George Lilanga di Nyama (Tanzanian, 1934-2005) Village party

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Lot 48
George Lilanga di Nyama
(Tanzanian, 1934-2005)
Village party

£ 4,000 - 6,000
US$ 5,200 - 7,800

Africa Now

16 Mar 2011, 14:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

George Lilanga di Nyama (Tanzanian, 1934-2005)
Village party
signed 'Lilanga' (lower right)
acrylic on canvas
300 x 140cm (118 1/8 x 55 1/8in).
unframed and unstretched

Footnotes

  • "All my art, from sculpture to drawing and painting, is related to the people who surround me because these people are part of daily life and activity. The most important thing, something that makes my work easier to understand, is that all my art must be seen as an expression of my happiness." (the artist as quoted in Mascelloni 2005)

    As a Makonde, Lilanga is strongly influenced by the mapico dance and associated sculpture, which embody movement in space, caricature and social criticism. He started carving in 1961 in his home region of Lindi, and the following year studied drawing, engraving and lithography at the Nyumba ya Sanaa. In the early 1970s he moved to Dar es Salaam and became associated with the newly founded Nyumba ya Sanaa cultural centre. From there, he flourished as an artist, exhibiting throughout the world.

    In 1978, Lilanga participated in a collective exhibition of African artists in Washington DC. Lilanga was considered to have had an influence on the young American graffiti artists, including Keith Haring who acknowledged him as a significant influence.

    His encounter in 1980 with the Tingatinga School dramatically altered his style, so that his works featured vividly-coloured animals in the main. He has reinterpreted this from a Makonde viewpoint and his later paintings are populated with expressive characters and shetani spirits in motion.

    "Lilanga's art is animated by a keen sense of social critique and caricature, and illustrates the continuity of artistic vision among the Makonde and its renewal in the context of the present day." (Magnin, 2005)


    BIBLIOGRAPHY:
    A. Magnin et al, African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, (London, 2005)
    Mascelloni (ed.), George Lilanga, (Milan, 2005), p.23
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