By Nii B. Andrews.

Nigeria’s premier auction house for contemporary African art (CAA) – Arthouse Contemporary, will mark its 10th anniversary by conducting its 20th auction today, at 6pm, in Lagos.

As CAA moves to become one of the fastest growing global art markets, this edition of the auction will feature both masterworks from the modern period and cutting-edge contemporary art from the region’s most celebrated artists.

REMI: Ben Enwonwu (1917-1994); 1977, Bronze, 23 cm. (9 in).Signed and dated (base of work).
Estimate: ₦ 4,500,000-5,500,000 (approx 12, 500 – 15, 000 USD)


PEOPLE, an oil on canvas painting (101.5 x 152.5 cm) from 2013, by the celebrated Ghanaian artist, Ablade Glover, is listed with an estimated value of 10,000 – 12,500 USD.

THE AWAKENING or ANYANWU, representing the Igbo sun god
is one of Ben Enwonwu’s greatest and most visible works. It is listed in the auction with an estimate of 140,000 – 166,000 USD.

Ben Enwonwu with The Awakening/Anyanwu Nigerian National Museum.


After executing the original 6ft 10in bronze sculpture on commission from the Nigerian government in 1954 – 1955, Enwonwu said, “the sculpture is spiritual in conception, rhythmic in movement, and three dimensional in its architectural setting—these qualities are characteristic of the sculptures of my ancestors.”

To him the sculpture then symbolised an emergent continent, and the yearnings and aspirations of her people.

Ben Enwonwu, in the 1970s, also produced a few exquisite limited edition miniatures, measuring about 142cm, as exemplified in this auction sale.

UNTITLED: Chuks Anyanwu (1937-1990); 1989, Oil on canvas, 66 x 73 cm. (26 x 29 in.) Signed and dated (lower right)
Estimate: ₦ 2,000,000-2,500,000 (approx 5, 500 – 7, 000 USD)

Online and telephone bidding are available for the auction.

This is expected to dramatically increase the cohort of collectors bidding for pieces.

It is therefore anticipated that several new sales records will be set today.

Finally, once again, as we have consistently advocated on this blog – CAA is a capital asset and you ought to have skin in the game!

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