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To encourage ‘new collectors’, modern masters headline affordable art’s night out

By Tajudeen Sowole
17 February 2019   |   4:18 am
For a fledgling art hub, strengthening the secondary market is essential for essential growth. Therefore, Arthouse Contemporary, Nigeria’s premier auction house...

One of the artworks for Affordable Art by Deborah Segun

For a fledgling art hub, strengthening the secondary market is essential for essential growth. Therefore, Arthouse Contemporary, Nigeria’s premier auction house, decision to encourage new collectors with a special show appears to be ideal. Thus, when the auction house opens its fourth Affordable Art with previews from February 21 to 22, and sales the day after, February 23, 2019, at Kia Showroom, Victoria Island, Lagos, art enthusiasts will have another opportunity to enrich their views and collections.

The two-day preview, which comes ahead of the auction on the third day, is an opportunity for art connoisseurs to share and compare notes based on works displayed.

The Affordable Art is the sister edition of the yearly May and November auctions and it features works that are scaled down in price.

Themed, Art Night Out, the preview, in the last two editions, has had musical performances, clearly aimed at attracting new art collectors.

Affordable Art, which debuted in 2016, recorded a total of N31, 050, 000 million ($155,250) during the maiden auction.

“The Affordable Art auction aims to engage collectors with all works of art estimated below N 1 million,” Arthouse stated.

The 2019 edition of the Affordable Art auction will feature 97 lots by some “leading modern and contemporary artists.”

Bruce Onobrakpeya, David Dale, Kolade Oshinowo, Jacob Afolabi, Jimoh Buraimoh and Twins Seven Seven are among artists grouped in the modern era.

Also featuring are contemporary artists such as, Abiodun Olaku, Alex Shyngle, Rom Isichei, Victor Ehikhamenor, Angela Isiuewe, Lemi Ghariokwu, Diseye Tantua, Victor Ekpuk, Dele Jegede, Tola Wewe, Jerry Buhari, Nike Okundaye, Duke Asidere and Ben Osaghae.

Still on the focus of expanding art appreciation beyond regular and traditional scope, the Affordable Art auction is also featuring works of “many rising artists.”

Such emerging names include, Tyna Adebowale, Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu, Johnson Uwadinma, Olufemi Oyewole, Yasser Claud-Ennin, Deborah Segun, John Madu, Dare Adenuga, Habeeb Andu and Femi Morakinyo. Some of the artists, the auction house said, “are participating for the first time.”

Supported by Kia Motors, Le Connaisseur, Chocolat Royal, 7UP and The Guardian, the 2019 edition looks beyond the traditional visual culture of painting and sculpture.

The Affordable Art 2019 has what the organisers described as “special focus on contemporary photography.”

Collectible imageries by Leonce Raphael Agbdojelou, Kadara Enyeasi, Logo Oluwamuyiwa, Jenevieve Aken, Dandelion Eghosa and Oladapo Ogunjobi are featuring in the photography section of the auction.

Last year, the results of the third Affordable Art auction of 107 lots were N26, 668,000 representing 62 per cent of works on display.

The top sales of the year were Isichei’s Vacancy of Stares, oil on paper sold for N1,150,000; Gerald Chukwuma’s Akuko Ifo, a mixed media diptych, sold for N920,000; Ebong Ekwere’s wood sculpture, Dancing Torso, for N805,000, as well as Reuben Ugbine’s Meditation II for N805,000.

Other impressive sales then were Abayomi Barber’s Dream Man, a pastel on paper, as well as Ato Delaquis’ The Lagoon, acrylic on canvas, all sold for N805,000 each.

Since inception in 2008, Arthouse has been featuring charity lots. Again, the 2019 Affordable continues with that tradition.

“The auction will feature charity lots to support the Arthouse Foundation, a not-for-profit artist-in-residency programme in Lagos, with works by Chibuike Uzoma, Nwachukwu Ike, Akande and George Edozie.”

Proceeds from the charity lots, Arthouse assured, “would go directly to supporting the programmes of the foundation, which include, its residencies, workshops, talks and exhibitions.”