By Tajudeen Sowole
WITH the 2016 edition of Terra Kulture Mydrim Gallery (TKMG), otherwise known as Lagos Art Auction, will be asserting its status of a regional art hub as works of artists from other West African countries are featuring among the lots.
In its fifth edition, the TKMG auction will also use the event to showcase quite a number of never-seen-in-public pieces of masters as well as works of young artists, some of who are making the auction for the first time.
Opening with preview and cocktail today at the Terra Kulture Art Gallery and the auction sale Friday, April 29, at Inter Continental Hotel, the 2016 edition, according to curator, Ronke Akinyele, "is a sophisticated platform that celebrates Nigeria and Africa’s cultural heritage through creative artistry and a reference platform for pricing African Artworks."
Apart from Ghanaian master, Ablade Glover, whose work has been a regular signature on the secondary art market in Nigeria, others featuring in the 2016 edition are Togolese, Samuel Tete Katchan; Ghanaian, Wiz Kudowor; and Beninese sculptor, Zimkpe Dominique.
With the 2016 edition, TKMG is set to reassure observers of the secondary art market that indeed, its rebranding with focus on middle generation of masters is yielding result. Recall that With 51 lots sold from a total of 90 at TKMG's Lagos Art Auction in 2015, there was indication that the new focus of the auction house on middle generation and young artists showed a prospect.
Last year TKMG disclosed that from the May of that year onwards, the lots will be dominated by works of the non-old masters and young artists with the hope of building a vibrant future for Nigerian art market.
"Over the years, TKMG has sold works from artists like, Ben Enwonwu, El Anatsui, Ben Osawe, Erhabor Emokpae, Lamidi Fakeye to mention a few," Akinyele told a select preview guests few days ago, the auction house recalled. "This year, the auction will feature 104 artworks cutting across various media and artists from Nigeria and across West Africa (Ghana, Togo and Republic of Benin.)”
Works expected to be on display include that of masters like Bruce Onobrakpeya, Kolade Oshinowo, Ablade Glover, Dele Jegede and emerging artists like Ndidi Emefiele, Dipo Doherty and Makata Obinna.
And as the auction returns to the 2014 venue at Inter Continental Hotel, where Dance in the Bush by Onobrakpeya sold for N3, 650, 000, the 2016 edition could record another set of impressive sales. In 2014, works such as Untitled by El Anatsui sold for 3,050,000; and Oshinowo's At The Party for N2,200,000 as top of the sales.
TKMG is also taking a bold step by displaying as many as 104 lots, even in an economic slowdown environment as Nigeria's. Isn't that too large of a number for the lots? "The number of lots is large, but they are affordable," Mrs Sinmidele Adesanya argued. "We want to get as many young and new collectors as possible to start collecting and appreciating art."
Still on the state of the economy as it affects the art market, Akinyele supported the argument that slowdown of economy hardly affects sales of art. "The slowdown in economy has nothing to do with the passion for art collecting, so researches have shown so far," she insisted.
Yinka Akinkugbe, the auctioneer of TKMG 2016 sale, said this year would feature "a special section for some members of Guild of Professional Fine Artists of Nigeria (GFA)."