He is one of the pioneers whose career opened the way for the postcolonial proliferation and increased the visibility of modern African art. One of his most famous piece of art, Anyanwu was recently sold at a Dinner held in London to commemorate his centenary.
Anywanwu literally means ‘the sun’ in the Igbo language and it is a bronze sculpture of a 6ft 10in woman dressed in the royal regalia of the Bini people: a ‘chicken-beak’ headdress, heavy coral necklaces and bracelets.
The first full-size Anyanwu was commissioned in 1954 by the colonial government of Nigeria to celebrate the establishment of the National Museum at Onikan in Lagos. It was purchased in London by a close friend of the artist in the 1970s and was in a private collection until yesterday’s auction.
Now, this piece of sculpture was auctioned for a record £353,000 (N138.4 million)
A whopping N138.4 million people.