Saturday 5 April 2014

For TKMG auction, masters’ old themes chase the mega bucks

By Tajudeen Sowole

Whoever is still in doubt of the prospect of Nigeria's secondary art market may need to see how the established masters are making strong appreciation from their old themes.

Such masters like El Anatsui, Abayomi Barber, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Kolade Oshinowo as well as Abiodun Olaku are lifting the status of the Nigerian secondary art market, so suggests the texture of some of the lots for next auction of TKMG.

A Painting from the Landscape Series of Abayomi Barber among the lots for the TKMG auction

 In it’s seventh edition, which starts with preview from Sunday, April 6 to Thursday and auction on Friday, 11, 2014 at Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, TKMG will be presenting what it describes as “exquisite pieces of art.”  

During a media preview, Bolanle Austen-Peters and Sinmidele Adesanya of TKMG assured that the auction continues the mission of the partnership "to lead the Nigerian art market into the world stage and build investor confidence in the art market," generally.  They noted that the past six auctions have "helped in promoting new collectors, who are inspired by the activities on the auction floor."

Among the works of the masters expected to go under the auctioneer, Yinka Akinkugbe’s hammer are Anatsui’s wood panel Untitled, Barber’s Farmer/;s Dream, Onobrakpeya's  Iso Ore Ri Canaan (Red Base). Kolade Oshinowo’s At the Party and Olaku’s Fade Out. 

For Anatsui, his wood period of over two decades would not go away, at least at auctions in Lagos, so suggests a 1987 triptych featuring in the TKMG auction as one of the favourites for the top of the sales. Another Anatsui, which the auction house said “is dated 2013” also confirms that the artist’s wood period is not ready to give way for the soft metal era currently boosting his profile at the auction markets and art galleries abroad. Anatsui’s two works, Adesanya assured “may compete for the auction's highest sales.”
  Similarly, Barber’s Landscape Series of subtle surrealism and Dream Series keep returning at auctions. For example, from an older work Pipe’s Dream, the Octogenarian’s series of the same theme seems to be sprouting from old collections. 
The TKMG’s new auction venue, Intercontinental Hotel is using the opportunity of the sales to create awareness for its charity project, the auction house disclosed. “Proceeds from the sales of one of the lots will go to the International Hotel’s Shelter in a Storm charity.”

With a new brand name of TKMG, the auction house seems to be saying that the partnership works, having added value to the secondary market since inception fewer years ago. "We are not really blowing our trumpet, but hope to attract wider clients," Adesanya said. She argued that the 90 lots going into the auction, is an ideal mix of old and new artists."

On the mix of artists across the ages, the lots, according to Austen-Peters are spread among "20 percent for the masters and 15 for the new artists,” while the rest slot goes to the regular and established names.

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