Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Art by 'Cezanne of ape world' to be auctioned
In an unusual first for the art world, a London auction house announced on Wednesday it will sell a series of abstract paintings by a chimpanzee, Congo, once feted as the "Cezanne of the ape world".
Congo became famous in the late 1950s when his swirling works, described by critics as a form of abstract expressionism, were exhibited in London, in a show curated by British anthropologist and author Desmond Morris.
Morris, who had featured the young chimpanzee on a television show, became convinced that Congo and apes could understand elements of art.
Three works by Congo from 1957, when he was aged three, are being sold by Bonhams auction house alongside items by pop artist Andy Warhol and French Impressionist Auguste Renoir in a sale of modern and contemporary art on June 20.
Posted by C. at 2:05 PM