Rosemary Karuga (Kenyan, born 1928)
Untitled, 1998

signed ‘Rosemary Karuga’ (lower right)
paper collage
41 x 30cm
Ksh 50,000–70,000
US$ 570–795
Sold Ksh 258,280

Provenance: Private collection

Karuga was the first Kenyan woman to attend Makerere University in Uganda where she studied from 1950–52. On graduating she struggled to make a living as an artist and her principal profession was teaching. On retirement, she began creating collages that so impressed those who saw them that she began to gain profile illustrating books and then exhibiting, gaining particular renown in France. Her international reputation grew when she was part of a group show alongside El Anatsui and Ablade Glover at the Studio Museum in New York, 1990. She has since featured in many international exhibitions. Karuga’s technique remains consistent – using coloured paper, scissors and glue to create ingenious, characterful portraits of Kenyan daily life and fables.