In 2010 Simon Njami, the curator born in Cameroon and based in France, and Africa’s most celebrated architect, David Adjaye, staged an ambitious initiative. In Art at Work, they conceived of an adaptive travelling exhibition across eight cities on the continent. Adjaye took care of the pop-up gallery and Njami engaged local artists in each city to generate the art. The art was probably not the most cutting-edge, and it was mostly photography. But the expression was particular to — and different in — each city, extending the pluralistic view of African art Njami has been promoting throughout his career. It should be a given that African art has no obvious identifiable features. Yet art professionals on the continent are constantly trying to make this point. This is what makes art auctions such interesting platforms on which to consider art. An uncontrived multiplicity of expression occurs naturally in the secondary art market. The artworks are curated, selected through a filtering pr...

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