S otheby’s is honoured to host this benefit auction on behalf of the first ever The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize.
The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2022, sponsored by EON Reality, aims to benefit contemporary artists working in Africa or in the African diaspora by increasing their international exposure. A collaboration between The Sovereign Art Foundation and Norval Foundation, the Prize celebrates the practice of some of the most significant contemporary artists working today.
A total of 336 entries were received from artists from 37 countries. The 30 artists that have been shortlisted as finalists hail from 18 countries, of which South Africa has the strongest representation, followed by Zimbabwe, Angola, Morocco, and Nigeria. The exhibition of shortlisted work opened at Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa on 26 January 2022 and runs until 28 February 2022.
The Grand Prize, to be announced on 15 February, is a cash award of ZAR 500 000 and the opportunity for a solo exhibition at Norval Foundation in Cape Town. The public are also invited to vote for their favourite, the most popular of which will be awarded The Public Vote Prize.
The finalists (excluding the Grand Prize Winner) are offered here the auction with all proceeds going to the shortlisted artists and to raise funds for Norval Foundation’s Educational Programme in an equal split.
A board of 53 independent art professionals – comprising of curators and academics who work closely with artists in their respective regions – nominated artists to enter. 30 finalists were then shortlisted by a panel of five world-class art specialists: David Elliott; Janine Gaëlle Dieudji; Khanya Mashabela; Marie-Ann Yemsi; and Tim Marlow.
- GhanaLotZohra OpokuGreat Black Water is my name. My forms (are) the forms of Khepri, the foliage of Atum. Repeat. I entered as one who was ignorant; I have gone forth as an akh. [I] shall be seen in my form as a human forever.’ Extract from The Papyrus of SobekmoseEstimate: 12,000 – 18,000 USDThe Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2022 Benefit Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s15–22 February 2022 | 12:00 PM EST | New York
T he Norval Sovereign African Art Prize, sponsored by EON Reality aims to benefit contemporary artists working in Africa or in the African diaspora by increasing their international exposure. A collaboration between The Sovereign Art Foundation and Norval Foundation, the Prize celebrates the practice of some of the most significant contemporary artists working today. Click here to view the Terms and Conditions.
A board of 53 independent art professionals – comprising of curators and academics who work closely with artists in their respective regions – nominated artists to enter. 30 finalists were then shortlisted by a panel of five world-class art specialists, namely: Writer/Curator and Museum Director, David Elliott; Exhibitions Director, Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, Janine Gaëlle Dieudji; Curator, Norval Foundation, Khanya Mashabela; Exhibition Curator and Contemporary Art Consultant, Marie-Ann Yemsi; and Chief Executive and Director, Design Museum, Tim Marlow.
A total of 336 entries were received from artists from 37 countries. The 30 artists that have been shortlisted as finalists for The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize hail from 18 countries, of which South Africa has the strongest representation, followed by Zimbabwe, Angola, Morocco, and Nigeria. The exhibition of shortlisted work opens at Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa on 26 January 2022 and runs until 28 February 2022.
The Grand Prize is a cash award of R500 000 Rand and the opportunity for a solo exhibition at Norval Foundation in Cape Town. The public are also invited to vote for their favourite, the most popular of which will be awarded The Public Vote Prize.
All works, excluding the Grand Prize Winner, will be entered into the auction – administered by Sotheby’s from 15 – 22 February; whereby The Prize aims to raise significant funds for the shortlisted artists and for Norval Foundation’s Educational Programme in an equal split.
Aims and Objectives
- To exhibit a balanced representation of the most significant contemporary art from the African continent and African diaspora and showcase its diverse character and qualities.
- To widen and build knowledge of the work of contemporary artists in the region, to give them public visibility, exposure in the art market and a wider international following.
- To display artworks in a considered space so that visitors may directly engage with some of the best contemporary art from the region and to make this exhibition available online to reach as broad an audience as possible.
A Message From…
Howard Bilton, Founder and Chairman, The Sovereign Art Foundation & Sovereign Group
"This is not just a donation, it’s an investment in art, children, and their futures."
The collaboration between Norval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation showcases the possibility of partnerships by bringing together their distinct backgrounds and scopes of expertise, for the achievement of a shared goal. We are so grateful to the Norval team for embarking on this journey with us, to build what we are sure will become the region’s best and most prestigious art prize.
Louis Norval, Norval Foundation Founder and Chairman
"Mareli and I have sought to create a museum that can flourish and grow, guided by professionals, and which contributes to the African arts eco-system."
Since the Museum’s opening in April 2018 we have undertaken 26 exhibitions and three atrium commissions highlighted by successful exhibitions featuring artists like William Kentridge, Zanele Muholi and Irma Stern. The role of the museum continues to be confirmed when I see artists from the region achieving remarkable critical and commercial success internationally. Norval Foundation was established to assist artists like these in their ambition to create globally significant work that can hold its own in any museum or gallery. We wanted to create a space where the work of artists, both past and present, could be shared with both the local and international public in a way that is globally respected and relevant
Owen Martin, Norval Foundation Director
"At the core of Norval Foundation’s mission is creative learning, realised through our artistic, public and publishing programmes, and directly through the activities of our newly opened Learning Centre. The funds generated by the Prize will specifically go towards our Learning Centre, supporting the transportation of learners from historically disadvantaged communities."
We are delighted to be launching The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize in collaboration with the Sovereign Art Foundation. The Prize aims to be a catalyst for the practice of a leading contemporary artist from Africa and its diasporas through a R 500 000 South African Rand cash prize, increased visibility through our partners, and critical engagement with the artist’s practice through a solo exhibition. It also aims to bring international attention and additional funds to the shortlisted artists—all leading visual arts practitioners. Given the limited public funding for the arts and arts education, both within South Africa and in other parts of the continent, we believe that the Prize will positively contribute to the arts ecosystem while experimenting with a new funding model that creates shared value.
We’re deeply grateful to our co-founder, Sovereign Art Foundation, the artists and judges for their involvement, and to our partners who have so generously supported the Prize, including Sotheby’s, Aspiring Logistics, Pineapple House and Steenberg Vineyards. Special thanks also needs to be made to all of the galleries that facilitated the applications of the artists they represent. None of these exciting developments would be possible without a dynamic, dedicated team, engaged donors, and the Norval Family’s ongoing support.
About Norval Foundation
Norval Foundation is dedicated to the research, understanding and care of twentieth and twenty-first century visual art from Africa and its diasporas. Located in the Steenberg area of Cape Town, adjacent to Table Mountain National Park, Norval Foundation combines the experience of art with an appreciation for nature.
Norval Foundation supports the idea that art has the power to enrich our lives and that artists contribute to our communities in a profound way. The Norval family are the founders and initial funders of Norval Foundation and their aim is to make art widely accessible to local and international visitors by creating a self-sustaining centre for art. The proceeds from capital donations are used to secure the Foundation for future generations.
The Gerard Sekoto Foundation is based at Norval Foundation, as are the Edoardo Villa Estate Collection and the Alexis Preller Archive.
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About Sovereign Art Foundation
An initiative of The Sovereign Group, The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) is a charitable organisation that was founded in 2003 with a well-defined twin focus: to recognise the growing wealth of contemporary art talent in Asia and bring the proven benefits of expressive arts to disadvantaged children.
In the same year, SAF launched The Sovereign Asian Art Prize, now recognised as the most established and prestigious annual art award in Asia-Pacific. The Prize increases the international exposure of artists in the region, whilst raising funds by auctioning shortlisted artworks and sharing proceeds equally between the participating artists and SAF. SAF uses these proceeds to fund programmes that support disadvantaged children using expressive arts. This model has so far raised over US$9 million for artists and charities worldwide
In 2013, SAF launched Make It Better (MIB), an initiative that supports children from low-income backgrounds and with special educational needs in Hong Kong. MIB works in local schools and community centres to offer children a programme of expressive arts workshops designed to build self-esteem, confidence, self-awareness and interpersonal skills. SAF also supports teachers, social workers and caregivers of these children by introducing them to the therapeutic benefits of art.