Shoved Online by Corona and More News

Friday, 03 April 2020

It seems Covid-19 has succeeded in hurling the art world firmly into the digital age. No matter where one stood regarding viewing and buying art online pre-pandemic, presently with the uncertain state of affairs, it seems prudent to get it over with online than to postpone to the unforeseeable future.

Biennials, fairs and auctions are now going online—at least modifying their programmes to suit online audiences—instead of cancelling or postponing. While for scheduled exhibitions, artists are translating their works into forms that can be live-streamed or experienced through virtual reality. And from the success of Sotheby’s and Bonhams recent online sales, it seems buyers are more than ready—Bonhams Modern and Contemporary African Art sale had more than 150 online bidders, more than double the bidders from the sale in October 2019.

In that spirit, check out these events online:

Art Dubai 2020
View over 500 artworks by represented artists of participating galleries, including works by Muraina Oyelami, Joana Choumali, Marcellina Akpojotor, Abdoulaye Konaté, Salah Elmur and some other artists from Africa, in the 2020 Online Catalogue. Art Dubai reconfigured programme, focusing on digital content, include a Global Art Forum live-broadcast and an Online Performance Programme.

Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art  
Join the live guided tour of Alpha Crucis on Facebook today at 11:00 — 11:30. The exhibition, which focuses on Africa and brings together three generations of artists from seven sub-saharan countries, represents the final instalment of a series of exhibitions exploring the art scenes in different countries. Artists featured include Omar Victor Diop of Senegal, Romuald Hazoumè of Benin, Chéri Samba from Congo and Billie Zangewa, who was born in Malawi but lives in South Africa.

‘How To Disappear’ at Goodman gallery
See the installation view of the exhibition featuring Ewa Nowak, Broomberg & Chanarin, Mary Wafer, David Goldblatt, mounir fatmi, Jeremy Wafer, Kahlil Joseph and Nolan Oswald Dennis at Goodman gallery.

‘Dis Lagos Life’ by SMO Contemporary Art
See images from this exhibition of photographs and digital collage by Amanda Iheme Ayanfe, Olarinde Nelly Ating, Oluwamuyiwa Logor, Omoregie Osakpolor and Somi Nwandu, currently on view at The Wheatbaker, Lagos.


Abdourahmane Sakaly, Jeunes copines, May 1962. Courtesy of the artist and Black Shade Projects/Artsy
Abdourahmane Sakaly, Jeunes copines, May 1962. Courtesy of the artist and Black Shade Projects/Artsy

ARTHOUSE CONTEMPORARY ANNOUNCES ONLINE CHARITY AUCTION IN SUPPORT OF COVID-19 AID IN LAGOS. The auction, which features artworks from the Affordable Art Auction 2020, is powered by the online auction platform, Invaluable. Bidding is now live and will close on 15th April 2020. [Instagram]

SOTHEBY’S ONLINE AFRICAN ART AUCTION WAS A COMPLETE SUCCESS. For its dedicated sale of modern and contemporary African art, which had to be an online-only auction due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Sotheby’s achieved an impressive total sale of £2.4 Million. The auction saw a 46% increase in the number of bidders when compared to last year’s auction. [Sotheby] [Africanews]

THE ART MARKET IS BEATING THE STOCK MARKET. After comparing recent auction data and the pre-pandemic auction data for a few randomly selected foreign artists, Barden Prisant concludes that the international art market has not taken the same beating as the stock market. [Forbes]

OBA OF BENIN CALLS FOR RETURN OF BENIN BRONZE ON DISPLAY AT BRISTOL MUSEUM. The sculpture is one of the Benin Bronzes taken during the invasion and looting of Benin City by the British in 1897. According to Jon Finch, head of culture at Bristol City Council, the Bristol Museum is open to sending the artefact back. [BBC]

PHOTOGRAPHS BY LESSER-KNOWN PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE 1960s IN MALI. The recent exhibition ‘Her Eyes, They Never Lie’ features works by the lesser-known Mali-based photographers Adama Kouyaté and Abdourahmane Sakaly, contemporaries of the iconic Malian photographers, Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé. The exhibition, which looked at the archive of these photographers, indicates that many stories from the golden age of studio photography are yet to be told. [Artsy]

THE EYES OF THE ART WORLD REMAIN ON MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART FROM AFRICA. Even with the move online, art from Africa is still one of the hottest art markets. Both Bonhams and Sotheby’s registered an increase in pre-auction bidding and experienced a spike in online bidding for their African art sales. [The Economist]


Featured Image: Artists Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre made this viral animation illustrating the importance of social distancing in stopping the spread of coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre.