14th Sep, 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

  Lot 77
Lot 77 - Paul Kodjo (Ivory Coast 1939-2021)


Paul Kodjo (Ivory Coast 1939-2021)
Untitled (from the Soirée Dansante, Abidjan, 1970 series)

silver gelatin print

Artwork date: 2019
Signature details: embossed with the Paul Kodjo chop mark bottom right; signed, dated and numbered 4/8 on the reverse
Edition: from an edition of 8 + 3AP
Exhibited: In Camera Galerie, Paris, 'Paul Kodjo and Ananias Léki Dago', 17 September to 24 October 2020.

Sold for R113,800
Estimated at R100,000 - R150,000

Condition Report

The overall condition is excellent.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.


silver gelatin print

Artwork date: 2019
Signature details: embossed with the Paul Kodjo chop mark bottom right; signed, dated and numbered 4/8 on the reverse
Edition: from an edition of 8 + 3AP
Exhibited: In Camera Galerie, Paris, 'Paul Kodjo and Ananias Léki Dago', 17 September to 24 October 2020.


sheet size: 40 x 50 cm; image size: 37.5 x 37.5 cm; framed size: 61 x 57 x 3.5 cm


In Camera Galerie, Paris.


Born in 1939 in Banco Forest in Abidjan, Paul Kodjo began his career in the early 1960s, during the dawn of Cote d’Ivoire’s independence. In 1967, he moved to Paris, France, to study photography at the École ABC de la photographie and cinema at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français concurrently. On completion of his formal studies, he remained in Paris working from a photographic studio at 13 bis Rue Laffitte as correspondent for the Ivorian daily Fraternité-Matin and for the Centre d’Information et de Diffusion Ivoirien à Paris. During this time he was one of the only Black photographers to document the May 1968 student protests in Paris.

In 1970, Kodjo returned to Cote d’Ivoire and founded an agency called MAMEDIS (Mass Media Service) to do work in photography, film and publishing. He started publishing his fictional photo-romans in the weekly magazine, Ivoire Dimanche. Kodjo is best known for his photographs taken during this decade in Abidjan and has often been referred to as the ‘father of Ivorian photography’. In 1973, he received the Grand Prize for International Photographic Reporting. In his later years, Kodjo taught photography at the Institut National des Arts in Abidjan.

His work has been exhibited extensively in Paris and was also shown at the Abidjan Goethe Institut during the 2nd edition of the Les Rencontres du Sud photo festival. His work is included in various public collections including the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in France and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada.

A documentary on the life of Paul Kodjo, produced by photographer Ananias Leki Dago, was premiered in Cote d’Ivoire at the Abidjan Institut Français in April 2022.

Makgati Molebatsi

Other examples from the edition are in the collection of Quai Branly Museum, France, and Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.


The artist is represented in numerous local and international collections, notably, Musée du quai Branly, Jacques Chirac, Paris.; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and the collection of Isabel S. Wilcox, New York City.

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Auction: 20th Century & Contemporary Art, 14th Sep, 2022


Aspire Art will impress collectors with this focused, boutique-style auction. Including 81 carefully selected lots the sale boasts impressive examples by many of South Africa’s most celebrated artists. A fine selection of William Kentridge works, including two original drawings, Eduardo Villa sculptures, painting by Robert Hodgins and Walter Battiss and a wonderful early Penny Siopis drawing are on offer.

Also featured are two special sections – Black Modernism and Photography. Aspire has firmly cemented itself as a champion of both these collecting segments and collectors will be spoilt for choice with a rare drawing by Dumile Feni as well as works by other modernists including Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba and Lucas Sithole and photographs by David Goldblatt, Mohau Modisakeng and Simphiwe Ndzube amongst others.


The exhibition preview is open to the public.

Viewing is from Friday 9 to Wednesday 14 September.

Weekdays from 09h30 to 16h30, Saturdays from 09h30 to 14h00, and Sundays by appointment.

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Small (≤60x90x10 cm): R400

Medium (≤90x120x15 cm): R800

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Over-size: Special quote


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