Enwonwu, Onobrakpeya, African modern, contemporary artists for 21st Arthouse auction

The late iconic artist, Ben Enwonwu, at work in his studio

Arthouse Contemporary will hold the 21st edition of its auction of modern and contemporary art tomorrow, November 19, 2018, at 6.00 p.m. A preview, which started on Friday, November 16, ends today.

This edition marks the 10th year anniversary of Arthouse Contemporary’s auctions, which started in May 2008. Arthouse holds three auctions yearly.

A statement from the auction house noted that being in the forefront of contemporary African art “becoming one of the fastest growing global art markets, Arthouse, in the November 2018 edition, will feature works of masters from the modern era and cutting-edge contemporary art of the region’s most celebrated artists.”

The statement lists modern masters such as, Ben Enwonwu, Akinola Lasekan, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Ben Osawe, Tayo Adenaike, Chuks Anywanwu, Abayomi Barber, Okpu Eze, Ablade Glover, Rufus Ogundele, Simon Okeke, and Kolade Oshinowo, among others, as featuring in the auction.

“Leading contemporary artists in the auction include, El Anatsui, Peju Alatise, Gerald Chukwuma, Alimi Adewale, Sokari Douglas Camp, Lemi Ghariokwu, Rom Isichei, Chike Obeagu, Nnenna Okore, Abiodun Olaku, Ben Osaghae and Kainebi Osahenye.”

The auction, according to Arthouse, will include, three charity lots from Johnson Uwadinma, Muraina Oyelami and Nwachukwu Ike, in support of Arthouse Foundation, the nonprofit artist residency programme based in Lagos.

It noted: “The Arthouse Foundation provides a platform for artists to expand their practice and experiment with new art forms and ideas, offering live/work residencies throughout the year in three-month residencies.”

Sponsored by Kia Showroom, Veuve Clicquot, 7UP and Shiro, the auction will be conducted by auctioneer, John Dabney.

“Over the last decade, Arthouse Contemporary has pioneered the promotion and development of the contemporary art market in Nigeria. It has created a viable secondary market and a transparent pricing structure, allowing for collectors to feel secure about Nigerian art as an investable asset. Arthouse has set auction records of artists such as, Enwonwu and Onobrakpeya. In the last 10 years, Arthouse has sold over N2 billion worth of art, auctioning 1,750 lots. It has also worked to build a new group of collectors with the Affordable Art Auction, which targets young professionals and first time buyers.

“The auction house has continued to expand outside of its auctions, organising exhibitions of contemporary art with Arthouse – The Space. Exhibitions include, solo projects by Peju Alatise, Diseye Tantua, Chidi Kwubiri, Eva Obodo, George Osodi, Victor Ekpuk and Emeka Udemba. Of particular note is the exhibition of legendary master artist Yusuf Grillo, presenting the artist’s oils and stained glass works. Arthouse-The Space has also exhibited at international art fairs, including Art 14 in London and Art X Lagos.”

Arthouse has also developed a non-profit entity, the Arthouse Foundation, which offers artist residencies in three-month sessions in Lagos. The artist residency programs engage the public by offering workshops, open studios and artist talks, as well as final exhibitions. In the last three years, the Arthouse Foundation has hosted 16 artists in residency programmes.

The Arthouse Foundation also partners with international art institutions to offer residency exchanges, including an exchange with the Matadero Museum in Madrid for Nigerian and Spanish artists, and an exchange with the Goethe-Institut in Berlin for Nigerian and German artists.

“As Arthouse moves into the next decade, it aims to expand its growing online presence and build on its extensive client network. In 2018, Arthouse introduced the ‘Artist of the Month’ on its website, offering artworks for sale on the Internet. It is also working to offer live bidding on its web platform. Arthouse also aims to expand its international partnerships, bringing exhibitions of modern and contemporary Nigerian art across the globe.”

Founded in 2007, Arthouse Contemporary is an international auction house that specialises in modern and contemporary art from West Africa. With auctions held three times a year in Lagos, Arthouse Contemporary aims to create awareness of the scope of contemporary art in the region, encourage international recognition towards its talented artists, and strengthen the economy of its art mark.

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