Sane Wadu (Kenyan, born 1954)
The Angel, circa 1990
Signed ‘SANE WADU A/P’ (lower right) and WILDEBEESTELAMU (lower left)
Copper etching on Reeves archival paper
27 x 29 cm
Sold Ksh 176,100
Provenance: Private collection
Sane Wadu began painting professionally in the 1980s, having given up his career as a teacher, and became one of Gallery Watatu’s most successful and iconic artists. Over a long and distinguished career, his distinctive, crowded and energetic paintings have been exhibited worldwide, including the USA, Germany, South Africa, Japan and the UK including in the seminal exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa in 1995.
Wadu co-founded the Ngecha Artists’ Association in the 1990s with fellow artists Eunice Wadu, Wanyu Brush and Chain Muhandi, and alongside his artist-wife Eunice continues to support young artists through The Sane Wadu Trust where they teach workshops every weekend from their studio in Naivasha.
Best known for his thickly applied oils on canvas, Wadu also experimented with printmaking. This work was made during a workshop led by artist Yony Waite at the Wildebeeste Workshop in Lamu around thirty years ago. He learnt copper plate etching from Waite and this was the first artist proof, it is believed there was an edition of 10 prints made. The artist said the image was ‘the angel of inspiration’, this is a rare print that was thought to be lost.