Skip to main content

MOWAA Collaborates with Christie’s to raise funds for the MOWAA Campus and Institutional Initiatives

September 25 2023
3 minute read

WORKS DONATED BY KEHINDE WILEY, YINKA SHONIBARE, TUNJI ADENIYI-JONES, LAKWENA MACIVER AND VICTOR EHIKHAMENOR

TO BE OFFERED DURING FRIEZE WEEK AS PART OF CHRISTIE’S 20/21 SALE SERIES


ADDITIONAL ARTISTS TO BE ANNOUNCED

From left to right: Tunji Adeniyi-Jones (b. 1992, UK), Yinka Shonibare (b. 1962, London), Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977, Los Angeles) Lakwena Maciver (b. 1986, London), Victor Ehikhamenor (b. 1970, Nigeria)*

London – Christie’s and the Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) in Nigeria are collaborating to raise funds for MOWAA and its initiatives to create a cultural ecosystem in Benin City, based on the art of the past, present and future. A number of artists have generously agreed to donate original works of art to the auction, including Kehinde Wiley, Yinka Shonibare, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Lakwena Maciver and Victor Ehikhamenor, with additional artists to be announced. Proceeds from the sale of the works will go towards MOWAA initiatives including the presentation of the Nigerian Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, 2024—commissioned by the Governor of Edo State and also curated by Aindrea Emelife—and the 20-acre Creative District, including the Rainforest Gallery. Designed by the Dakar-based architecture firm Worofila, the Rainforest Gallery will be dedicated to showcasing Modern and Contemporary art, as well as historic exhibitions.

Aindrea Emelife, Curator for the Nigerian Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia; Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, the Museum of West African Art: “MOWAA is thrilled to partner with Christie’s during this year’s Frieze London. Through the generosity of artists and collectors we are able to bring a collection of incredible works to auction. This will directly benefit core parts of our mission and creative initiatives from providing critical infrastructure and programming to supporting contemporary creatives and cultural heritage specialists in West Africa. I am deeply grateful to all of the artists for their advocacy and support. MOWAA presents an important moment for us all. This is not just an opportunity for Africa, but for the world. How can we imagine the art of tomorrow when we don’t really know the full expanse of today or our many pasts? By investigating, researching, looking back and dreaming, MOWAA allow us to tell a fuller story of the world. There is power in the imaginary and in discovery. We must come together and re-dream. And, we must know who we are; all of us.”

Anthea Peers, President EMEA, Christie’s: “The London art community is coming together this October to celebrate 20 years of Frieze Art Fair and the city’s unique and pivotal position within the global art ecosystem. Christie’s collaboration with MOWAA for our London sales epitomises the vibrancy of the capital, highlighting the international vision of artists whose works have been so generously donated to support this seminal institution in West Africa. We are delighted to showcase these works within our Frieze Week programming.”  

Isabel Bardawil, Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s, London: Christie’s is proud to collaborate with MOWAA in the third phase of their fundraising initiatives. Having partnered with Aindrea Emelife on Bold Black British, an exhibition held at Christie’s in 2021, we are thrilled to collaborate again as she brings her curatorial vision for MOWAA and the Nigerian Pavilion in Venice to the forefront in London. Contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora has been a seminal element of our Frieze Week programming since 2020, and includes our ongoing relationship with 1-54, now in its fourth year, and the presentation of the Sina Jina Collection, the largest collection of contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora to be offered at auction, in 2022. We look forward to welcoming our clients to view the incredible works so generously donated by artists and private collectors to support MOWAA, as London celebrates 20 years of Frieze art fair.”

The Nigerian Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, 2024 will be curated by Aindrea Emelife. Eight artists have been selected to be featured in the group exhibition: Tunji Adeniyi-Jones; Ndidi Dike; Onyeka Igwe; Toyin Ojih Odutola; Abraham Oghobase; Precious Okoyomon; Yinka Shonibare CBE RA; and Fatimah Tuggar. Emelife has asked them to respond to the theme and title Nigeria Imaginary. Once the presentation at the Biennale has concluded in November of next year, the exhibition will travel to international institutions, after which it will inaugurate the Rainforest Gallery at MOWAA as it opens to the public in 2025.

*Photographers credits: Tunji Adeniyi-Jones (Photography: On White Wall), Yinka Shonibare (Photography: Tom Jamieson), Kehinde Wiley (Photography: Brad Ogbonna), Lakwena Maciver (Photography: Danika Magdalena), Victor Ehikhamenor (Photography: Ayobami Ogungbe)

Our recent stories

View all stories
Article Building Progress

Museum of West African Art Announces the Opening of the MOWAA Institute

June 18 2024

Read here
Museum of West African Art Announces the Opening of the MOWAA Institute
Article

MOWAA Institute hosts inaugural seminar on West African archaeology

September 25 2023

Read here
MOWAA Institute hosts inaugural seminar on West African archaeology
Article

Nigeria Announces Its Official Participation in the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale

August 31 2023

Read here
Nigeria Announces Its Official Participation in the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale