Muwonge Kyazze Matthias (Ugandan, born 1961)
Gender, 1998
Signed ‘MUWONGE 98’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas
105 x 77 cm
Ksh 250,000 – 375,000
(US$) 2,200 – 3,300
Provenance: direct from the artist

Ugandan painter and glass artist, Muwonge Kyazze Mathias became well known during the mid-eighties for his socially and politically engaged paintings, particularly his work, Misfortune, 1985 – a surrealistic and apocalyptic cry against the brutal regime of Milton Obote and the civil war that took place in Uganda from 1981 to 1985. Now working predominantly in stained glass, Kyazze is based at the Nsambya Glass workshop. Kyazze studied painting at the Margaret Trowell School of Fine Art in Kampala, graduating in 1985, and has taught at both Makerere and Kyambogo universities.

This painting was created at a time when the role of women and questions of gender equity were at the forefront of public conversations in Uganda. Visually, Gender, 1998 has stylistic similarities to Kyazze’s glass works, its glowing light quality and formal construction showing the exchange between mediums.

Kyazze’s paintings have been exhibited locally and internationally, including in the seminal exhibition, Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1995 and recently in an exhibition titled Feedback: Art, Africa, and the Eighties, Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany, 2018.