ARTSPLIT, the pioneering African art trading platform, has announced a new contemporary masters auction from November 4 to 30, featuring two iconic works by Nigerian artist Yusuf Grillo and South African artist George Pemba.

ARTSPLIT allows users to own splits of prominent African artworks including Ben Enwonwu, Duke Asidere, Irma Stern, El Anatsui and more. Here is a link to the app.

Between Life and Death (1976) by George Pemba and Eyo (1993) by Yusuf Grillo are available for Split and Lease auction.

RELATED: ARTSPLIT’s Mocona auction grows value of artworks by an average of 14%

George Pemba is a well-known South African artist known for his bold use of colour, with many of his paintings inspired by his time in the hospital, where he spent much of his time drawing his surroundings, fellow patients, and doctors. Pemba is regarded as a forefather of African social  realism, and in 2004 he was posthumously awarded the Order of Ikhamanga for his contributions to art and literature.


Eyo (1993) by Yusuf Grillo

Yusuf Grillo is a well-known Nigerian artist and the founding president of the Society of Nigerian Artists. Grillo is regarded as one of Nigeria’s most distinguished academically trained painters; he rose to prominence and international acclaim in the 1960s and 1970s, exhibiting an extensive
collection of his early works.

Many of his paintings incorporate elements of his western art training, combining western art techniques with traditional Yoruba sculpture characteristics. His use of blue in natural settings paintings is sometimes reminiscent of adire or resist-dye textiles used in Nigeria.


The auction will coincide with Africa’s premier contemporary art fair, ART X Lagos, where ARTSPLIT will also be hosting a satellite event Art As an Alternative Investment, a seminar series produced in collaboration with Omenka magazine featuring some of the most notable voices in art and business, including Giles Peppiatt, Director of Modern & Contemporary
African Art at Bonhams; Ruarc Peffers, Founding Director of Aspire Art Auctions; and Oba Nsugbe, Pump Court Chambers’ Head of Chambers and others, with each panel moderated by Oliver Enwonwu, Editor-in-Chief of Omenka magazine.

Between Life and Death (1976) by George Pemba

The ARTSPLIT app allows users to own fractions of prominent African artworks, also known as “Splits,” and keep or sell them on the app at the end of the Split Auction.” The Splits allow multiple people to co-own a single iconic piece of art, which no other art platform currently does.

Users can also participate in a ‘Lease Auction’ on the app to win physical custody of these co-owned artworks for a set period.

This November auction follows the massive success of MOCONA, a Modern and Contemporary African Arts Auction held in July and attended by key figures in the Lagos art scene and exhibiting artists Edosa Ogiugo, El-Dragg Okwoju, and Abiodun Olaku.

The MOCONA auction, titled Ode to Mastery, featured five prominent Nigerian artists who are key drivers of the continent’s contemporary art scene: Abiodun Olaku, Duke Asidere, Edosa Ogiugo, El-Dragg Okwoju, and Oliver Enwonwu.


Cover artwork:  ‘A Still Life of Fruit With a Spanish City Beyond’ (1962) by Irma SternIrma Stern.

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