S otheby’s is honoured to host this prestigious benefit auction on behalf of the third exhibition of The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize.
The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2024 aims to benefit contemporary artists working in Africa or in the African diaspora by increasing their international exposure in the global art market, whilst also raising funds for arts education programmes on the continent. The Prize is a collaboration between The Sovereign Art Foundation and the Norval Foundation and celebrates the practice of some of the most significant contemporary artists working today.
The 27 finalists will present their shortlisted artwork at an exhibition at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, which opens to the public on 14 February and runs until 15 May 2024.
The Grand Prize, to be announced on 13 February, consists of a cash award of 35,000 USD, the rare opportunity for a solo exhibition at the Norval Foundation and an artist residency in London. The public are also invited to vote for their personal favourite artist and artwork, the most popular of which will be awarded The Public Vote Prize of USD 2,000.
All works, excluding the Grand Prize Winner, will be entered into the auction, which Sotheby’s will take part in administering from 13 – 20 February. The Prize aims to raise significant funds for the shortlisted artists and for Norval Foundation’s Learning Centre in an equal split. Click here to view the Terms and Conditions.
A total of 375 entries were received and 27 finalists, representing 17 different nationalities, where then shortlisted by a panel of five world-class art specialists, namely: Ashraf Jamal – Writer and Researcher, ArtBankSA and University of Johannesburg; Heba El Kayal – Curatorial Consultant, Norval Foundation; Marie-Ann Yemsi – independent Exhibition Curator and Contemporary Art Consultant; Ngaire Blankenberg – Founder and Director, Institute for Creative Repair; and Sean O’Toole – Writer, Editor and Curator.
“This 2024 edition is rich and exciting, with artists from a wide range of horizons, and I'm proud of the significant presence of women artists. This third edition testifies to the very significant evolution of the prize, with a final selection of artists whose quality and originality of their work is intrinsically associated with a deep and lucid reflection on the world. I am delighted to note the decisive impact of the NSAAP on the development of the careers of the first two winners, and the very positive spin-offs for the finalists in terms of visibility thanks to the group exhibition presented by the Norval Foundation.”
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.
To raise significant funds for the artists and for Norval Foundation’s Learning Centre.
How It Works
Nomination and Shortlisting: The Prize invites contemporary artists, nominated by a board of independent art professionals, to each enter up to three artworks online. A judging panel comprised of world-class art experts shortlist the 27 most accomplished artworks from a range of digital entries.
Exhibition and Artwork Auction: The shortlisted artworks are then exhibited at Norval Foundation in Cape Town, where they are judged for a second time, in person. The judges scores are aggregated, and a Grand Prize winner is named on 13 February 2024 at a launch event at Norval Foundation. The remaining shortlisted artworks are auctioned, and proceeds split evenly between the artists and Norval Foundation’s Learning Centre. All works will be exhibited at Norval Foundation between 14 February and 15 May 2024.
Public Vote: To encourage engagement and increase exposure of the artists’ works, the general public are invited to cast a vote online or in person for their favourite artwork displayed in the exhibition. The artwork with the most votes is awarded the Public Vote Prize.
USD 35,000, Grand Prize
USD 2,000, Public Vote Prize
Norval Foundation is most dedicated to the research and understanding of twentieth and twenty-first century visual artists from Africa and its diasporas. The Foundation is located within the Steenberg area in Cape Town, alongside the Table Mountain National Park, and combines the experience of art with an appreciation for Cape nature.
Norval Foundation fully supports the ideals surrounding the notion that art has the power to enrich our lives and artists contribute to our communities in the most profound ways. The aim of the Norval family, the founders and initial funders of Norval Foundation, is to make art widely accessible to local and international visitors by creating a self-sustaining centre for the arts. The proceeds raised from capital donations are used to secure the Foundation for future generations.
The Gerard Sekoto Foundation is based at Norval Foundation, as well as the Edoardo Villa Estate Collection and the Alexis Preller Archive.
Click here to read more.
Founded in 2003, an initiative of The Sovereign Group, The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) is a charitable organisation with a well-defined twin focus: to recognise the growing wealth of contemporary art talent in Asia and to bring the proven benefits of expressive arts to disadvantaged children by means of education and engagement.
SAF launched The Sovereign Asian Art Prize, now recognised as the most established and very prestigious annual art award in Asia-Pacific. The Prize also 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, who uses these proceeds to fund programmes that support disadvantaged children using engaging arts. This plan has so far raised over US $9 million for artists and charities worldwide.
In 2013, SAF launched Make It Better (MIB) in Hong Kong, an insightful initiative that supports children from low-income backgrounds and with special educational needs. MIB works in local schools and community centres to offer children a programme of expressive arts workshops designed to help build self-esteem and confidence, as well as self-awareness and interpersonal skills. SAF also supports teachers, social workers and caregivers of these children by introducing them to the beneficial therapy of art.