George Lilanga, ‘Matjiya leoni mengi sana mtachota mpa ka’, 1999, Amref Health Africa: Benefit Auction 2018

George Lilanga (1934-2005, Tanzania) comes from the Mozambique-Tanzania border, center of Makonde culture, noted for its mapico initiation dances and rich sculptural traditions. Lilanga trained as a sculptor in 1961, settled in Dar-es-Salaam; by 1973, became associated with the Nyumba ya Sanaa, a gallery and cultural center established by local artists. In 1980, he encountered works of the Tingatinga School (established by followers of Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga) and the exuberantly patterned and playfully abstracted paintings had a profound effect. Lilanga’s art—animated by a keen sense of social critique and caricature—illustrates the continuity of artistic vision among the Makonde and its renewal. His work was exhibited in international expositions of African contemporaries including Africa Remix in Düsseldorf, Paris, London and Tokyo. His work is in the Pigozzi collection.

Signature: Signed, recto

Image rights: Courtesy of: Dr. Massimiliano del Ninno, Kyo Noir Gallery

George Lilanga di Nyama: Mapico Dance, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland, 2002; Tribute to George Lilanga, Alliance Française, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2001; Storie Africane: Georges Lilanga, Galleria Franco Cancelliere Arte Contemporanea, Messina, Italy, 1999; Lilanga’s Cosmos, Sudou Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 1998; Lilanga’s Cosmos, Tama Art University Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 1995; GROUP SHOWS: Galeristes, Carreau du temple, Paris, France, 2016; The Fantasy Factory, A perspective on the Ouidah Museum Collection, Fondation Zinsou, Bénin, 2015; Mes Amours…, Bandjoun Station, Bandjoun, Cameroun, 2013; Focus sur la collection, Musée de la Fondation Zinsou, Ouidah, Bénin, 2013; Haitian Masters & Contemporary African artists, Galerie Lumières d'Afrique, Bruxelles, Belgique', 2012; Africa Rising, Société Louis Vuitton, Paris, France, 2010; African Stories, Magnin-A, Ancienne Banque du Maroc, Marrakech, Morocco, 2010; Africa ? Una nuova storia, Complesso del Vittoriano, Roma, Italy, 2009/2010; Against Exclusion, 3rd Moscow Biennial, The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia, 2009; Why Africa ? La collezione Pigozzi, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Torino, Italy, 2007/2008; 100% Africa, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain, 2006/2007; African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, 2005/2006

Kamphausen, Peter-Andreas / HMC: George Lilanga Collection (2005). George Lilanga Rangi ya Maisha / Farben des Lebens / Colours of Life. Hamburg: Books on Demand.

Dr. Massimiliano del Ninno