Art Auction East Africa 2022 Lot 15 George Lilanga

George Lilanga (Tanzanian, 1934-2005)
Ongera Sana Wewe Ndio Mtoto Mzuri Tulio Kuchagua, undated
Signed ‘Lilanga’ (lower left) – Signature covered by frame
Enamel on board
64 x 64 cm
Ksh 290,000 – 465,000
(US$) 2,200 – 3,500
Provenance: bought by the current owner from the artist’s grandson, Hendrick Lilanga in 2017
Sold Ksh 540,040

George Lilanga is one of Tanzania’s best-known artists internationally. He fused influences from traditional Makonde carving with surreal, modern observations to create his much celebrated, idiosyncratic sculptures and paintings.
Lilanga began training as a sculptor in 1961, making wood carvings in the traditional Makonde form. He moved to Dar es Salaam in 1970, where he encountered the Tingatinga School, which had a profound effect on his work. In 1979 he participated in a group exhibition of African artists in Washington DC, where the artist Keith Haring saw Lilanga’s paintings and later acknowledged the significant impact this encounter had made on his own work.

Today Lilanga’s work is widely collected, featuring in many important private and institutional collections of African art.