Circle Art Gallery of Nairobi is resuming their annual live art auctions once again. The Art Auction East Africa, on November 9, 2021, at the Radisson Blu Arboretum Hotel, will auction over 60 lots.
One of Nairobi’s foremost galleries, Circle Art has held an annual auction of East African works since 2013.
“The auction event is really important and people love to come, meet friends and bid live,” said gallery director, Danda Jaroljmek.
Old and new
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, last year’s edition was a virtual event through an online auction platform. Nevertheless, they managed to sell a majority of the lots. The auction usually attracts interest from a range of bidders living in Kenya, across Africa, Europe, USA and Asia.
This year’s lots are from private collections and directly from some artists. All together it is an exciting collection of paintings and sculptures. One of the oldest artworks is a 1970 stoneware carving by Kenyan Edward Njenga, 99, whose pieces feature in private and public collections worldwide.
Another pioneer artist is collagist Rosemary Karuga who passed away in February 2021 at age 93.
Some enticing pieces are figurative illustrations by the late Geoffrey Mukasa and a rare still life oil on board by Livingston Nkata, both from Uganda.
There is a wood panel painting by Twins Seven Seven of Nigeria and lovely etching on paper by Tanzania’s Robino Ntila.
Tinga Tinga style
Another highlight is two originals by Tanzania’s Edward Saidi Tingatinga, eponymous creator of the Tinga Tinga style of art.
The self-made visual artist only practiced for a few years, between 1968 and 1972, before he was accidentally shot by police. Tinga Tinga art can be seen all over East Africa, however, original paintings by Edward Saidi are rare to find.
From contemporary sculptor Cyrus Kabiru is an oversized black mamba bicycle and an analogue radio made from reclaimed objects. Works by Romano Lutwama, Muwonge Matthias Kyazze, and George Kyeyune are some of the other Ugandan artists. Eritrea-born Fitsum Berhe, Tamrat Gezahegne of Ethiopia and four Sudanese artists are on the list as well.
Participation in the bidding is by advance registration and the lots can be viewed at the Gallery ahead of the auction.
The proceeds from some of the lots will be donated to the The African Arts Trust that supports East African artists and organisations.