In 2017, Sotheby’s, the world’s oldest and largest internationally recognised firm of fine art auctioneers, confidently emerged onto the Contemporary African art scene, setting a new record total for a sale in this category and breaking world record prices for 25 African artists. Following their inaugural sale in May last year, Sotheby’s second dedicated auction of Modern and Contemporary African Art will take place in London on 28 March 2018 and will include a carefully selected collection of paintings, photographs, drawings and sculpture from the 20th and 21st centuries, with a strong focus on the post-colonial era. Representing a wide range of artists from across the African continent, the sale will include works by 62 artists from 16 different countries, many of whom have rarely —if ever —been offered at international auction before. 

According to Hannah O’Leary, Director and Head of Modern and Contemporary African at Sotheby’s: “The international spotlight on Modern and Contemporary African Art is growing ever stronger as museums, critics and art fairs increasingly look to profile art from the region. Sotheby’s first sale proved that if Modern and Contemporary African artists are given an international platform, demand from international collectors is there. Participants came from nearly 30 different countries on six continents, with over half of the lots sold for prices above their high estimate’’

Comprising 28 lots of the 111 lot sale, South Africa will once again be well represented within the Sotheby’s sale room, with many works being amongst the sale’s star lots. The world-renowned auction house will offer works by South African modern masters such as Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto and J H Pierneef alongside works by contemporary artists such as Mikhael Subotzky, William Kentridge and Mohau Modisakeng.  Sotheby’s will also be offering two standout lots by internationally recognised artist Nicholas Hlobo, whose mixed media work ‘Untitled’ set a new world record for the artist at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African Art sale in May 2017, selling for £60,000 (over R1 million).

Further highlights from this sale include works by Willie Bester, Gavin Jantjes, Athi-Patra Ruga, David Goldblatt, Brett Murray, Pieter Hugo and Dumile Feni alongside works by artists from the rest of the African continent, including Ibrahim Mahama, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Pascale Marthine Tayou.

Sotheby’s is also delighted to include in this sale a selection of works from the renowned collections of Ellen and Jerome Stern as well as Guy and Myriam Ullens: two couples with a passion for art collecting and a devotion to cultivating the arts with a global audience.

Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African Art catalogue is now online: / For enquiries please contact: +44 (0)207 293 5696 /