A 1956 portray by French modernist Pierre Soulages that after belonged to the poet, mental and former president of Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor, who died in 2001, offered on Saturday at French public sale home Caen Enchères for €1.5 million ($1.8 million), towards an estimate of €800,000.
Senghor, an advocate of contemporary artwork throughout his tenure as Senegal’s president from 1960-80, bought the summary portray titled “Portray 81 x 60 cm, December 3, 1956,” straight from the artist throughout a studio go to in Paris the identical yr the portray was accomplished. The canvas options the centenarian painter’s signature black impasto brushstrokes on impartial floor works made within the Nineteen Fifties, previous to his outrenoir interval within the late Seventies.
The work was lengthy displayed at Senghor’s workplace in Verson, France, the place her and his spouse, Colette, lived within the Nineteen Eighties following the tip of his presidency, in keeping with Caen. It handed onto Senghor’s sister-in-law in 2019 following Colette’s loss of life, after which to the nameless Caen public sale vendor, a non-relative of the Senghors.
Along with its spectacular possession file, the work was showcased in a solo exhibition devoted to Soulages in 1974 on the Musée Dynamique in Dakar. The institution of the museum was one in every of a sequence of cultural tasks below Senghor’s management, inaugurated in March 1966, six years after he nation’s official independence from French rule. In post-colonial Senegal, Senghor was a serious contributor to the event of the nation as a key centre for visible arts in Africa—additionally founding the First World Pageant of Negro Arts in 1966.
An avid helps of each trendy artwork actions in Europe in addition to African artwork, Senghor described Soulages’s work in his 1958 Lettres Nouvelles: “The primary time I noticed a portray by Pierre Soulages it was a shock. I obtained a blow within the pit of my abdomen that made me wobble, just like the affected boxer who immediately breaks down. That is precisely how I felt after I first noticed a “Dan” masks.”
In 1974, in a speech on the Soulages exhibition in Dakar, the Senegalese president described the French artist’s work additional as “brother of Negro-African artwork not by imitation however by nature.” Yr’s earlier, Senghor analyzed Soulages’s work in an article titled “The Poetry of Pierre Soulage,” writing, “For the normal Negro-African painters, it’s black which naturally expresses life, whereas white expresses Loss of life.”