Artists Raise Funds for Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
Christie’s will present work by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists, donated to benefit Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the first major contemporary art museum in Africa which will open in September 2017. Fourteen artists such as El Anatsui, Roger Ballen, Yto Barrada, Peter Beard, Eamonn Doyle & Niall Sweeney, Frances Goodman, Kendell Geers, Antony Gormley, Rashid Johnson, Isaac Julien, Harland Miller, Athi-Patra Ruga, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Pascale Marthine Tayou, will be offered in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction on the March 8.
Mark Coetzee, Executive Director and Chief Curator: “Zeitz MOCAA is dedicated to creating a platform for artists from Africa and the world, and providing access for all to our exhibitions and programming. The extraordinary generousity of artists from around the world in donating to this fundraising auction will guarantee that we fulfill our mission for years to come.”
Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, EMERI: “I was struck when visiting the site early last year, by the extraordinary ambition and vision of the designer Thomas Heatherwick, to slice the historic Grain Silos of Cape Town and create an astonishing structure for viewing art. The historic building, which once acted as a key site for imports and exports, will now act as a point of intersection between Africa and the rest of the world for a whole generation of artists. I am delighted that Christie’s can play a part in this story and we hope to raise as much money as possible through the generous donations of the artists and galleries to go towards the museum’s future.”
A major highlight of the auction is El Anatsui’s Warrior (2015, estimate: £ 400,000 – £ 600,000) one of the artist’s iconic ‘bottle-top’ works. Moulding thousands of aluminium bottle tops that he sources from distilleries near his home in Nsukka in Nigeria, Anatsui creates finely worked tapestries sewn together with copper wire – grand, variegated ‘cloths’ that ripple across West African history, tying together past and present. Warrior is a virtuosic display of dynamism and movement, the image of a figure in gold is woven into the single layer of the metal fabric, appearing to leap lithely out of the work and into the space before it.
More highlights include Yinka Shonibare MBE’s Boy Balancing Knowledge II, (2016, £ 50,000 – £ 70,000) which uses the commercial history of widely-available patterned ‘African’ fabrics – which are in reality produced in the Netherlands and exported to Indonesia – to explore ideas of African authenticity in the global market. Pascale Marthine Tayou’s Poupée Pascale reinterprets the adornment rituals of West African sculpture by clothing his crystal figures in costumes made from the debris of everyday life. At the same time, these works speak to Antony Gormley’s own deconstructed human figures, or Isaac Julien’s work on China’s shifting sense of itself in a hyper-globalised twenty-first century.
Housed in the historic Grain Silo that has stood on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront since 1921, Zeitz MOCAA is a path-breaking, not-for-profit institution, which will look to nurture art from across Africa and the African Diaspora. Developing a programme that will help celebrate and historicise African art while supporting new artists, the museum will be housed in one of the most historic structures in Cape Town. The building, comprising 9,500 square metres will display works in 80 galleries over nine floors and is being designed by Thomas Heatherwick. While the size of the museum space itself will enable African and Diaspora artists to be exhibited on a grand scale, in its commitment to art education and open access, the museum will also look to communicate a distinctive sense of art that is available to all – and that will look to inspire generations of artists to come.