George Lilanga (Tanzanian, 1934-2005)
Untitled (Painted Gourd), undated
Signed ‘Lilanga’ (lower part of pot)
Enamel paint on a gourd
36,5 x 37 x 37.5 cm
Ksh 290,000 – 465,000
(US$) 2,200 – 3,500
Provenance: Private collection, acquired by the current owner in 2007
Sold Ksh 316,980

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, this is the first painting on a gourd that we have ever seen.