Modern & Contemporary African Art

Modern & Contemporary African Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 34. Hawkers.

Kobina Bucknor


Lot Closed

October 19, 02:32 PM GMT


4,000 - 6,000 GBP

Lot Details


Kobina Bucknor




acrylic on canvas

88 by 56cm., 34⅝ by 22in.

Estate of the artist

Acquired from the above by the present owner, Accra, 1976

Ghanaian Master Kobina Bucknor, much like his West African contemporaries Uche Okeke and the Zaria Rebels in Nigeria, believed in the synthesis of ancient African culture and folklore with modern painting methods to create works that hold African traditions in reverence as well as respond to contemporary society. A central feature of Bucknor’s works include the translation of the sculptural language used by a wood carver into painting, a process which he described as “sculptural idiom”.

Bucknor’s sculptural idiom favoured and elevated stylistic representation over formal rules, such as perspective and realism. Imbued with movement and rhythm, the paintings in Bucknor’s oeuvre are representations of a truly African aesthetic, and Hawkers is no different. The faces of the subjects in the work are reminiscent of African masks carved in wood, their necks elegantly elongated and the outstretched hand of the main figure creates depth in the work, as well as cautiously invites the viewer into the ethereal gathering.

Born in 1924, Kobina Bucknor was a PhD trained research scientist, as well as a pioneer of modern art in Ghana. Invigorated by the independence of Ghana in 1957, Bucknor sought to create works that were emblematic of the young nation. Entirely self-taught in the visual arts, the artist drew influence from the Negritude and other Pan African philosophies prevalent in West Africa during the 1960s. In his role as Chairman of Ghana’s Art council, as well as his artistic practice, Bucknor would go on to influence a generation of Ghanaian artists.

The present lot is one of the artist's final paintings, and remained in his studio at the time of his death, which explains why it is unsigned.