ARTSPLIT, the pioneering African art technology platform, has announced Bridges – the December edition of its modern & contemporary online auction featuring three iconic works by Ghanaian artists from 2 to 17 December available to access via the dedicated ARTSPLIT app and on public view at The Mix Design Hub in Accra between 11-16 December.
The auction follows from the successful inaugural Modern and Contemporary African Arts (MOCONA) Auction which took place in July 2022 and a recent November auction which coincided with Africa’s premier contemporary art fair ART X Lagos and saw the sales of works by some of the continent’s most celebrated artists including Yusuf Grillo and George Pemba.
The Bridges auction will continue ARTSPLIT’s efforts of creating better access and value for both emerging African artists and already established artists. The auction will feature works by three Ghanaian artists; bold colourful paintings by Isshaq Ismail, the vibrant works of Ablade Glover that capture the joyous everyday life of Ghana and finally Kofi Agorsor whose buoyant, semi-abstract and witty depictions of his subjects have received widespread international acclaim.
The artists included in the auction bridge generations of artistic excellence, divulging an exploratory voyage into artistic skill, medium, and narrative across generations. All three artists evoke emotions and canonise womanhood as an ode to the motherland, referencing sociocultural norms and features in their works and bridging generations of artistic mastery and skill. These artists use their art to express resilience, inspire, reflect, and motivate change in the face of ongoing national and international challenges.
Ablade Glover’s work reflects his deep love of life, activity, and colour. Glover depicts animated landscapes that mirror the exuberant diversity of Africa: its bustling market stalls, brightly attired crowds and women, and the dynamic energy that is Ghana, using warm impastoed pigments to express the dynamism, energy, and heat of his country. Mostly, his canvases are a love affair with Africa, generously splattered on canvas, evoking the continent’s struggle, tension, beauty, and verve.
The vibrant, bold colours used in Kofi Agorsor’s paintings depict the daily lives of modern Ghanaians of spontaneity and order. His paintings are frequently embellished with splashes, drips, and flows of paint that intertwine to form magnificent forests or labyrinths, reflecting the interplay of music, dance movements, and geometry. He frequently employs pulsing colours to create an interpretation of the essence of contemporary Ghanaians; lived experiences set against the backdrop of entertainment.
Isshaq Ismail uses black, brown, green, red, ochre, purple, and blue to investigate and explore grotesque figures and textures. Ismail describes his process in sculptural terms, describing how he manipulates paint with thick, gestural brushstrokes in the same way a sculptor shapes clay. Through these striking and evocative works, he hopes to subvert and interrogate conventional notions of beauty. Representing the masses and advocating for the voiceless; his paintings explore themes of desire, resilience, power, and hope.
The ARTSPLIT app allows users to own fractions of prominent African artworks, also known as “Splits,” and keep or sell them on the app at the end of the Split Auction.” The Splits allow multiple people to co-own a single iconic piece of art, which no other art platform currently does. Users can also participate in a ‘Lease Auction’ on the app to win physical custody of these co-owned artworks for a set period.
The December auction follows the massive success of the November auction as well as the inaugural MOCONA auction held in July and attended by key figures in the Lagos art scene and exhibiting artists Edosa Ogiugo, El-Dragg Okwoju, and Abiodun Olaku. The MOCONA auction, titled Ode to Mastery, featured five prominent Nigerian artists who are key drivers of the continent’s contemporary art scene: Abiodun Olaku, Duke Asidere, Edosa Ogiugo, El-Dragg Okwoju, and Oliver Enwonwu.