Circle Art Auction 2015 Lot 22 Geoffrey Mukasa

Geoffrey Mukasa (Ugandan, 1954-2009)
At Home, 1991
Signed ‘signature’ (upper left)
Oil on canvas
126 x 154 cm

Ksh 1,705,000-1,925,000
(US$ 15,500-17,500)
Sold Ksh 1,878,400

Provenance: private collection of Klaus Betz

Geoffrey Mukasa was born in 1954 to one of Uganda’s most prominent doctors. Many people expected Mukasa to follow in his father’s footsteps but the murder of his father during Idi Amin’s coup brought drastic changes to his life, including his departure from Uganda to study art.

He travelled to India to take an art degree at Lucknow University, graduating in 1984. India greatly inspired Mukasa, exposing him to European and Indian aesthetic values. He threw himself into his work with vigour, focusing mainly on human relationships with the environment; interactions between humans and everyday living. 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 from years of military dictatorship.

Mukasa’s oldest friends said that he started to do collages in his early years as an artist because there were no classic art materials to be purchased in Kampala. He used paper from magazines and other found material to make collages. Later, when art materials were available, he enjoyed painting huge canvases and achieved great success.

His work is widely collected and exhibited and appears regularly at international auctions. Publications include the recent ‘Mukasa Geoffrey – the artist’s life in Uganda’, AKA Gallery Kampala published by Maria Fischer, Rose Kirumira, Paul Lubowa and Josephine Mukasa. 2011.

At Home was exhibited in Uganda Modern Art, Galerie am Stubentor, Austria in 1992, alongside work by Francis Nnaggenda and Fabian Mpagi. It returned to the Mukasa family and became part of the Klaus Betz Collection in 2014.