At the October 12 Bonhams Modern and Contemporary African Art sale, Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu’s oil on canvas painting Yoruba Woman in Blue, regarded as a monumental piece in the artist’s career, sold for £686,200, exceeding its original estimate of £250,000–350,000.
Enwonwu is regarded as one of the most prominent modern African artists, with an almost 60-year artistic career.
Yoruba Woman in Blue demonstrates Enwonwu’s investigation of femininity, a frequent theme in his early 1970s practise.
The painting, which depicts a Yoruba woman in profile, combines the artist’s academic training in Western portraiture with traditional Igbo philosophical themes that advocate women in the community as pillars of society.
In the early 1970s, engaging the feminine topic and exploring femininity was a common thematic practise for him, as evidenced by the work.