Thursday 24 May 2018

After over N2bn sales, 1,750 lots, Arthouse makes 10th year of auctions in Lagos

A mixed media titled 'Eru' ('Fear', 1998 Acrylic on canvas,78 x 58 in.), by Bruce Onobrakpeya (b.1932).

In its ten years of consistently adding commercial value to art from Africa, Arthouse makes 20th edition with artists across periods and generations. The auction house organises two sales yearly for its main auction, which hold in the second and last quarter of every year.

Looking into its records since 2008 when the auction house made history in Lagos, Arthouse boasted of being a pioneer auction house in West Africa. More importantly,
the Lagos-based auction house stated how its sales made records for modern masters and contemporary artists. "Arthouse has set auction records of artists such as Ben Enwonwu and Bruce Onobrakpeya, among many others", the auction house said in statement received today.  "In the last ten years, Arthouse has sold over two billion naira worth of art, auctioning 1,750 lots".
The figures released by Arthouse are impressive for a growing art economy. In fact, there seemed to be no known commercial value for modern and contemporary art of the West African sub-region before Arthouse made its debut in 2008.

For the 20th sales, works for the auction will be on display at the Kia Showroom, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Saturday, June 2,  11 a.m-6 p.m; Sunday, 3, 2018, 12-6 p.m; and Monday 4, 10 a.m-1 p.m. Later in the day, on Monday, June 4, 6 p.m, auctioneer, John Dabney will conduct the night's sales inside the Kia Showroom.

Founded in 2007 by Mrs Kavita Chellaram, Arthouse Contemporary made its debut edition a year later, creating new market value for African art in Lagos.

Excerpts from Arthouse's press statement:
"This auction marks the ten year anniversary of Arthouse Contemporary’s auctions.
Arthouse is an international auction house that specialises in modern and contemporary art from West Africa.
"As contemporary African art moves to become one of the fastest growing global art markets, this edition of the auction will feature both master works from the modern period and cutting-edge contemporary art from the region’s most celebrated artists".
'The Young Bread Winner', (oil on canvas, 36 x 36, 2007), by Ben Osaghae (1962 - 2017).

Listed on the lots, among others are works by   Enwonwu, Onobrakpeya, Ben Osawe, Kolade Oshinowo, Ablade Glover, Chuks Anyanwu, David Dale, Ato De- laquis, Marvua Lessor, Uzo Egonu, Obi Enkwenchi, Okpu Eze, Lamidi Fakeye, Amos Odion, Abiodun Olaku, Muraina Oyelami, Jacob Afolabi, Susanne Wenger and Sam Ovraiti.
 "This edition of the auction features over twenty artworks from the collection of a prominent art collector, including works Enwonwu, Tayo Adenaike, David Dale, Okpu Eze, Abayomi Barber, Jimoh Buraimoh, Solomon Wangboje, Abiodun Olaku, Dele Jegede, Ben Osawe, Kolade Oshinowo, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Sam Ovraiti, Twins Sev- en Seven, Simon Okeke, Obiora Udechukwu and Ben Osaghae.
Leading contemporary artists in the auction include El Anatsui, Peju Alatise, Rom Isichei, Sokari Douglas Camp CBE, Ndidi Emefiele, Lemi Ghariokwu, Alimi Adewale, Duke Asidere, Chike Obeagu, Uche Okpa-Iroha, Oluseye/Lakin Ogunbanwo, Ade Adekola and Michael Soi.
 "The auction will include four charity lots from Gerald Chukwuma, Lemi Ghariokwu, Reuben Ugbine, and Uchay Joel Chima, in support of Arthouse Foundation, the non- profit artist residency programme based in Lagos, Nigeria. The Arthouse Foundation pro- vides a platform for artists to expand their practice and experiment with new art forms and ideas, offering live/work residencies throughout the year in three-month residencies".

Said to be sponsored by Access Bank, a vital supporter of Arthouse’s auctions over the past decade, the statement described the sponsor's continued sponsorship of the arts as the bank's passion for the promotion of culture in Nigeria. "Access Bank cele- brates the power of the arts, supporting both established and emerging artists".
Arthouse Contemporary is also sponsored by Kia Motors, Veuve Clicquot, 7UP, Le Con- naisseur, and Shiro, with  The Guardian as official media partner.

On its tenth anniversary, the auction house said: "Over the last decade, Arthouse Contemporary has pioneered the promotion and development of the contemporary art market in Nigeria.  Arthouse has created a viable secondary market and a transparent pricing structure, allowing for collectors to feel secure about Nigerian art as an investable asset.

"Recently, Arthouse has also worked to build a new group of collectors with the Affordable Art Auction, which targets young professionals and first time buyers.

"Arthouse has also expanded outside of its auctions, organizing exhibitions of contemporary art with Arthouse-The Space. Exhibitions include solo projects by Peju Alatise, Diseye Tantua, Chidi Kwubiri, Eva Obodo, George Osodi, Victor Ekpuk and Emeka Udemba. Of particular note is the exhibition of legendary master artist Yusuf Grillo, presenting the artist’s oils and stained glass works. Arthouse-The Space has also exhibited at international art fairs, including Art 14 in London and Art X Lagos.

"Arthouse has also developed a non-profit entity, the Arthouse Foundation, which offers artist residencies in three-month sessions in Lagos. The artist residency programs engage the public by offering workshops, open studios and artist talks, as well as final exhibitions. In the last three years, the Arthouse Foundation has hosted 16 artists in residency programs. The Arthouse Foundation also partners with international art institutions to offer residency exchanges, including an exchange with the Matadero Museum in Madrid for Nigerian and Spanish artists, and an exchange with the Goethe-Institut in Berlin for Nigerian and German artists".
 Going forward:
"As Arthouse moves into the next decade, it aims to expand its growing online presence and build on its extensive client network. In 2018, Arthouse introduced the “Artist of the Month” on its website, offering artworks for sale on the internet. It is also working to offer live bidding on its web platform. Arthouse also aims to expand its international partnerships, bringing exhibitions of modern and contemporary Nigerian art across the globe". 

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