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.

  • Mohamed Abdella Otaybi; Displacement
  • Mohamed Abdella Otaybi; Displacement

Lot Estimate
ZAR 60 000 - 100 000
VAT is charged on both hammer & premium for daggered lots

About this Item

Sudanese 1948-

signed and dated '021'

acrylic on canvas
74,5 by 50 by 2,5cm, unframed


Mohamed Abdella Otaybi is an influential figure in the Sudanese artistic movement. Otaybi graduated from the Khartoum College of Fine and Applied Arts and began working as an artist during a dynamic period of the 1970s. He was immersed in debates about cultural heritage and visual identity, which have stayed important topics for him. This amalgamation of Africanism, Islam, Arabism, and Sudanese themes of identity is seen throughout his paintings. His painterly language has evolved over the years, using architectural structures, decorative motifs, and calligraphic forms to echo the questions around cultural heritage that he finds so important. A gentle activist, his work has a romantic hue of Sudanese life, nature, music, and heritage. Layering colour creates depth and vibration and adds to the mythological and dreamlike quality of his paintings, which reference a cultural past.

Otaybi has held many solo exhibitions in Khartoum, from 1970 to the present, and has shown in international group exhibitions including the Sharjah Biennial, UAE, 1993; Modernism in Sudanese Art, British Museum, London, UK, 2004; Sudan: Emergence of Singularities, P21 Gallery, London, UK, 2017; and a solo exhibition, The Lost Paradise at Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya, 2022. His work features in private and public collections including the National Museum in Sharjah, UAE. In December 2018 Otaybi was the focus of the article ‘Masters we Need to Master’ in Collector Magazine published by Art Africa.

Biography courtesy of Circle Art Gallery.


Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, 2023.


Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya, Mohamed Abdella Otaybi Solo Exhibition: The Lost Paradise, 29 June to 30 July 2022.

Circle Art Gallery, Cromwell Place, London, East African Masters, 6 to 11 October 2022.

View all Mohamed Abdella Otaybi lots for sale in this auction

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