31st Mar, 2022 11:00

Modern & Contemporary Middle Eastern and African Art

  Lot 72


Ninaitamani sana hiyo pombe yako kwani ina harufu nzuri
I really crave your beer because it smells good
signed Lilanga
(lower left); inscribed Ninaitamani sana hiyo pombe yako kwani ina harufu nzuri (on the reverse)
oil on hardboard
61 x 61 cm (24 x 24 in)

Artesegno Gallery, Italy

Private collection, London

George Lilanga was a Tanzanian painter and sculptor, active from the late 1970s and until the early 21st century. He belonged to the Makonde people and lived most of his life in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania.

Alongside other African contemporary artists, his work was exhibited in international art shows, including Africa Remix 2004 or African Art Now in 2005. Through these exhibitions and the ensuing interest of art critics and collectors of contemporary African art, Lilanga became the internationally most renowned Tanzanian artist.

Initially, he worked in the Makonde artistic tradition of carving wooden sculptures. After having been exposed to the work of other artists at the cultural centre Nyumba ya Sanaa (House of Art), he transformed his typical sculptural forms into two-dimensional art works such as paintings (as in the present work), etchings or panels. Developing his own style out of the Shetani (devils) figures of the modern Makonde sculptures, his paintings are characterised by their colourful irony, reflecting everyday life in Tanzania.

Sold for £425

Includes Buyer's Premium


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