This month, at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London, a new auction record was set for Nigerian artist Toyin Ojih Odutola. The latest in a string of world records achieved for Nigerian artists by the auction house, Odutola’s Selective Histories from 2016 soared to $329,475 in her evening auction debut.
Sotheby’s now leads the market globally for Nigerian art and has set the benchmark for three of the four highest selling Nigerian artists. This follows the momentous sale of Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s Bush Babies, selling for $3.4 million at Sotheby’s New York in May 2018, and Yinka Shonibare’s CBE Red Lantern Kid, which achieved over double its estimate fetching $325,000 in December 2018.
Sotheby’s forthcoming Modern & Contemporary African Art Auction will take place in London on April 2, showcasing some of the giants of Modern and Contemporary Nigerian art – from J.D. Okhai Ojeikere to Ben Enwonwu and Uzo Egonu. Since the inauguration of the series in 2017, Sotheby’s sales in the category have achieved fifty world records, championing the work of artists from across the African diaspora and underscoring the rising global interest.