Paris – On Thursday 19 May, Bonhams is hosting a sale of Modern and Contemporary African Art featuring around fifty paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures from French and international private collections as well as a selection of 23 works from the Gervanne and Matthias Leridon Collection, including works by Aboudia, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Godfried Donkor, Barthélémy Toguo and Brett Murray.
Bonhams Modern & Contemporary African Art specialist in Paris, Julie Mathon commented: “For our second sale in Paris we are thrilled to be offering works from the outstanding Gervanne & Matthias Leridon collection. Gervanne and Matthias’s great passion for Africa shines through the pieces in the sale which reflect not only the fantastic quality and diversity of contemporary African Art but also the boundless energy and restless curiosity which underpins their collection.”
The strength of the Gervanne and Matthias Leridon collection lies in the couple’s strong commitment to artists who think about the world, who enlighten it and question it.
Passionate about Africa and its place in the world, Gervanne and Matthais constantly travel the continent to unearth new talent, taking no account of the age, nationality or fame of the artists, or even the mediums they use. Above all, they seek to forge a unique relationship with each of the artists and with their works.
Highlights of the Gervanne and Matthias Leridon collection in the sale include:
• Chalks and pins U by Pascale Marthine Tayou. Created in 2012, the work illustrates the artist’s constant desire to use unconventional materials. Dusted with glitter, brightly coloured chalk sticks are arranged in rows, interspersed with pinned plastic straws, to form intricate patterns that evoke the decorative patterns of traditional tapestries in Cameroon, the artist’s native country. Tayou’s use of chalk, both as a medium and as a raw material, alludes directly to the very process of artistic creation. The pigment is not applied to the paper or canvas; it remains intact, assuming its original cylindrical shape structuring the rhythmic pattern of the whole design. Estimate: €60,000-90,000.
• Untitled by Aboudia. Now working between his native Abidjan and Brooklyn, New York, Aboudia acknowledges the lasting influence of the visual imagery he encountered growing up in Abidjan. “I want life to be beautiful, so I treat sadness with happiness…” as he once said. Estimate: €70,000-100,000.
• Misty Morning by Nigerian painter Abiodun Olaku. This mysterious painting is estimated at €8,000 – 12,000.
The sale includes artists from 13 countries representing the diversity of African creation: Bertina Lopes, Malick Sidibé, Ernesto Shikani, Gérard Sekoto, the young Ethiopian painter Getahun Assefa and the Nigerian artist Godwin Oluwole Omofemi with an untitled oil on canvas estimated €30,000 – 50,000.
Chéri Samba, whose works are already in the collections of institutions such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is represented here with a 1999 work entitled L’homme qui mange de la peinture. Born in Bas-Congo, Chéri Samba showed early talent as a draftsman and caricaturist. At sixteen, Samba left school and went to Kinshasa where he quickly found a job at the Mbuta-Masunda studio of sign painters. It was at the end of the 80s, as his success grew, that Chéri Samba adopted acrylic paint and added glitter to his works. Estimate: €20,000-30,000.