In a mad week which saw London museums and galleries closing like skittles because of coronavirus, as you tried to see exhibitions ahead of the shutters coming down with inconsistent and ambiguous Government directives (or lack of directives), one of the highlights was the forthcoming auction of modern and contemporary African art at Bonham’s auction house in New Bond Street.
You can sense that this is art in transition, some quite traditional, such as some influenced by Western artists, some bridging the two and, the best, trying to create something new and different for their continent. Perhaps one of the most fascinating works is the series of photographs by the South African studio Z. J. S. Ndimande & Son taken between 1964 and 1983 and providing a unique historical insight into the changing world of Africa.
The best artists use the different influences from their own and Western cultures to create something new and innovative, such as El Anatsui, Nnenne Okore and Cheri Samba with her work which is also quite political.
The auction also included many works being sold to benefit Virgin Unite and the African Arts Trust, both immensely worthwhile causes.