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FILE: Malangatana Valente Ngwenya. [File photo: António Silva/Lusa]
Paintings by Mozambican artist Malangatana Ngwenya and Angolan Cristiano Mangovo broke records at auction in London on Tuesday, exceeding initial estimates several times over.
“Matalana”, painted by Malangatana in 1970 and valued at between £10,000 and £15,000 (11,200 and 16,800 euros), sold for £27,500 (€31,912).
A painting produced by Malangatana for the Mozambique pavilion at the 1992 Universal Exhibition in Seville (“Untitled”) and valued at between £6,000 and £8,000 (€6,700 to 9,000), sold for £8,125 (€9,429).
A 2109 Mangovo work called “Happiness Day”, initially valued by British auctioneer Sotheby’s at between £5,000 and £7,000 (€5,600 to 7,900), sold for £40,000 (€46,430).
Another work by the same artist, who was born in Luanda in 1951, entitled “Sugar Cane Zungueiras”, evaluated at the same amount, sold for £9,375 (€10,880).
Two paintings by Angolan artist Antonio Ole, “Rakung”, 2017, and “Conversation Interrupted”, 2017, were not sold. Ole held a retrospective “Luanda, Los Angeles, Lisbon” at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum’s Modern Collection building in Lisbon from September 2016 to January 2017.
Bertina, Macilau, Shikhani…
Mozambican painter and sculptor Bertina Lopes was represented at the auction with two oils, “Untitled”, from 1960, valued at between £4,000 and £6,000 (€4,500 and 6,700), which sold for £4,750 (€5,511), and “Untitled” from 1981, which was not sold.
An image by Mozambican photographer Mário Macilau, “Alito, The Guy with Style, Moments of Transition”, 2013, which was part of an exhibition featuring next-generation African artists at the 2015 ?Making Africa’ exhibition held by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, was not sold either.
Ernesto Shikhani, an artist who has always lived in Mozambique, submitted paintings “Untitled” from 1993 and “Untitled” from 1995 for auction, both valued at between £2,000 and £3,000 (€2,200 and 3,300 euros) and sold them for £1,125 (€1,307) and £1,500 (€1,742) respectively.
A 1989 sculpture by the same artist called “Owl” was valued at between £2,000 and £3,000 (€2,200 and 3,300) and was sold for £1,250 (€1,453), but the painting “The Pope’s Key” (1988) found no buyer.
Ernesto Shikhani was one of the featured artists at the Frieze Masters art fair in London last year, with some of his pieces being bought by arts institutions including the Centre Georges Pompidou in France.
Sotheby’s fifth auction exclusively dedicated to modern and contemporary African art exceeded expectations and attracted successful bids totalling £4 million (€4.65 million).
The auction featured 103 lots of 56 artists from 20 countries, most notably South African Gerard Sekoto and Nigerian Ben Enwonwu.
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