A World Record for Ghanian Artist El Anatsui at Bonhams – artmarketblog.com

‘New World Map’ El Anatsui A World Record for Ghanian Artist El Anatsui at Bonhams   artmarketblog.comFollowing my previous article Cheaper Alternatives Trump Megabuck Art Auction Favourites which mentioned the work of Guanian artist El Anatsui, Bonhams London set a new auction record for the artist with a work similar to the one I highlighted in my article.

The record setting work, an immense woven tapestry of flattened bottle caps titled ‘New World Map’ , sold for £541,250 (US$850,544) against an estimate of £500000 – 800000 in London on the 23rd of May at Bonhams’ Africa Now auction. The huge masterwork by El Anatsui (born 1944) – a magisterial tapestry measuring 11ft by 16ft (350x500cm) – is similar to work the artist has shown at the Venice Biennale.

Regarding ‘New World Map’ , El Anatsui commented that: “I thought of the objects as links between my continent, Africa, and the rest of Europe. Objects such as these were introduced to Africa by Europeans when they came as traders. Alcohol was one of the commodities brought with them to exchange for goods in Africa…I thought that the bottle caps had a strong reference to the history of Africa.”

Giles Peppiatt, Director of Contemporary African Art at Bonhams, says: “We are delighted make a world record with this stunning work. It speaks of Africa in its use of traditional patterning but is very much of the moment – a massive hauntingly beautiful contemporary statement.”

A fortnight ago another tapestry by El Anatsui, smaller in scale, sold at a Bonhams charity auction in New York for $722,500 which set the previous auction record for the artist.

Although slightly more expensive now, El Anatsui is still a bargain compared to Anselm Kiefer, the artist I compared Anatsui to in my article.

**Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer.  He is the founder of the Art Market Blog (artmarketblog.com) which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others.  Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.

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  • http://www.jjarcho.biz/ Burlhammonds

    It’s stunning, creative and beautiful!

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