Geoffrey Mukasa (Ugandan, 1954-2009)
Mother and Child, circa 1992-1998
Mixed media collage
90 x 62 cm
Sold Ksh 563,520
Provenance: acquired direct from the artist’s estate by AKA Gallery
Geoffrey Mukasa was born in 1954 to one of Uganda’s most prominent doctors. Many people expected him to follow in his father’s footsteps but the murder of his father during Idi Amin’s coup brought a drastic change to his life, when he left Uganda to study art.
Mukasa travelled to India to take a degree in Fine Art at Lucknow University, graduating in 1984. During this time he was greatly inspired by his exposure to European and Indian aesthetic values. He threw himself into his practice and research, focusing mainly on human relationships with one another and the environment. In the early 1990s, on returning to Uganda, Mukasa became a key figure in the movement to revive cultural life in Kampala. This cultural movement was seen as a unifying force and an inspiration for the nation’s recovery after years of military dictatorship.
Mukasa’s oldest friends said that he started to make collages in his early years as an artist because there were no classical art materials to be purchased in Kampala. It was only later, when art materials were available, that he began to paint large canvasses. He continued however to use paper and found material to create collage works throughout his career.
His work is widely collected and exhibited, and appears regularly at international auctions. Publications include Mukasa Geoffrey – the artist’s life in Uganda, AKA Gallery Kampala published by Maria Fischer, Rose Kirumira, Paul Lubowa and Josephine Mukasa, 2011.
The classical composition in this piece, of a veiled mother holding her infant, shows Mukasa reimagining traditional Christian iconography of the Madonna and Child in an African setting.