Wahab Saheed - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | Phillips

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  • “There's a new voice in Africa as a whole, we are doing our best and we are writing history in the contemporary art scene.”
    — Wahab Saheed

    Hot on the heels of his impressive auction debut a few months ago at Phillips in New York, when Actual Queen (2020) hammered down for US$81,900 Premium against a pre-auction estimate range of US$5,000 - 7,000, Shadows of Yesterday is the first work by Nigerian artist Wahab Saheed to be offered at auction in Asia. Masterfully rendered in a combination of acrylic, charcoal, chalk and oil pastel on canvas, the gestural portrait perfectly encapsulates the three themes Saheed selected in a 2021 interview to define his practice: ‘Identity, Fragile, Expression’ i.


    Saheed was born in Lagos in 1998 and graduated from the Yaba College of Technology with a Higher Diploma in Painting in 2019. Citing artists including Kathe Kollwitz and Lucian Freud as sources of inspiration, Saheeb’s distinct approach to portraiture has been nurtured over many years, both in his studies at and his local market where he commissioned quick charcoal portraits as a means to earn his tuition. In the present painting, the striking expression of Saheeb’s subject is full of emotion, formed of quick, angular mark-making that offsets the more balanced background and opaque Tiffany-blue top the protagonist dons. Painting the friends and family of his community, Saheeb succeeds in emphasising both the physicality and the spirituality that these subjects convey.


    In addition to his recent solo show hosted by Nanzuka Underground in Tokyo between 9 October – 7 November 2021, Saheeb’s work was recently included in an exhibition presented by Carl Kostyál in Stockholm (2021).



    The artist in his studio, 2021
    Photo Courtesy of smARTpills



    Wahab Saheed, quoted in ‘Wahab Saheed: Night After Valentine’s Day’, Art Verge, 22 March 2021, online

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner


Shadows of Yesterday

signed and dated 'WAHAB SAHEED 2021' lower right; further signed and dated 'WAHAB SAHEED 2021 ©' on the reverse
acrylic, charcoal, chalk and oil pastel on canvas
117.8 x 90.9 cm. (46 3/8 x 35 3/4 in.)
Executed in 2021.

Full Cataloguing

HK$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for HK$189,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022