This Wednesday it’s another installment of Africa Now, the Bonhams auction promising “the very best of post-war and contemporary art from across the African continent”. As my colleagues over at Africa Is A Country point out, the selection is hardly groundbreaking; as they also note, however, auction houses are not exactly at the cutting edge of contemporary art, so expecting anything more from this particular event is perhaps a little unfair. Bonhams’ objectives are purely commercial, and most of the works on offer reflect the tastes (or perceived tastes) of their wealthy, predominantly Nigerian, clientele. As it was once explained to me: “There are two sides to the art world, the whorehouse and the nunnery. And we’re very much in the whorehouse!”
You can take a look at what’s up for grabs during one of the viewing slots:
22 May, 9 – 4.30
23 May, 9 – 12
The auction itself takes place on Wednesday 23rd May at 2pm.
If the whorehouse isn’t for you (or if your experience there leaves you in need of a spiritually purging trip to the nunnery), there’s a talk at the Brunei Gallery that evening from artist Sokari Douglas Camp – details here.