African Art Thriving, Doing Well At Auction In Diaspora

African Art Thriving, Doing Well At Auction In Diaspora


If the Gallery of African Art on London’s Cork Street in Mayfair is any indication, African contemporary art is booming, BBC reports.

Opposite the Burlington Arcade in the heart of the art establishment on gallery row, African art — formerly seen as a niche interest — is now officially playing with the big boys.

The Gallery of African Art is owned and run by a woman: Liberian born Bendu

Down the road in Oxford Circus is Tiwani Contemporary, a gallery that specializes in Nigerian art, also run by a woman — Maria Varnava — who spent her childhood in West Africa.

Tiwani partners with the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, also run by a woman — Bisi Silva.

Three female curators do not a trend make, says BBC, but these women are at the vanguard of raising the profile of contemporary African art.

Their message: Not only does African art exist, it thrives. Not only does it thrive, it does pretty well at auctions, as the annual Bonham’s Africa Now auction attests to.