Art Auction East Africa 2022 Lot 8 Tabitha Wa Thuku

Tabitha Wa Thuku (Kenyan, born 1963)
Cowboy, 1996
Signed ‘Tabitha wa Thuku 1996’ (lower right)
Mixed media on paper
54.2 x 48 cm
Ksh 180,000 – 280,000
(US$)1,550– 2,450
Provenance: from the artist’s collection
Bought in

Born in the year of Kenya’s Independence, Tabitha wa Thuku began her creative practice as a young, self-taught artist, and one of the only female artists of her generation. Now, with a career of over three decades, Wa Thuku has made a name for herself as a painter unencumbered by convention. Her works, which shift between figuration and abstraction, are distinguished by their earthy, smouldering palettes and intense textural qualities, often creating a strong sense of presence and place.

Tabitha wa Thuku has created and exhibited consistently since 1988. She originally studied textiles and clothing technology at Kenya Polytechnic, then from 1996 to 1999 she attended the Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts. Wa Thuku has undertaken various workshops and residencies to develop a wide range of techniques, demonstrated in her extensive body of work. She has also worked in various organizations as an art educator, teaching and mentoring children and young artists.

Wa Thuku has exhibited regularly throughout her career in Kenya and abroad, including in the Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong and Denmark, and her work is included in private and public collections in Kenya, including those of the National Museum of Kenya, the Safaricom collection, PwC and MMC Africa Law.