Eltayeb Dawelbait (Sudanese, born 1968)
Untitled I (Figure), 1998
Signed ‘ELTAYIB 98’ (lower right)
Untitled II (Nubian Gate), 1998
Signed ‘ELTAYIB 98’ (lower left)
Mixed media on canvas board
14.7 x 14.7 cm (both)
Ksh 150,000 – 250,000
(US$) 1,450 – 2,450
Sold as a pair
Provenance: direct from the artist

Bought in

For the past 25 years, Eltayeb Dawalbait has lived and worked as an artist in Nairobi, where his work has become known for its inventive and sensitive materiality, combining portraiture with found and worn objects. Influences of the environment and memories of childhood come together with remnants of Nairobi’s material culture and its daily encounters, both physical and psychological.

Eltayeb grew up in Kosti on the White Nile in Sudan which he left to study at the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Sudan. His studies were interrupted when he was dismissed for political activities and, leaving Sudan, Eltayeb became one of a generation of artists seeking creative freedom outside the regime of Omar al-Bashir.

These small, early works capture Eltayeb’s ability to uncover and reimagine a sense of history, people and place. Through his manipulation of surface layers and colour, the artist recalls, and creates a connection with, the home he left behind.

Eltayeb’s work has been exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at GravitArt Gallery, New York, 2020; Nini Gallery, Capetown, 2015; TAD Gallery, Rome, 2003. Group exhibitions include at Afriart Gallery, Kampala, 2021; Gazambo Gallery, Madrid, 2013; Ensign Gallery, London, 2004. In 2015, his work sold at Bonhams’ Africa Now auction and, in 2013, Eltayeb completed a large commission for PwC Towers in Nairobi. He has exhibited at numerous art fairs including the Toronto Art Fair, 2006 and Monaco Art Fair, 2010.