The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the appreciation of contemporary African Art. This meteoric rise in global attention has led to increasing international acclaim and skyrocketing prices. It is against this backdrop that The African Art Series is delighted to introduce the first of their pop-up art investment events taking place at the prestigious Bvlgari Hotel London.
The inaugural pop-up runs from Thursday 7th October to Saturday 9th October and begins at 6 pm with a private drinks reception in a stunning Bvlgari Suite. The specially invited guests, many from the 2021 Powerlist, such as Vogue UK Editor in Chief Edward Enninful, grime artist Stormzy, rugby player Maro Itoje and actor John Boyega. The Patron of the series Yvonne Fasinro, Nigerian banker and philanthropist, will enjoy a talk by the Director of the African Art Department at Sotheby’s, Hannah O’Leary.
O’Leary will discuss the unprecedented growth in the African Art market which has seen Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African Art sales achieve over 80 world records in just 4 years. The high profile guests will then enjoy a private viewing of the exhibition in the magnificent Bvlgari Ballroom. A proportion of the proceeds from the sale of the selected artwork will be going to the Adara Foundation; a charity that provides education and training for women and youth, supporting the development of SMEs and enabling the promotion of African art and culture.
On the following day, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th October, from 12 pm to 9 pm, the event will open its doors to all. Allowing the public to appreciate the diversity and creativity of the paintings, sculptures, ceramics, prints and photography by new and established African artists from across the continent and its diaspora. In conjunction with Sotheby’s, the Curator of the first edition in the series, Lisa Anderson, has carefully handpicked inspirational and incandescent artworks that unapologetically luxuriate in the ‘Luminosity’ of African art. The chosen pieces all celebrate the creative depth and technical flair of the artists, presenting them as fruits of Africa’s myriad expressions of opulence, beauty and enjoyment.
Among the dozen artists on display is Ben Enwonwu, arguably the most influential African artist of the twentieth century. In 2018, after decades spent furnishing the wall of a north London flat, Enwonwu’s long thought missing masterpiece Tutu was auctioned for £1.2m, wildly exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £300,000. Two years ago his portrait Christine sold for £1.1m more than seven times its valuation. And at Sotheby’s most recent sale, his bronze “Atlas” set a new world record for a sculpture by the artist in its first appearance at auction selling for £378,000.
Another highly-regarded artist whose work is also at this event, is renowned Ghanaian sculptor, El Anatsui. Known for his striking large-scale installations made from bottle caps and other found materials, his pieces come to resemble woven tapestries and Ghanaian kente cloth. Many of El Anatsui’s striking sculptures are without fixed form, breaking the tradition of the medium. This approach coupled with his wish that curators decide how to hang his work allows his pieces to take on a new shape each time they are displayed.
The African Art Series is the brainchild of Cas Ojo, MD, The Luxury Network Nigeria; a leading Business Club for luxury brands in Nigeria. Ojo and her team have been working with luxury brands across the African continent for over 10 years, creating partnerships and opportunities that challenge some of the widely held misconceptions and cliches about Africa. She is passionate about celebrating the increasing appetite for African art and feels the Series is the ideal vehicle to bring these works to a wider audience in prestigious locations around the world. With London dominating the specialised sales of African Art, Ojo felt it was the perfect location in which to launch.
“I am excited about Luminosity, the inaugural event of The African Art Series,” said Cas Ojo. “With contemporary African art capturing the attention and imagination of the public and collectors alike, it is thrilling to bring these incredible pieces and wonderful artists to a wider audience particularly in such a magnificent setting as Bvlgari Hotel London.”
Private Viewing will take place from 6 pm - 9 pm on Thursday 7th October.
Public Viewing will take place from 12 pm - 9 pm on Friday 8th October and Saturday 9th October.
Please contact us if you would like to attend the Private Viewing.