Exhibition Of Modern And Contemporary Congolese Art At Bonhams New Bond Street

Africa Now
4 Oct 2018
London, New Bond Street

The international auction house Bonhams is holding an exhibition of important Congolese modern and contemporary art from September 30 – 4 October at its headquarters at 101 New Bond Street.

The works, from highly-regarded artists such as Chéri Samba, Aimé Mpane, and Freddy Tsimba, will then be offered at Bonhams Africa Now sale on Thursday 4th October. The proceeds of eight of the artworks will go to Malaika, a charity founded by international model and philanthropist Noella Coursaris Musunka to empower Congolese girls and their communities through education and projects that promote equality and healthy living; and AMADE, which provides help for vulnerable children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. AMADE is supported by Her Royal Highness Caroline, The Princess of Hanover, who will attend the private viewing of the auction.

Congolese artists are among the most eagerly sought after in the international market for African Art because of their vibrant, highly original approach. Quoted in the autumn edition of Bonhams Magazine, Bonhams specialist in African Art, Eliza Sawyer explains "There isn't a long history of formal art education in Congo so many of these artists are more heavily influenced by the music scene or by advertising or by television."

Highlights include:

- Le Debut de Chėri Samba by Chéri Samba (b.1956). Samba, the eldest son of a blacksmith, moved to Kinshasa at 16 and began work as a sign painter, and then later as a magazine illustrator. His pieces are characteristically outlined by thick yellow lines and painted in bright, vivid, colors reminiscent of the sunny tones of billboard advertising. Estimate: £20,000-30,000.

- Center fermé, rêve ouvert by Freddy Tsimba (b.1967) shows a figure depicted from the back with his hands raised in surrender. It was inspired by a personal experience in Belgium, when he was detained on arrival for a few days for not carrying the correct travel permit. Tsimba has made a series of such sculptures from flattened cartridges, bits of weaponry, and found scraps of metal and is gaining a growing following. Estimate: £7,000-10,000.

- In the Mood by Zemba Luzamba (b.1973) portrays a Congolese man in a suit and tie. Luzamba's paintings often show Congolese men dressed formally as a quiet symbol of political resistance. This dates from a time when Western dress was outlawed in the country. As he explains, "In Congolese society, there are certain things that we never actually talk about -- big issues kept beneath a surface facade. So I went with that flow, and a sense of only what can be seen on the surface has influenced some of the works that I've been doing." Estimate: £3,000-5,000.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewelry. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

  1. Giles Peppiatt
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8355
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5839

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