MEDIA ALERT | African and Oceanic Art | 12 May 2016


New York

New York - On May 12, Christie’s presents Evolution of Form: African and Oceanic Art at the Genesis of Modernism, an exceptional sale of 11 works from the Ivory Coast, Mali, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo regions. This rich selection will be offered during 20th Century Week and will be exhibited alongside works from the Impressionist & Modern Art and the Post-War and Contemporary Art sales. The sale is an ode to the landmark exhibition curated by William Rubin at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1984 – ‘Primitivism’ in 20th Century Art – to show that these contemporary and modern masters all absorbed the movements, shapes, forms and originality of African cultures as part of their artistic foundation.

Susan Kloman, International Head of African and Oceanic Art, comments: “This is truly a special opportunity for many clients who recognize that African and Oceanic art has directly influenced modern and contemporary art. Affinities of form reveal themselves: an important Bioma figure from New Guinea is echoed in surrealist works and the creations of Jean Dubuffet; the Rubinstein Dan mask from the Ivory Coast ‘shifts the paradigm of how we consider the human face just as Francis Bacon’s work rivets us through similar brute transformations’. The intent of this sale is to demonstrate the continued importance of these works of art on the great world stage of art."

Please click here to view a video of Susan Kloman speaking about the exceptional African & Oceanic art works and how they inspired contemporary art.



About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in the first half of 2018 that totalled £2.97 billion / $4.04 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.