
Musha Neluheni, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa

Musha Neluheni is the curator for contemporary collections at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. “The Johannesburg Art Gallery has approximately 10 000 pieces in its collections. The four major collections are the Historical Collection, Contemporary Collection, Prints and works on paper, and the Traditional Southern African Collection. We have minor collections of ceramics and textiles. The collections policy of the Johannesburg Art Gallery currently focuses on traditional and contemporary Southern African works. We do however make exceptions to pieces of historical relevance should the artist be missing from the collection.

We usually have at least four exhibitions per annum that draw from our collection, and the rest of the exhibitions feature South African and international contemporary artists. We exhibit artists from all over the world should we accept their proposal. We do however only purchase African modern, contemporary and traditional art. This is to correct imbalances of the past in which very little African art was purchased.

As a public museum, our target is the general public. The museum was left to the City of Johannesburg and its people; therefore we are a free public museum open to the public. The public’s response to the exhibitions differs for different audiences. Some prefer the Historical collection, especially the schools as these works are in their curriculum. But the younger professionals prefer Contemporary art. Our foreign visitors enjoy the
Traditional Southern African collections. Johannesburg is a very cosmopolitan city with such a diverse
audience. We therefore try to be representative of all our collections at any given time.

I think that exhibiting a collection is a way of promoting culture in Africa. Any cultural activity be it art, dance or theatre will assist in promoting culture in any country. Africa as a continent has a long and ingrained cultural history that predates most modern civilisations. I think African countries are starting to regain that history
and embrace it. African artists for a long time focused on what the West was doing as a benchmark for their cultural expression and we have seen that turning around. African artists are really looking internally at an African expression, which has reinvigorated the African cultural landscape.

It really excites me that South Africa and other African countries are once again at the 56th Venice Biennale. It’s a great honour for our young and established South African artists to be able to exhibit on large international platforms. Not only are these artists gaining experience but they are showcasing the depth and broadness of African culture to the world.”

ANGOLA
Interview
Sindika Dokolo, collector, Angola

Art collector and businessman Sindika Dokolo was born in Kinshasa in 1972. Based in Luanda, Angola, the Sindika Dokolo Foundation has thrived to implement cultural, economic and political mechanisms Interview
Sindika Dokolo, collector, Angola for the development of contemporary African art. The foundation has promoted cultural events and festivals in Luanda, produced the first Triennial of Luanda and organized the first African pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale.

“I started collecting at an early age, thanks to my parents. Without being compulsive collectors, like I’ve become, my parents have always possessed an unquestionable and eclectic taste. I grew up surrounded by objects from different worlds. In our home, Degas paintings were hung alongside 18th century Kongo kingdom Ntadi stone statues, Ming dynasty china and American design pieces from the 1950s. There was no dilemma
about mixing Louis XV bergères [upholstered French armchairs] with Scandinavian coffee tables.

What counted was the inner quality of each object and a confident sense of the aesthetic in matching the pieces in a coherent and beautiful way. I was probably around 10 years old when my father gave me my first art piece, which was a Tshokwe anthropomorphic ceremonial axe and he encouraged me to look, touch and learn. With my own four children who are between 14 and 6, each one has received a work that I thought would correspond to their character and taste. Children should get a chance to engage with art at an early age, in the same way that they should to be exposed to a foreign language at an age when learning comes with little effort.

I kept around 400 pieces from the Hans Bogatz collection that I acquired 12 years ago. I bought around 1,500 works from the photographic collection of La Revue Noire in 2010 and over the past 10 years I have acquired, co-produced and commissioned many artworks. I don’t waste time counting as I believe a collection cannot
be appreciated by the number of works but rather by its contextual relevance. For more than a decade now, the collection has been an obsession and fascination for me; my ambition is for it to illustrate, in a sensitive and intelligent way, art on the African continent at the turn of the 21st century.

The exhibition Magiciens de la Terre was a fire starter for the market in the 1990s. The market is growing steadily and it is important that it grows structurally and not just conjecturally based on trends. We desperately need more African collectors or even just occasional buyers in order to give the market a solid basis on which to grow and expand. The 52nd Venice Biennale mainly had an impact on African curators and young African artists and contributed to a general feeling of self-confidence and self-reliance.

“The exhibition Magiciens de la Terre was a fire starter for the market in the 1990s.” Sindika Dokolo

My art foundation has an informal acquisition committee which consists of Paris-based, Cameroonian
curator Simon Njami and Angolan artist and curator Fernando Alvim. We have all been friends for a long time and our appreciation of new artists and taste often match. I also work with art consultant Eve Therond who is based in New York. She travels around the world in search of new talent. She recently went to Uganda, where she found a young artist called Paul Ndema whose work we acquired for the collection. As a collector, what interests me is ‘Africanity’ looking at the African contribution to global aesthetics. I am not interested in origin, skin colour or nationality.

They are irrelevant as far as my collection is concerned. This is why I integrated Warhol and Basquiat in the Luanda Pop show and asked my friend, the Spanish artist Miquel Barceló to inaugurate the African Pavilion at the Venice Biennale with me. The approach of collecting only black artists or artists from certain regions is to me anti-artistic and turns a collection into an anecdotal accumulation of objects. The works become a cabinet of curiosities and kills the elegance and the pertinence of the point of view, it is an unintelligent classification.

The real added value of an African collection of art is to expose the African audience to its own contemporary creation. It is a moral and political responsibility and an effort must be made so that our continent is more integrated in the art world circuits. Therefore, I decided early on that my collection would always be available for free…

“The real added value of an African collection of art is to expose the African audience to its own contemporary creation.” Sindika Dokolo

…for any museum around the world who would be interested in hosting an exhibition. However, I have one
demand in that the museum has the obligation to organize the same exhibition in an African country of its choice. We cannot just accept that African art will never be seen in Africa because our continent is still poor and focused on its primordial needs.”


Malick Sidibé, Soirée des Frangins, 1966

Central Africa

In Central Africa, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo alone concentrate the private and public initiatives in the art field. In Cameroon, socio-economist Marilyn Douala Bell and her late husband, the historian Didier Shaub, created Doual’art in 1991. A non-profit organization, Doual’art aims to support contemporary art
in Cameroon as well as Douala’s culture and urban identity through exhibitions, workshops and seminars.

Since 2007, Doual’art has been organizing SUD: Salon Urbain de Douala, a triennial around art in public space. Other initiatives come from the artists. In 2013, Barthélémy Toguo created Bandjoun Station, a visual arts center
and creative workshop located in Bandjoun, 200 km North of Douala.

The Democratic Republic of Congo was the breeding ground of several artists affiliated with the Kinshasa School, including Chéri Samba, Chéri Cherin and Moké. Like in Cameroon, the leading artists of DRC have launched various ventures to support their fellow artists.

In 2008, photographer Sammy Baloji initiated the art biennale Rencontres Picha and supports the development of visual arts, music and literature locally. Since 2012, Ateliers Sahms, created by artist Bill Kouélany in Brazzaville, has offered exhibitions, seminars and artistic workshops.

CAMEROON
Overview
by Lionel Manga

“On September 11th, 2014 in London, the Jack Bell gallery opened an exhibition by Boris Nzebo, a name to remember. Boris Nzebo is the latest newcomer on the visual art scene of Cameroon, home to the elusive Pascale Marthine Tayou. He had his first solo show in 2013, and the next stop for him will be Miami. The mischievous
Boris Nzebo has some prestigious predecessors at home: Koko Komégné, Ahanda Jean Marie, Hervé Yamguen, Salifou Lindou, Joseph Francis Sumégné, Joël Mpah Dooh, Justine Gaga, Hako Hanson, Max Lyonga, Hervé Youmbi, Emile Youmbi & Co.

Year after year, this group gets the growing attention of an array of buyers from various parts of the world. In fact,
a few of these artists already manage to make a living out of their art. Today, Cameroon is the home of less than fifty known collectors. Two venues are dedicated to art exhibitions, far away from the hustle and bustle: the MAM gallery, owned by Marème Malong, and Espace Doual’Art. They respond to the recent appetite for contemporary
art through thick and thin, with an energy full of passion. Since 2007, the valiant “musketeer” Didier Schaub and his “lady love” Marylin Douala Bell have been organizing a triennial art festival, the Salon Urbain de Douala. As part of this green-red-yellow enthusiasm, Barthélémy Toguo has rooted his new art centre, the Badjoun Station, located in Cameroon Grasslands.
»

EQUATORIAL GUINEA
Interview
Marc Stanes, Museum of Modern Art, Equatorial Guinea

Marc Stanes is the Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Equatorial Guinea. He also separately curates and advises for individuals, galleries and corporations. “At present we have over 100 artworks in the collection. We
predominately collect works from across the continent or artists who have a historic link to Africa. On the whole, we are collecting young and emerging talents but not excluding historic pieces or older artists who have a direct influence on today’s creators. We exhibit and collect historic pieces (often carved items) as they continue to have both a contemporary and historic role in shaping and influencing young artists on the continent.The collection is about quality and stimulating interest.

The collection is only three years old, so we do not have an ongoing exhibitions program. We do however exhibit at various fairs and loan to other institutions in order to utilize the collection. Every time we have exhibited parts of the collection, the response and the interest have been extraordinary. We have a strong association with
Zimbabwean artist Richard Mudariki, but also Zemba Luzamba from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Placido Guimaraes from Equatorial Guinea.

“There is already a trickle down effect with many young artists being able to support themselves through their expression and being able to access the international market, which is certainly taking notice.” Mark Stanes

In Africa, there has to be a dialogue between corporate collections and public institutions. Any art collection and its related exhibitions will help promote the African culture and awareness of the African artistic expression. Our museum is funded by corporate partners for public consumption. Judging by the ongoing international awareness of institutions and collectors of contemporary (and historic) artistic expression of the African continent, and the emergence of art fairs showcasing this talent, I can only see a positive cultural future.

There is already a trickle down effect with many young artists being able to support themselves through their expression and being able to access the international market, which is certainly taking notice.”

E. S. Tingatinga, Life Struggle, 1969

Out of Africa

Interview
Jean-Hubert Martin,curator

2014 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of ‘Magiciens de la Terre’, a one-of-a-kind exhibition that tremendously widened the spectrum of contemporary art. What has changed in the careers of the African artists whose work you included in the exhibition?

The exhibition ‘Magiciens de la Terre’ has not impacted on the careers of all the artists in the same way. For some, nothing much changed: they continued making artworks for their communities and occasionally sent a piece abroad or had an exhibition in a foreign gallery. For others, the exhibition entailed a drastic change, propelling them into the centre of the international contemporary art scene and its intellectual and financial market. Chéri Samba, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and Bodys Isek Kingelez all entered the art market.

They grasped its rules and adapted to make the most of it. Other artists participated in exhibitions from time to time. When invited to take part in exhibitions, Cyprien Tokoudagba, Sunday Jack Akpan and Esther Mahlangu made artworks on site, preferring to make artworks that were often ephemeral and receiving an artist’s fee. Twin Seven Seven, Seth Kane Kwei, Paa Joe, Seyni Awa Camara and Henry Munyaradzi went on selling in their usual networks, outside of the prescribing network of the major international art galleries. For others like Agbagli Kossi, John Fundi or mask-makers Dossou Amidou and Chief Mark Unya, the exhibition did not seem to influence their activity.

How would you describe the impact of important museum exhibitions on the artists’ careers and their markets?
This depends on the artists themselves. Being part of an international exhibition is only a springboard that artists can use to develop a communication and marketing strategy. Not all artists want or have the intellectual inclination to do so. Entering the international market requires energy, ambition and a good understanding of media and commercial strategies, not withstanding time-consuming travel in order to attend art events. Chéri Samba, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and Bodys Isek Kingelez took advantage of the art market and gained international recognition.

In your opinion, what distinguishes the African modern and contemporary art from the other art scenes?
The main difference between the African art scene and other emerging ones is the economy. Brazil, Russia, India and China are all seeing a growing interest in their national art scenes and collectors from these countries support their
local art scene. This is not the case in Africa, except for Morocco, Egypt and South Africa. Also Dak’Art, the Dakar Biennale in Senegal, is a major event. However, Western countries express interest in Africa. The media like covering a positive side of Africa, instead of its political or humanitarian catastrophes. It is also a chance for museums outside
Africa to organize exhibitions that do not depend on the prevailing art market and that can appeal to the public.

Have you noticed any changes in the contemporary art scene in Africa over the past few years?
Thanks to the internet, the African art scene has dramatically changed in the past few years. More and more artists are tackling social issues through photography, video and installation art, borrowing the methods and processes of Western artists. That way, they fit an existing mould. They respond to the market’s demand, as well as the intellectual tendency of the curators that want to include African artists in their exhibitions. This game of offer and demand still excludes many artists who work for their communities and are unconcerned about the art system and its networks. One day, this aspect of reality will have to be taken into account but in order to meet those artists one has to travel, sometimes in uncomfortable conditions, take the time and overcome the bias of the contemporary art milieu.

What helps to promote modern and contemporary African art?
Traveling in Africa in order to meet as many artists as possible, helping them to enter the art market if they wish to, and not forcing them if they don’t; organizing exhibitions in Africa that attract enough attention from the media both in Africa and in the Western countries; and helping to build art scenes in Africa that will provide a context and an infrastructure
to support local artists.

What are your cultural expectations for African countries in the future?
The possibility to develop an art scene that will not be adapted from the Western world, but that will demonstrate the specificities and the uniqueness of Africa, primarily dedicated to the African audience.

The main difference between the African art scene and other emerging ones is the economy. (…) Thanks to the internet, the African art scene has dramatically changed in the past few years.” Jean-Hubert Martin

Interview
Alistair Hicks art advisor, Deutsche Bank

Based in London, Alistair Hicks is art advisor to Deutsche Bank and curator of the bank’s art collection. He is the author of The Global Art Compass: New Directions in 21st-Century Art (Thames & Hudson, 2014) and Art Works: British and German Contemporary Art 1960-2000 (Merrell Publishers, 2000). “Most of the artists that we have in the Deutsche Bank collection talk about breaking down boundaries and offering new horizons. They draw new perspectives on what’s happening rather than give a nationalistic approach. That is why I don’t like to talk about regional divisions of the international art market.

That said, I think the African continent is an area of the world that needs more attention, because people are really interested in it and things will definitely be happening more there. You can see a tremendous excitement in Nigeria. It is where things are changing that art becomes interesting. I talk to the Deutsche Bank clients about artists from all over the world. We advise several collectors from the African continent as well as collectors from elsewhere who are interested in African contemporary art.

I am in touch with galleries in Africa, but I am looking to make greater connections. My belief is that art is about change. In the past five to ten years, I have been looking at African contemporary art far more than before. That does not only reflect a trend in the market. It is also a specific interest that I have developed because I was writing the book ‘The Global Art Compass: New Directions in 21st-Century Art’ and we, at Deutsche Bank, were doing a survey in order to rename the floors of the bank’s group head office after artists from around the world.

We have named floors after Wangechi Mutu, Samuel Fosso, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Zohra Bensemra and Yto Barrada. In the frame of Deutsche Guggenheim, a program of exhibitions organized in close collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum from 2007 to 2012, we have done two major shows with Julie Mehretu (October 2009-January 2010) and Wangechi Mutu (April-June 2010). More recently, we have been buying the works of Kader Attia. I am also interested
in Marcia Kure’s work.

I would not like to make sweeping statements about African contemporary art but one sees certain trends. The sense of identity is fascinating for me and the way the self is not always betrayed in this sort of Cartesian idea of the ego, like in…

“I think the African continent is an area of the world that needs more attention, because people are really interested in it and things will definitely be happening more there.” Alistair Hicks

…self-centered, Western cultures. It is a different sense of self that I see in quite a few artists from Africa. But that’s my outsider’s point of view. What excites me is that sort of energy, the energy that is happening in different places of Africa.”

Interview
Christopher Spring, curator of Northeast, East and South Africa at the British Museum, UK

Christopher Spring is the curator of the Sainsbury African Galleries of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas (AOA) at the British Museum, London. He specializes in contemporary art, textiles, arms and armor, and in the region of Eastern and Southern Africa. Recent publications include Angaza Afrika: ‘African Art Now’ (2008), ‘African Art in Detail’ (2009), ‘African Textiles Today’ (2012), and ‘Art, Africa: Changing the Picture’ (2016-in preparation).

“The collection of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas includes around 350,000 objects, representing the cultures of the indigenous peoples of four continents. There are approximately 300 individual works which are described as contemporary art in the collection’s database. We do not collect across the board in the area of contemporary art in the way that a museum such as Tate Modern could, in theory, attempt to do. Instead we try to acquire the work of artists of African heritage inspired, informed or simply commenting upon African cultural traditions, and whose work can both illuminate and be illuminated by the historical works of art in our collections.

Currently, outstanding work by more than 20 contemporary artists of African descent are to be found throughout the African Galleries, in effect mediating the displays and allowing the curatorial voice to fade into the background. These works represent both the independent voices of individual artists, but also dynamic contemporary standard bearers for long-established traditions which were once portrayed in museums as frozen in time, rather than as living traditions with a vibrant present as well as a distant past.

Currently on display in the African Galleries are works by the following artists: Ann Gollifer, Peterson Kamwathi, Magdalene Odundo, Susan Hefuna, El Anat- sui, Cristovao Canhavato (Kester), Sokari Douglas Camp, Mohamedi Charinda, Gérard Quenum, Fiel dos Santos, Taslim Martin, George Lilanga, Rachid Koraïchi, Khaled Ben Sliman, Robino Ntila.

Currently no funds are specifical- ly allocated to the acquisition of contemporary African art; instead we approach individual funding bo- dies such as the Art Fund when we wish to acquire new works.

In addition, the following artists have been on display in the African Galleries or elsewhere in the Briti- sh Museum, or their works loaned out to other museums and galle- ries around the world: Romuald Hazoumé (‘La Bouche du Roi’ tou- ring exhibition), Atta Kwami, Nja Mahdaoui, Georgia Papageorge, Osi Audu, Chant Avedissian, Rai- mi Gbadamosi, Ibrahim el-Sala- hi, Owusu-Ankomah, Mohamed Bushara, Chéri Samba.

The contemporary art scene in Africa and in ‘global Africa’ is thri- ving, and although it is still easier to make and sell work in some parts of Africa than in others, there’s a lively – and growing – contem- porary art scene in most African countries today. Outside Africa the appetite for contemporary art is growing rapidly. New galleries are opening all the time (certainly in London). The 1:54 Contempo- rary African Art Fair will be having its third edition in October 2015.

Three artists of African heritage ex- hibited at Tate Modern in 2013 and a work by El Anatsui was draped over the facade of Royal Academy of Arts that summer. Asked what, in your opinion, dis- tinguishes African modern and contemporary art from the other art scenes, Christopher Spring answered, “It’s a massive question, so I’ll be brief: Humor, humanity and a lack of irony.”

Interview

Giles Peppiatt, Director of African Art , Bonhams

Giles Peppiatt is Director of Modern & Contemporary African Art at Bonhams.

“We have been holding regular auctions in this category for six years. We are the market leader, our sales are the highest grossing worldwide and we have set nearly all the world auction records for many of the African modern and contemporary artists. I think that the market will continue to grow. Although I think that this…

“Although I think that this growth will be on a longer-term basis, there is a high level of speculation that this market is the ‘next big growth market’.” Giles Peppiatt

…growth will be on a longer-term basis, there is a high level of speculation that this market is the “next big growth market”. I have seen growth, but I am pleased that it is currently well based with genuine collectors rather than speculators. Hence my prediction for a long term growth.

“I do think that Nigeria is becoming an artistic powerhouse in Africa.” Giles Peppiatt

The biggest threat would be if the African contemporary art market became the object of speculation in the way that Contemporary Chinese Art has become. We have seen a significant fall in the values in this market as the speculators have withdrawn. I do think that Nigeria is becoming an artistic powerhouse in Africa. It still has some way to go to match South Africa, certainly in the establishment of a strong and vibrant dealer/gallery network.

The most important events of 2015 are the Venice Biennale in early May, Bonhams’ Africa Now auction held in London late May and the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair held in London in October. It is true that the volume of transac- tions on the African contemporary art market is still well below other emerging markets including the Middle East, Latin America and China. But the trend is going in the right direction. I do believe that in 10 years’ time the market will be challenging these other areas.

The African contemporary art market in Western countries will continue to grow in the next few decades. We are seeing new Contemporary African Art galleries being started in London and other auctions being established. But I do believe it will take time.”

Interview
Kenneth Montague, collector, Canada

“I started collecting seriously in 1997; my main interest was contemporary African photography. Over time the collection has broadened to include painting, sculpture and design. I initially acquired work from places where the archive of historical African photography had first been recognized, documented and celebrated: Bamako (Seydou Keïta, Malick Sidibé), Lagos (J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere) and Johannesburg (Jürgen Schadeberg, David Goldblatt). With more research and exposure to the myriad of art histories, my collection now reflects a more diverse selection of work from Africa and throughout the diaspora. Today, I have over 300 pieces by numerous artists.

I was lucky to have parents who exposed me to the power of art as a child. Many weekends were spent at the Detroit Institute of Arts (across the river from my birthplace in southern Canada) where I first saw the Harlem Renaissance photography of African American icon James Van Der Zee. As a teenager, I volunteered as a tour guide at the North American Black Historical Museum, where I learned about the complicated legacy of slavery in the Americas and stories of the Black Atlantic. All of this led to a passionate interest in African history and ultimately, contemporary art.

My very first acquisition was a gift from my aunt, who was a civil rights advocate in New York City. She became friends with Alexander Calder and in 1975 commissioned him to create a series of prints celebrating the 25th anniversary of her organization, the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. Our Unfinished Revolution was one of Calder’s last completed works, and my aunt presented me with her complete set when I graduated from university; this became the impetus for my subsequent collecting activity.

I am frequently asked to lend important works from the Wedge Collection to international exhibitions at major institutions, including the Studio Museum in Harlem (works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye), the Nasher Museum of Art (works by Barkley L. Hendricks), the Frist Center for the Visual Arts (works by Carrie Mae Weems), and the Art Gallery of Ontario (works by Mickalene Thomas). I also enjoy creating shows from existing works in my collection. Some of these exhibitions are ‘Head Rooms’, about hair as a signifier of black identity, ‘Becoming,’ on the history of black portraiture, ‘Always Moving Forward,’ about contemporary African photography, and ‘Position As Desired,’ an exploration of African Canadian identity.

Whenever possible, I meet with the artists whose work I collect. Meeting the artist adds an important human dimension, and I always learn something new about the meaning of the work. I have become close friends with many of the artists in my collection.”

Interview
Robert Devereux collector, UK

Robert Devereux is chairman of the Tate’s African acquisition committee and a founder of the African Arts Trust. In 2010, he sold two- thirds of his Post-War British art collection in aid of the African Arts Trust, raising £4.73 million.

“I started collecting art in the early 1980s. After collecting Post-War British art, I have focused on African contemporary art, with a specific interest in emerging artists. I came across the African art scene in my travels around Africa 15 years ago. My collection, which now comprises 800 artworks, is very eclectic. My selection process is intuitive, I buy something if I love it. I have artworks from all over Africa, with a slight bias towards East and South Africa as that is where I spend most of my time.

Through the African Arts Trust, which I set up in 2010, I decided to support grassroots art organizations that provide local artists with practicalities for being a professional, full-time artist, with studio spaces, better resources and exposure. We recently supported the not-for-profit organisation Kuona Trust Centre for Visual Arts in Kenya and 32° East Uganda Arts Trust, among others. I like to meet with the artists whose work I have bought, to build a relationship. Buying art is more than just about specific objects.”

Interview
Gervanne and Matthias Leridon, collectors, France

Gervanne and Matthias Leridon have been collecting African contemporary art since 2000. Mat- thias Leridon is president of Tilder, a communications consulting firm. His wife, who used to be an auctioneer, now manages the couple’s endowment fund called African Artists for Development, which backs community development projects in Africa, associated with works by contemporary African artists.

“I would say that the start of our adventure into the heart of African contemporary art dates back to the exhibition ‘Magiciens de la Terre.’ For me, this exhibition was an artistic revelation similar to my encounter with the continent at the age of 12. Our inclination then grew through numerous trips to Africa and encounters with contemporary art there.

We started to buy artworks regularly in the 2000s, without having yet made the decision to actually build a collection. One of the first important paintings that we acquired was L’Espoir Fait Vivre (1989) by Chéri Samba. This emblematic piece is the “birth certificate” of our collection.

“I am interested in contemporary art in the broad sense. For me, it is a global vision of life where art

flourishes.” Matthias Leridon

Today, there are about 3000 artworks in our collection, including pieces by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Chéri Chérin, David Goldblatt, Pieter Hugo, Abdoulaye Konaté, George Lilanga, Gonçalo Mabunda, Hassan Musa, Guy Tillim and Dominique Zinkpè. We are interested in many forms of art, inside and outside Africa. When she was an auctioneer, my wife specialized in contemporary art. I was fascinated by Alechinsky and was lucky enough to own some of his major pieces. I am also very keen on the art of Richard Texier, a great French artist who is strangely more famous abroad than in France.

I am interested in contemporary art in the broad sense. For me, it is a global vision of life where art flourishes. That is why I have always been interested in design and contemporary choreography. Although I often lean towards African designers, I like the creative, magical optimism of the Campana brothers from Brazil. It is time to link contemporary art from Latin America and Africa.

For our collection, we focus on artists from Sub-Saharan Africa. We buy by following our heart rather than our mind.

An artwork can seduce both of us instantly, but in most cases we don’t immediately share the same view. Our resulting conversations about whether we should add this or that artwork to our collection remain intense and passionate memories. We want to live with pieces that we love. Our collection does not aim to be exhaustive; it witnesses human encounters, artistic emotions and experiences. Through these artworks, we seek the artists’ vision of their continent and the future of the world as well as their aesthetic input.

We have already loaned our artworks to the museums or art centers that have requested them, as long as their project has been meaningful for the artist. Artworks are supposed to engage with a public audience. We would like our collection to be more visible and we are thinking about a large-scale project that would make sense between Europe and Africa.

We know most of the artists in our collection. Meeting them is a way for us to better understand their works and their personalities. What we really appreciate above all is the relationship between the artist and their oeuvre. An artwork always appears more complex, rich and global when its author describes it.”

Focus
David Adjaye, architect, United-Kingdom

Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye was born in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, in 1966. He has lived in London since the age of 9, and graduated with an MA from the Royal College of Art in 1993. He established his first architectural studio with William Russel, before establishing his own practice Adjaye Associates in 2000.

Recent projects include the Moscow School of Management (2010), the Cape Coast Museum of Slavery (current), the Roksanda Ilincic store in London (2014), the Aïshti Foundation in Beirut (current), collaboration with artist Doug Aitken (The Source, Tate Liverpool, 2013), space de- sign for exhibition All the World’s Futures (Venice Biennale, 2015), furniture design Double Zero (Moroso Collection, 2015).

In 2009, his firm was one of the four who were selected to design the $500 million Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is scheduled to open in Washington in 2016. Adjaye Associates was also chosen to design the new Studio Museum in Harlem, a $120 million project that will more than double the museum’s space (completion scheduled for 2019). David Adjaye is currently a visiting professor at Yale.

Focus
Franck Houndégla scenograph, France

Paris-based designer Franck Houndégla specializes in exhibition design, set design, and enhancement of public spaces and heritage sites. He teaches art, design, architecture and cultural heritage, and conducts research on the evolution of the architectural and urban forms in contemporary African cities.

His projects have been seen in Western and Eastern Europe, Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, DRC, Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia), Middle East, the United States and the West Indies.

Recent projects include ‘Liaisons Urbaines’, a programme of improvement and transformation of public spaces in three African cities (Porto-Novo, Ndjamena, and Casablanca) in 2012-2015, the exhibition design for ‘African Odysseys’ (The Brass, Brussels) in 2015, for ‘Brueghel, Cranach, Titian, van Eyck. Treasures of Brukenthal’s collection’ (Villa Vauban, Luxemburg) in 2011, and for the 9th Biennale of Photography in Bamako in 2011, as well as the design of sce- nic devices for two plays by Philippe Minyana in 2010-2012.

Ranking

Methodology

Given the specifics of the burgeoning African modern and contemporary art market, it is essential to go beyond auction results alone in order to analyze it. This study ranks the 100 artists who obtained the best scores according to five weighted criteria:

  1. turnover at auction in 20141 (25%)
  2. medium price of characteristic artworks on the first market(25%)
  3. number of exhibitions in museums throughout career(20%)
  4. number of exhibitions at commercial galleries throughout career(20%)
  5. level of recognition among independent art critics(10%)
4 artist profiles

4 different artist profiles emerged through the analysis:

    • Global – The Global profile includes artists who are recognized internationally in both the museum and the commercial worlds, with stable prices on the first and the second markets.
    • Undervalued – The Undervalued profile includes artists with a strong presence on the art scene, both in the non-profit and the first market sectors. Their artworks ap- pear sporadically on the second market, with undervalued prices.
    • High Potential – The High Potential profile includes artists whose recognition in the art circles is underway. Their presence is stronger in museums than in commercial galleries. Their artworks are hardly seen on the second market
    • To watch – The To Watch profile includes emerging artists whose first artworks have recently been seen on the second market for the first time.

For this study’s purposes, the Global and the Undervalued profile can be split in two according to the artists’ birth dates:

    • Modern: artists who were born before1940.
    • Contemporary: artists who were born after 1940.

Publisher
Africa Art Market™

Editor-in-Chief
Jean Philippe Aka

Contributors
Osei G. Kofi

Columnist
(He’s a foreign correspondent and senior editor for a number of media houses including the Reuters News Agency)

Tutela Capital

Malick Ndiaye

Researcher in art history.IFAN. Cheick Anta Diop university, Dakar.

Mimi Errol
Journalist & art reviewer

Lionel Manga

Art reviewer & curator

NII B. Andrews

MD Art lover & reviewer

© 2017 Africa Art Market. All Rights Reserved for all countries. No part of this document may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means without the written permission from Africa Art Market™. Disclaimer: The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended as professional advice or opinion provided to the user, nor a recommendation of any particular approach.

 

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Hannah O’leary

Director, head of modern& contemporary African art at Sotheby’s, gives us some insights

Giles Peppiatt

Director,head of modern & Contemporary African art at Bonhams, gives some insights

Frank Kilbourn

Chairman of Strauss & co auction house,gives some insights

Marc Spiegler

Global director of Art Basel, on the contemporary African art soaring market

Suzanne Pagé

Artistic director at The Fondation Louis Vuitton, speaks

Serge Tiroche

Co-founder of Art Vantage PCC Limited investment fund

Jean Hubert Martin

Curator, gives us his vision of African contemporary art

Alistair Hicks

Former curator, Deutsche Bank art Collection, on the contemporary African art market

Barbara Freemantle

Curator of the Standard Bank Gallery, on corporate collection

Sindika Dokolo

Major Collector, speaks

Prince Yemisi Shallon

Major collector, owner of  Africa-based largest art collection known to date,speaks

Robert Devereux

Global director of Art Basel, on the contemporary African art soaring market

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This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors. It might say something like this:

Hi there! I’m a bike messenger by day, aspiring actor by night, and this is my website. I live in Los Angeles, have a great dog named Jack, and I like piña coladas. (And gettin’ caught in the rain.)

…or something like this:

The XYZ Doohickey Company was founded in 1971, and has been providing quality doohickeys to the public ever since. Located in Gotham City, XYZ employs over 2,000 people and does all kinds of awesome things for the Gotham community.

As a new WordPress user, you should go to your dashboard to delete this page and create new pages for your content. Have fun!

Privacy Policy

Africa Art Market takes the privacy of its users seriously. We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our users while providing a personalised and valuable service. This Privacy Policy statement explains the data processing practices of Africa Art Market. If you have any requests concerning your personal information or any queries with regard to these practices please contact us by e-mail at contact@africartmarket.today

Our sites contain links to third party sites which are not subject to this privacy policy. We recommend that you read the privacy policy of any such sites that you visit.

Information Collected

Personal information is collected by Africa Art Market. Africa Art Market is registered with the France Information Commission as Data Controllers in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulations 2018. References in this privacy policy to “we”, “us”, “our” or similar terms refer to the Africa Art Market operating the relevant website and references to “Africa Art Market sites” refer to any of our websites from which you have accessed this privacy policy.

We collect personally identifiable information about you (your “Data”) through:

  • the use of inquiry and registration forms

  • your purchase of any our products or services

  • registration and playing Africa Art Market Forecaster competitions

  • participation in market research and surveys

The elements of your Data that we collect may include:

  • Name

  • Job title

  • Company name

  • Company address, phone and fax number

  • Home address and phone number

  • Mobile telephone number

  • E-mail address

  • Market research data (such as art collecting interests, habits, opinions, predictions)

  • Usage statistics

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

We use your Data for purposes which may include:

  • providing our users with a personalized services

  • processing orders, registrations and inquiries

  • conducting market research surveys

  • allowing users to participate in interactive features of our service, where they choose to do so

  • running competitions and promotions

  • providing you with information about products and services we offer (if you agree to receive such information)

  • monitoring compliance with our Terms and Conditions and Copyright Policy

If you wish to receive information about Africa Art Market products or services, please indicate your preferences using the consent boxes when providing us with your Data.

We may also disclose your information in accordance with a properly executed court order or as otherwise required to do so by law. We reserve the right to fully co-operate with any law enforcement authorities or court order requiring or requesting us to disclose the identity or other usage details of any user of our sites.

We also use information in aggregate form (so that no individual user is identified by name):

  • to build up marketing profiles

  • to aid research

  • to manage our relationship with sponsors and advertisers

  • to audit usage of the site.

We use technology on some of the pages of our websites, which may record user movements, including page scrolling, mouse clicks and text entered. It will not record financial information such as credit or debit card details. The data we collect in this way helps us to identify usability issues, to improve the assistance and technical support we can provide to users and is also used for aggregated and statistical reporting purposes.

Security Policy

Africa Art Market have appropriate measures in place to ensure that our users’ Data is protected against unauthorized access or use, alteration, unlawful or accidental destruction and accidental loss.

Transfer of Data

The Internet is a global environment. Using the Internet to collect and process personal data necessarily involves the transmission of data on an international basis. Therefore, by browsing the Africa Art Market and communicating electronically with us you acknowledge and agree to our processing of personal data in this way.

User Access and Control of Data

If you wish to amend any of the Data which we hold about you, or update your marketing preferences, please contact us at contact@africartmarket.today.

All users

In accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018, you may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you by contacting us at contact@africartmarket.today.

Children Under 14

We do not intentionally collect any information on children under 14 years of age. We will undertake to delete any details of such users where a parent or guardian has notified us that any such details have been obtained.

Changes to this Policy

This policy is effective from 1st Jan 2019. From time to time we may make changes to this privacy policy statement to reflect any changes to our privacy practices in accordance with changes to legislation, best practice or website enhancements.

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