Robino Ntila (Tanzanian, 1953 – 2020)
Mother and Children, 1980
Signed ‘Rntila may 1980 Dar’ (lower left)
Etching on paper, ed 7/100
35 x 30.2 cm (print dimensions)
Ksh 79,000 – 90,000
(US$) 700 – 800
Provenance: private collection
Sold Ksh 93,920
A master printmaker, curator and critic, Robino Ntila was one of East Africa’s most influential pioneer artists. Best known for his etched monochrome prints depicting everyday traditional life, Ntila, who passed away in 2020, is also remembered as a generous teacher and promoter of Tanzanian artists.
In 1975 Ntila joined Nyumba ya Sanaa in Dar es Salaam, eventually becoming the main coordinator there for over 30 years. Since 1992, Ntila has worked as a professional artist and has conducted art workshops across Africa, along with curating local and international exhibitions of Tanzanian art.
Ntila has taught and inspired numerous young artists, especially those interested in printmaking techniques. Specializing in etching, Ntila taught several workshops including one in 2002 at the then Kuona Trust Museum Art Studios in Nairobi working with artists such as Peterson Kamwathi and Simon Muriithi. Ntila travelled regularly to Austria to study printmaking, accompanied by fellow Tanzanian artists Francis Imanjama, George Lilanga and his nephew, Hendrick Lilanga. Ntila has exhibited his work in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, the USA, Austria, India, Germany, France, Finland, Russia and Switzerland. In 2014, Ntila was chosen to represent Tanzania at the Kauru African Contemporary Art Project in South Africa. A selection of his work was displayed at the Nairobi Gallery as part of the Tanzania Pioneer Artists exhibition in 2019, which he co-curated with Alan Donovan.