By Tajudeen Sowole
Despite not producing a new art auction record, the recently held TKMG auction had on display one of the richest gathering of modern and contemporary African works in recent times.
From a rare Ablade Glover, Women, to Landscape by Kolade Oshonowo and Bruce Onobrakpeya’s deep etching, Dance in the Bush and several others from young and established artists, the auction showed that the ascendancy of art appreciation in Africa is well complemented by increased interest in the secondary market.
Held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the auction also had an impressive attendance for the TKMG auction, which is making its first outing outside the traditional Terra Kulture venue – a few minutes drive from the new hotel.
The auction took off with quite a steady flow of sales until it began to decline midway. And after the auctioneer, Yinka Akinkugbe’s hammer fell on the last of the 90 lots, there were indications that some bidders "suddenly showed interests” in some unsold pieces and “bought more works." At the end of the auction, a total of "58 successful lots were sold,” curator at Terra Kulture, Ronke Akinyele stated. The figure, she explained, represents about 64% of total lots presented as Onobrakpeya led the list of the top sales.
|Lot 42, Dance in the Bush by Bruce Onobrakpeya|
Still on the high standard of the lots on display, Coalescence II by Segun Aiyesan, A Gem, bust from Patrick Agose, Family Ties Series of Aimufa Osagie, Diseye Tantua’s No Wahala, and the Alley series of Lekan Onabanjo, among others added to the richness of the auction.
What perhaps could have made another Nigerian record for Anatsui did not come to pass as Generation Mix a wood on aluminium estimated at N16 million naira as well as a triptych wood Untitled, dated 1987 and estimated at N12 million naira were unsold.
However, the seventh outing of the TKMG auction was also a good day for young artists Oyewole Olufemi and Tayo Olayode whose works Self Contain, Mixed Feelings and The Higher the Hotter radiate masterly strokes.
As the auction house combined new and and old artists, the lots for this year’s auction, according to Bolanle Austen-Peters were spread in "20 percent for the masters and 15 for the new artists,” while the rest slot goes to the regular and established names.
Ahead of the auction, 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."
An unspecified number of charity lots were also sold for the TKMG’s new auction venue, Intercontinental Hotel project Shelter in a Storm.