Review of the African contemporary art market in 2013

When Kamba Gallery opened in 2010 it joined a growing number of galleries bringing attention to contemporary African artists. Other galleries include the Jack Bell Gallery which opened in London's St James's in 2010 and the Tiwani and October galleries, also located in London. Previously overlooked, the contemporary African art market is now commanding greater attention, higher prices and far more pages of coverage in the media.

A real turning point in the validation of African contemporary art was Angola's receipt of The Golden Lion Award for the best national participation at the 55th Edition of the Venice Biennale in 2013.

The Tate Modern showed new acquisitions of Beninese artist Meschac Gaba alongside Sudanese painter Ibrahim El-Salahi through the summer. The talk of the town regarding African art was the 1:54 Art fair held at Somerset house the first contemporary African art fair in London. The 1:54 Art Fair was put together by Touria El Glaoui (daughter of celebrated Moroccan artist Hassan El Glaoui) participating exhibitors included Galerie Cécile Fakhoure, Ivory Coast, the MIA Gallery, Seattle and the A Palazzo Gallery, Italy. Artists on show included Soly Cisse, Sokari Douglas-Camp, George Lilanga, Ablade Glover and Frédéric Bruly Bouabré.

There was also a well attended programme of talks, panels and lectures organised by Cameroonian-born artistic director Koyo Kouoh, including talks by Chris Dercon (Director of Tate Modern) and international curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist.

In auction results Ben (Benedict Chukwukadibia) Enwonwu, M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994) Seven wooden sculptures commissioned by the Daily Mirror in 1960 sold for

£361,250 at Bonhams' May 2013 Africa Now – Auction of Modern and Contemporary art. At the same auction Kolade Oshinowo Nigerian artist sold the work Two sisters for £43,250.

London based The Auction Room setup by well known African art dealer Ed Cross had their first auction of African Contemporary Art on the 18th October 2013 and included works by El Anatsui, Twins Seven Seven, Goncalo Mabunda, and Ben Enwonwu as well as pieces by emerging African artists.

Internationally the Arthouse Contemporary in Lagos November auction's top lots were El Anatsui work Ends And Means Committee sold for $ 82,500 and Ben Enwonwu's Sculpture Fulani Girl which sold for $106,563.

Charles Sekano Beauty Pag