Sotheby’s October auction features Enwonwu’s Ogolo Series

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Story: Ayodele Ojo

Sotheby auction house is featuring one of Africa’s best master piece ‘Ogolo’, by Ben Enwonwu in its Contemporary African Art auction in October. Its Director, Head of Modern African Art, Hannah O’Leary made the announcement. Enwonwu is a notable painter and sculptor. The Ogolo series is reminiscent of the traditional masquerade popular in the South Eastern Nigeria.

Ben Enwonwu Ogolo masquerade Photo: Hannah O’Leary

According to Oliver, his son, Enwonwu started painting “Mmuo Series” as far back as 1949, they are the Onitsha masquerades that are a representation of the spirits of the ancestors. The Ogholo is the male, while the Agho gho muo, is the female spirit. Most of the series were done in either watercolor or gouache, but his influence transcends the African art, having broken the mould to achieve global fame in the 1950s.

Ben Enwonwu working on the Statue of Queen Elizabeth Photo: Omenka Online

Wikipedia, says, Enwonwu is ,‘arguably the most influential African artist of the 20th century, his pioneering career opened the way for the postcolonial proliferation and increased visibility of modern African art. He was one of the first African artists to win critical acclaim, having exhibited in august exhibition spaces in Europe and the United States and listed in international directories of contemporary art. Since 1950, Enwonwu was celebrated as “Africa’s Greatest Artist” by the international media’.

Sotheby has not released details of the auction.

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