African Modern and Contemporary Art Auction
On Wednesday November 15, PIASA is organizing a sale of modern and contemporary African art. Comprising 116 lots, the sale will feature a selection of works.

Produced from the 1900s to the present day, by some 70 artists from twenty countries on the African continent and the Caribbean. The sale features several important sets highlighting the art scenes of Senegal, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.

Following previous auctions, this new sale of African art showcases a remarkable panorama of artistic production from the continent and its diasporas.

Among the selection are several groups of works illustrating the extraordinary creativity of certain territories.

Senegal is represented by four series of postcards by Abdoulaye Samb (lots 4 to 7), testifying to the first modernity of the early 20th century. The sale also features half a dozen works by artists from the Dakar School (lots 25 to 32), such as Ndary Lo (lots 34 & 35), Kassou Seydou (lot 38) and an exceptional work by El Hadji Sy (lot 33), dated 1977 which corresponds to the year the artist left the École des Beaux-Arts de Dakar. This work in particular is a beautiful example of the artist’s break with the teaching he received there at the Beaux-Arts, and illustrates his performative practice in which footprints play an important role. Most of his early works, like this one, were destroyed, in part by the artist, and are therefore very rare on the market.

Lot 44
Salah Elmur (b. 1966, Sudan)
Family day out, 2016
Acrylic on canvas
Signed and dated «S.ELMUR.2016» lower left
89×119 cm
Estimate: 18000 / 25000 €
© Xavier Defaix

The South African scene also figures prominently in the catalog, with works by artists such as Kay Hassan (lot 61), who uses the poster collage technique known as «paper constructions» to replace paint, Gerard Sekoto (lot 64), a pioneer of black art and social realism in his country, with a canvas dated 1944/45, which has remained in the same collection since its acquisition at that time. More contemporary artists are also present:

Dada Khanyisa (lot 69), already well known internationally and recently in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and Moshekwa Langa (lot 70), who has also made a name for himself abroad (France, Switzerland, USA…). His work was presented at the Fondation Louis Vuitton as part of the exhibition Afrique / Le nouvel atelier, highlighting the artist’s poetic talent.

There is also a significant body of work by artists from the Ghanaian and Nigerian scenes, such as El Anatsui (lot 50), currently featured in the Turbin Hall at the Tate Modern, London, as well as younger talents to watch (lots 54 to 60) such as Wole Lagunju, Wonder Buhle Mbambo, Barry Yusufu, Eric, Adjei Tawiah, Kelani Fatai Oladimeji or Onadipe Olumide.

Lot 33
El Hadji Sy (b. 1954, Senegal)
Untitled, 1977
Mixed media on panel
Signed and dated «EL HADJI SY 77» on the back
44×61 cm
Estimate: 20 000 / 30 000 €
© Xavier Defaix

In addition, there are other equally singular scenes with artists whose renown now extends far beyond national borders.

Tanzanian scene is represented by three panel paintings by Edward Saidi Tingatinga (lots 20 to 22), while the Beninese scene is represented by five works by Cyprien Tokoudagba (lots 15 to 19), who made his name with «Les magiciens de la terre», the Kenyan scene with two wall sculptures by Dickens Otieno (lots 73 & 74), the Ethiopian scene with two talismanic works by Gera and Gedewon (lots 75 & 76), the Sudanese scene with a painting by Salah Elmur (lot 44), a figure of figurative art characteristic
of the Karthoum school. The Congolese scene is shown with a very surprising work by Aimé Mpane.

Aimé Mpane, composed of a mosaic of interconnected pieces of wood carved with an adze, linked together. This majestic work, which can be apprehended like a sculpture explores the painful colonial history of the Belgian Congo.

Finally, the sale will feature two works by artists of Algerian origin: a gouache on paper by Algerian artist Baya (Fatma Mahieddine) (lot 43), whose works are highly sought-after by art lovers and have been the subject of a retrospective presented at the Institut du Monde Arabe and the Musée de la Vieille Charité in Marseille, and a photographic tryptique by Maya Inès Touam (lot 82), presenting various cultural allusions in a still-life style.


Echoing early 20th century decorators, PIASA heralds, above all, a certain way of life. The scenography of the sales and the objects displayed are opportunities for great names of interior architecture and design to conduct both brilliant and ephemeral exercises in style. These inspiring moments are the occasion for collectors to discover medieval and renaissance works, ancient paintings and drawings, books and manuscripts, Asian arts, modern and contemporary art, 20th century design, jewelry, fine furniture and objects, in an intimate setting. This passion for innovative atmospheres and luxurious interiors is particularly celebrated during the design sales presented every semester in partnership with the prestigious AD magazine.

For more information, please visit