Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
New York City, New York, Contemporary African Art Gallery, Skunder Boghossian, 1992 New York City, New York, Contemporary African Art Gallery, Skunder Boghossian, 1997
Following his formal training in London and Paris, Skunder moved back to Ethiopia in 1966 before accepting a teaching position which took him to the USA in 1970, where he taught at the Atlanta Center for Black Art, then at Howard University from 1972. When a civil war began in Ethiopia in 1974, Skunder could no longer return, and lived in exile until his death in 2003. As a young man in Europe, Skunder had witnessed from afar the end of Italian colonialism and British administration in Eritrea, and its federation with Ethiopia in 1950. Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie dissolved the Eritrean parliament and annexed the territory in 1962, and the ensuing Eritrean War for Independence lasted 30 years against successive Ethiopian governments until 1991, when the Eritrean People's Liberation Front finally defeated the Ethiopian forces in Eritrea. As an artist living in exile for over 20 years at that time, Skunder would have followed news about Ethiopia and its neighbour closely, including the peace talks that took place in his adopted home city Washington DC in early 1991. It was in this context that he painted the current lot, marking the split between the two countries, ahead of independence being officially declared by UN-supervised referendum in early 1993. Just 5 years later, in 1998, a border dispute led to the Eritrean–Ethiopian War, which officially lasted until June 2000. However, the two countries remained hostile until this year, when a peace treaty between both nations was signed on 8 July 2018.
Please note that this work is stretched and framed. There appears to be some light warping visible to the canvas and adhered paper and well as areas where the edge of the paper has lifted from the canvas below, however, this appears to be inherent to the work and the artist's intent. There are also minor surface marks to the bare canvas, which appear to be contemporary to the creation of the work and the artists intent. Overall, the work appears to be in very good original condition. Inspection under UV light shows no signs of restoration or repair. Please note this work has not been examined outside of its frame. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."