“Walkers with the Dawn and Morning,” a 2008 piece by Julie Mehretu, Ethiopian-American painter, sold for what is reported to be a record high for African artwork. It fetched $10.7 million at “The Now Evening Auction” held on November 15, 2023, in New York.
According to a report by the BBC, “The sale of the work is indicative of the strong interest in contemporary African art, which is now seeing a growing market for abstract work.”
Two bidders vied for the artwork, driving the price up to $9.5 million, ultimately settling at $10.7 million, including additional payments, as reported by BBC on Friday, November 17, 2023.
Mehretu created “Walkers with the Dawn and Morning,” for an exhibition organized in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and its impact on the city of New Orleans.
Sothebys.com described ‘Walkers with the Dawn and Morning’ from 2008 as “At once hypnotically tumultuous and exactingly constructed, an expansive celebration of Black perseverance post-Hurricane Katrina, swirling with dense layers, choreographed linework, and hints of bright color in a deep, tonal sea.”
Lucius Elliot, Head of The Now Evening Sale, remarked that “Walkers with the Dawn and Morning” represents “the very best of Julie Mehretu’s work.”
The artwork was named after the eponymous poem by Langston Hughes, ‘Walkers with the Dawn and Morning.”
The 52-year-old painter was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States in the early 1970s due to political reasons.
” Mehretu was chosen to create BMW’s next Art Car. Her work will be painted onto a BMW car that will be part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race next year,” BBC reported.
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