George Lilanga (Tanzanian, 1934–2005)
Nipeleke Hospitalini Mimi Naumwa Sana, before 1998
signed ‘Lilanga’ (lower left)
oil on board
49 x 60cm
Sold Ksh 305,240
Provenance: acquired from the artist’s nephew
Lilanga’s works were inspired by the spirit world of the Makonde tribe in southern Tanzania. He began training as a sculptor in 1961, making wood carvings in the traditional Makonde style. In 1970 he moved to Dar es Salaam where he encountered the Tingatinga school which had a profound effect on his work. In 1978 he made his first trip to New York and the following year participated in a group exhibition of African artists in Washington. Infamous graffiti artist Keith Haring saw his paintings there and later acknowledged that this encounter had had a significant influence on his own work. Today Lilanga is one of the region’s most celebrated artists and features in many important private and institutional collections of African art.