Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa

Live Virtual Auction, 28 February 2023

Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa
About the Session

Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa is a dynamic collaborative project conceived by Strauss & Co to address the need for diversified representation of artists from across the African continent in the secondary market. Curated by Strauss & Co Heads of Sale, Kirsty Colledge and Kate Fellens, with input by seven international art experts with embedded knowledge of Africa; Serge Tiroche, Valerie Kabov, Heba Elkayal, Danda Jaroljmek, Anne Kariuki, Dana Endundo Ferreira, Kimberley Cunningham. Curatorial Voices presents collectors with a broad selection of work by leading contemporary artists alongside select pieces by important historical artists.

Sold for

ZAR 152 425
Lot 40
  • Thierry Oussou; Trace XI
  • Thierry Oussou; Trace XI
  • Thierry Oussou; Trace XI
  • Thierry Oussou; Trace XI
  • Thierry Oussou; Trace XI

Lot Estimate
ZAR 50 000 - 70 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 152 425

About this Item

Beninese 1988-
Trace XI

signed and dated 2015

mixed media on paper
151,5 by 153cm excluding frame; 160,5 by 160,5 by 3,5cm including frame


The gestural mark-making and neo-expressionist figuration in this large drawing is typical of his black-paper drawings. Oussou favours paper over canvas as his primary medium. ‘Paper is very sculptural … The physical quality of paper is paramount for me. It’s the physical quality of the human being.’1 Oussou’s earliest drawings were small works inspired by the slates used by schoolchildren, but in 2014 he started to experiment with larger works such as this, which are now his standard practice.

Thierry Oussou is a self-taught artist who works with drawing, painting, video, installation, and performance. His idiosyncratic practice borrows from archaeological methods and explores the relationship between contemporary art and ethnographic objects. In 2011, Oussou founded Atelier Ye in Benin as an informal art school where artists could assemble and exchange ideas. His practice caught the attention of artists Meschac Gaba and Barthélémy Toguo, who he subsequently assisted. Born in Benin, Oussou now lives and works in Amsterdam, where he studied art at the Rijksakademie from 2015 to 2016.

1. Anna McNay. (2018) ‘Thierry Oussou’, Studio International, 8 August, [Online],, accessed 8 December 2018.

View all Thierry Oussou lots for sale in this auction

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