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 92 575
Lot 81
  • Pilipili Mulongoy; Two Black Crowned Cranes
  • Pilipili Mulongoy; Two Black Crowned Cranes

Lot Estimate
ZAR 70 000 - 90 000
VAT is charged on both hammer & premium for daggered lots
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 92 575

About this Item

Congolese 1914-2007
Two Black Crowned Cranes


oil on canvas
96 by 87 by 2cm, unframed


Pilipili Mulongoy, better known as Pilipili, is a celebrated Congolese painter and known as one of the leading Congolese painters of his time. He was born in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (previously Zaire). In 1947, he was one of the first artists to join The Hangar School (Le Hangar) established by Pierre Romain–Desfossés to assist artists by providing them with materials and studio space. Pilipili was encouraged by Romain-Desfossés to find inspiration for his subject matter in his environment, including nature and the surrounding flora and fauna. Like many of his Hangar School peers, his work depicts the rich and diverse Congolese landscape including verdant forests, lush foliage, wildlife, aquatic life, and people. His works are steeped in regional folklore with each painting presenting a moral story and often illustrating the transience of life. Pilipili’s rich subject matter is delicately depicted through the use of vibrant colours and his distinctive rhythmic brushstrokes. His brightly coloured and sometimes fantastical background landscapes, textured by fine lines and speckled marks are reminiscent of the geometric marks on Kuba tapestries.

Pilipili’s work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions, including the EXPO 58 in Brussels, and the Histoires de voir exhibition at BCZ Bank in 2012. Between 2015 and 2016, his work was included in a survey exhibition of modern and contemporary Congolese art at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, France entitled Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko. Pilipili’s paintings are represented in leading public and private collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York and in the private collections of Belgian royalty.

The artist died in 2007.


Bonhams, London, 13 May 2020, lot 65.

Pavillon 54, Global Digital Platform, 2023.

View all Pilipili Mulongoy lots for sale in this auction

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