Samuel Wanjau (Kenyan, 1938–2013)
Woman Reading, undated (circa late 1970s to early 1980s)
Signed ‘SAMWEL WANJAU’ (bottom of base)
64.5 x 30.5 x 29 cm
Sold Ksh 845,280
Provenance: private collection
Samuel Wanjau is undoubtedly one of Kenya’s most revered and influential sculptors. Born in Nyeri on the family farm, he left school to join a carver’s cooperative in Mombasa and later in Nairobi. When Independence came, he started producing curios for the tourist market. On meeting Elimo Njau, of Paa Ya Paa Arts Centre, he began to explore new styles and techniques away from the tourist market he had been catering for and developed a highly personal style that conveyed powerful emotion in the everyday figures and animals he carved.
Wanjau exhibited widely in East Africa and internationally including in Sweden, the UK, Canada, the USA and Italy.