On Tuesday April 2nd, Sotheby’s fourth sale of Modern and Contemporary African Art in London amassed £2,316,625 / $3,023,196, creating new auction records for 11 artists in this category.
Hassan El Glaoui
Moroccan artist Hassan El Glaoui with his piece, La Sortie du Roi, achieved a new auction record selling at £137, 500/ $179, 438.
The painting was influenced by El Glaoui’s childhood spent at his father’s art studio, where his father would often emphasise depicting key Moroccan traditions through paintings. La Sortie du Roi explores the national celebration of a King’s ascent to the throne and is an event still celebrated today as Fête du Trône or Throne Day. In Morocco, Throne Day was historically celebrated around the forts with nearby locals dressed in traditional white djellabas; these details are recorded in the painting.
El Anatsui, a contemporary Ghanaian artist, led all sales with his metallic aluminium bottle cap tapestry titled Zebra Crossing 2, achieving £1.1 million / $1.4 million (est. £550,000-750,000); the competitive bidding for the shimmering tapestry realised the third highest price for a work by Anatusi at auction.
Other artists whose work gained new high marks at the sale include Senegalese artist Omar Ba; the 35-year-old Brooklyn-based, Côte d’Ivoire-born painter Abdoulaye Diarrassouba; the late Moroccan master Hassan El Glaoui; and the late pioneering Nigerian photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, whose record was broken twice in the same evening.