Paintings by an ape

Three brightly colored tempera on paper paintings by Congo the chimpanzee are going on sale alongside works by Warhol and Renoir next month at Bonhams Modern and Contemporary sale in London. The paintings resembling abstract artworks are expected to fetch between $1,130 and $1,500.

Congo, born in 1954 learned to draw at the age of two and in following two years produced nearly 400 drawings and paintings. He quickly learned how to handle a brush and pencils and appeared to know when he had finished a painting.

Congo’s works were already displayed in 1957 on the exhibition of chimpanzee art organized by animal behaviorist Desmond Morris at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. It is also said that Picasso owned a painting by Congo.

The chimpanzee art has never been auctioned before and Bonhams’ director of modern and contemporary art Howard Rutkowski believes the auction would break new ground.

Published in: on May 13, 2005 at 7:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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