East African Encounters: Contemporary Art from Kenya and Tanzania

  • Indigo Arts Gallery
  • Thursday, March 10 - Saturday, September 1, 2012
  • Second Thursday Reception: May 10th, 6 to 9pm
  • Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6:00 pm
  • Free & Open To The Public

Indigo Arts presents an introduction to the varied contemporary artwork of East Africa. The exhibition includes paintings and sculpture by Kenyan artists Kamau “Cartoon” Joseph, Dickson Kaloki, Shade Kamau, John Kamicha, Kevin Kariuki, Patrick Kayako, Kivuthi Mbuno, James Mbuthia, Yassir Ali Mohammed and Sane Wadu. Artists from Tanzania include the late George Thairu and the celebrated George Lilanga as well as the finest Tinga Tinga painters – Omary Amonde, Mohamed Charinda, Jafari Mimus, Said Mkumba and the late Sayuki Matindiko.

East African Encounters is a personal selection from the wide range of art in East Africa. The artists chosen are largely self-taught, omitting many talented trained artists, who take their inspiration as much from the international art world as from local tradition. The work is primarily two-dimensional, though there is certainly no lack of good sculpture in East Africa. Most of the work comes from two important centers – Nairobi in Kenya, and Dar es Salaam in coastal Tanzania. Though there are a few works from Sudan, mostly by artists residing in Nairobi, the work from Uganda, Rwanda and other neighboring countries awaits a future show.

Contemporary Kenyan art draws on a workshop movement analogous to the better known Centre d’Art in Haiti in the 1940’s, the Oshogbo workshops in newly independent Nigeria (from which Twins Seven-Seven and others emerged) and the Central African Workshop School in Southern Rhodesia, which gave rise to the Shona stone sculpture movement. The Paa-ya-Paa Art Center opened in Nairobi in 1965, two years after Kenyan independence. Other centers followed, such as the Kuona Trust Art Studio, Banana Hill Art Studio, Ngecha Artist Association and more recently the Godown Arts Center. Many of Kenya’s leading artists, such as Sane Wadu and Kivuthi Mbuno, worked at these centers and first exhibiteded commercially at the ground-breaking Gallery Watatu, founded in Nairobi in 1969.

More Info: http://indigoarts.com/

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