Circle Art Auction 2015 Lot 9 Jak Katarikawe

Jak Katarikawe (Ugandan, born 1938)
In Bishop’s Blessing, before 1987
Signed ‘Jak Katarikawe’ (lower left)
Oil on board
90 x 100 cm

Ksh 600,000-800,000
(US$ 5,455-7,275)
Sold Ksh 645,700

Provenance: private collection. Purchased by seller from Gallery Watatu

A self-taught painter, who grew up in rural south west Uganda, Jak Katarikawe is now one of East Africa’s best known artists. As political oppression intensified in Uganda, Katarikawe relocated in 1981 to Nairobi, where he became one of the small group of artists to gain exposure through Ruth Schaffner of Gallery Watatu.

Combining painting and storytelling, Katarikawe’s emotive portrayals of the dramas and dreams of village life have received international acclaim and been an inspiration to generations of young artists.

Extensively collected, Katarikawe’s paintings have been exhibited in Africa, Europe and the USA. Recently, they have been featured at the annual Bonhams, Africa Now auction in London.

This painting was bought by the seller in 1987 from Gallery Watatu, and is said by Schaffner to have shown a change in direction for Katarikawe, being the first time he had explored birds as a subject and used distance and perspective in such a way.