This year, the Contemporary African Art Spring can truly be said to start in Paris as the Art Paris Art Fair focuses on works from Africa. A key part of this celebration of African culture is an auction of Contemporary African Art at Piasa, the leading Parisian auction house, on April 20th.
's successful sales in October 2014, June 2016 and November 2016 have shown the market for Contemporary African Art is no passing trend but established on a sound footing.
The auction will articulate two main themes: African Faces & the Environment. It takes place in the middle of what could be described as an African Spring in Paris', a busy schedule for African art in Paris which includes the following three events - Art Paris Art Fair, Fondation Louis Vuitton exhibition focusing on the Swiss Pigozzi Collection and South African artists, Africa Aperta festival in La Villette.
Piasa's Contemporary African Art sale is led by a powerful work by William Kentridge - South Africa's top contemporary artist - coming from a French collection that will be for sale at Piasa auction house on April 20 in Paris, part of a sale of Contemporary African Art that this leading French auctioneer specializes in. It is estimated to sell for 80,000 120,000.
It was exhibited at the Fondation Blachère in Apt, South of France in the exhibition: Visibles/Invisibles, l'Afrique urbaine et ses marges in 2015.
William Kentridge, drawing between poetry and politic
William Kentridge is a third-generation South African of Lithuanian-Jewish heritage. He is the son of the prominent South African lawyers and activists Sydney and Felicia Kentridge, both of whom have had distinguished anti-apartheid backgrounds. Sydney played a leading role in a number of the most significant political trials in South Africa, including the Treason Trial of Nelson Mandela and the 1978 inquest into the death in police custody of leading anti-apartheid activist, Stephen Biko.
Their son, William Kentridge (born 28 April 1955) is South Africa's best known artistic export best known for his prints, drawings and animated films many of which focus on the injustices of the past.
The drawing for sale evokes his research on the fragmentation of time and action. In his practice, Kentridge tears, gathers and assembles shapes. The work is typical of his technique - partly erasing his drawings, reworking and restarting again and again. In his work time is superimposed and the past never really disappears.
On the subject of this monumental gouache and charcoal on paper, it is hard to tell whether the chin directed downwards is a posture of submission or power, if the closed eyes are the ones of dream or of death.
Christophe Person, who heads the Contemporary African Art department at Piasa in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, says: My goal for these auctions has been to show how artists from Africa and the Diaspora make the connection between their African identity and their openness to the world, acquired through their various experiences outside of the continent. That is the reason why I call the auctions: Origins and Trajectories', which sums up the type of works I like to show