Art Auction East Africa 2022 Lot 17 Yony Waite

Yony Waite (Kenyan, born 1935)
Talking Politics, 1998
Signed ‘Yony Waite’ (lower right)
Acrylic on canvas
91.6 x 122 cm
Ksh 250,000 – 350,000
(US$) 2,200 – 3,050
Provenance: from the artist’s collection
Sold Ksh 270,020

Yony Waite, now a Kenyan citizen, grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam. She studied Fine Art at the University of California where her tutor, Richard Diebenkorn, instilled in her a keen appreciation of the essential value of light. Waite later went to Japan to study the art of sumi-e brush painting where she developed a lasting love of ink as a medium.

Alongside her work as an artist, Waite has been instrumental in establishing various art institutions in Kenya, most notably as co-founder of Gallery Watatu in 1968 which was sold to Ruth Schaffner in 1984. She went on to establish Wildebeeste Workshops and the Mkonokono women’s group in Lamu where she still lives.

Waite has a strong international following and has exhibited extensively in Japan, the USA and Kenya.