Across African continent at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr

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Across African continent at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr
Yannick Ackah, Héritage, Mixed media and collage on canvas, 160 x 200 cm. Estimate: €30,000-50,000. Photo: Bonhams.

PARIS.- Following the success of the sale of the Leridon Collection last May, Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr is pleased to present a selection of 60 lots in a sale of Modern and Contemporary African Art to be held in Paris on 30 November. The sale will feature photographs by Malik Sidibé, a drawing by William Kentridge, sculptures by Mozambican artist Bertina Lopez and a historic work by Algerian artist Hellal-Mahmoud Zoubir.

Aboudia (born 1983) will be represented in this sale with four paintings from 2011 telling the story of the clashes that shook Abidjan from March 30 to May 4, that year. The artist denounces the violence with spontaneity and anger.

Crowds of tense faces, with wide eyes and gaping mouths, are superimposed on the brown and black surfaces characteristic of the tortured chromatic of this series. The characters are indistinguishable, anonymous. They pile up in the cramped frame of the canvas, already too small to represent them all, and merge in a tide of suffering and panicked looks.

In Patrol licorn, Aboudia scatters the canvases with collages of posters from the political campaign of Laurent Gbagbo, the outgoing president, and written messages. Buildings and streets seem to melt under the splatter of paint. A rough fog seems to freeze the work in a spectral and ghostly dimension (Estimate: €40,000-60,000). In UNOCI, 2011, cars of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire, mandated on the territory from 2004 to 2017 and mobilized in Abidjan during the clashes - and French patrols of the Licorne mission move forward in concert on the dusty, tarred road (Estimate: €50,000-70,000).

For his compositions, Yannick Ackah, born 1992 in Yamoussoukro, draws inspiration from African sculptures and masks. The stylistic artistic reference to Picasso and his work is deliberately chosen, whereby Picasso's source of inspiration also leads back to African culture. Various materials such as paper, newspaper and magazine articles or fabric, which he assembles in his works as in a collage, create the typical surface structure. They contribute to the three-dimensionality and depth of his works and add a dimension of everyday life and pop culture, which the artist playfully combines with traditional motifs. Héritage, 2022 is a new work dated 2022 estimated €30,000-50,000.

Hellal Zoubir, born 1952 in Sidi bel Abbès, is an Algerian painter and designer, one of the founding members of the group of artists "Essebaghine". La chute de Pégase (The fall of Pegasus), was painted in the early 1990s, a very critical period in Algeria that coincides with the advent of fundamentalism and intolerance of Islamist radicals. The work is a political allegory and depicts with distance the political system in Algeria which was based on a single political party, previously ruling without sharing and diversity. The beast represents freedom and looses its wings with the advent of fundamentalism and intolerance of Islamist radicals (Estimate: €7,000–10,000).

Julie Mathon, specialist of Modern and Contemporary African Art at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr, said: "The African continent will be represented in its entirety with artists from North to South. I am also pleased to welcome to our exhibition the project Memory of today, Memory of the future, a work created by the pan-African collective N.E.T (JD.Nkot , M.Ekéba and G.Tobé) whose reproduction will be sent into space in December 2022, a fabulous project supported by Gervanne Colboc-Leridon, co-President of the NGO African Artists for Development."

Other highlights include:

• The work of South African artist, William Kentridge (b. 1955), is haunted by the spectre of oppression, apartheid, colonialism and social injustice. Untitled from 1994 is a charcoal and pastel on paper estimated at €50,000 - 70,000.

• Pieter Hugo (born 1976) Abdullahi Mohammed with Gumu Ogere-Remo, 2007 is a digital print estimated €15,000-20,000.

• Peterson Kamwathi (born 1980) Brides, 2011 is a charcoal and pencil on paper estimated €8,000-12,000.

Memory of today, Memory of the future is a work created by the pan-African collective N.E.T (JD.Nkot, M.Ekéba and G.Tobé) that will be launched in space in December 2022. This work will adorn the nose cone of the Ariane 5 rocket that will carry into space in December 2022 a new generation weather observation satellite that will be positioned over Africa. This project, led by Gervanne Colboc-Leridon, co-president of the NGO African Artists for Development, will be exhibited during our pre-sale exhibition.

The monumental canvas evokes the Africa of yesterday and today committed to a common future. With the N.E.T. collective, it is the whole continent that is projected in this canvas. Here everything makes sense and has an unparalleled symbolic force. This cartography that covers the background of the canvas illuminated by the signs of the Dogon cosmogony is the work of Jean David Nkot. The roads become paths of life and no longer borders and separation.

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