Eli Kyeyune (Ugandan, 1936-2000)
Signed ‘Eli Kyeyune ‘75’ (lower right)
Oil on board
58 x 44 cm
Sold Ksh 798,320
Provenance: private collection of Klaus Betz
After graduating from Makerere School of Fine Arts in Kampala in 1962, Eli Kyeyune came to Nairobi where he joined Elimo Njau at the Chemi Chemi Cultural Centre. He has been recorded as the Treasurer at the first meeting of the Community of East African Artists in 1964.
Returning to Uganda, Kyeyune conducted ethnographic research with the Department of History at Makerere, and from 1995 to 1998 he lectured in Painting and Sculpture at the Design Centre, Institute of Teachers Education, Kyambogo.
Specializing in portraiture, Kyeyune’s oil paintings have been shown at exhibitions as far back as the Uganda Museum in 1964 and the New Stanley Gallery in Nairobi which closed in 1970. His works have increased in collectability in the past years, reaching record prices in 2015. He is in many private and museum collections including the late Joseph Murumbi’s (Kenya’s first Vice President) collection at the Kenya National Archives.
The seller, who knew Kyeyune well and has collected a number of his works, considers this to be one of the artist’s most significant pieces.