Sane Wadu (Kenyan, born 1954)
Kumi Kumi. Circa 2013
Signed ‘Sane Wadu’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas
71.4 x 92.7 cm
Ksh 440,000 – 600,000 ARR
(US$) 4,250 – 5,850
Provenance: Private collection of Tony Wainaina

Sane Wadu began painting professionally in the 1980s, having given up his career as a teacher, and became one of Gallery Watatu’s most successful and iconic artists. Over a long and distinguished career, he has gained acclaim for his distinctive, energetic and, often, humorous paintings, which use thick application (impasto) of oil paint on canvas. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including in the USA, Germany, South Africa, Japan and the UK, most notably in the seminal exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa in 1995 and its accompanying book. Other publications include Angaza Africa by the African curator at the British Museum, Chris Spring, 2008 and Contemporary African Art by Sydney Kasfir, 2000.

Wadu co-founded the Ngecha Artists’ Association in the 1990s with fellow artists Eunice Wadu, Wanyu Brush and Chain Muhandi. Working alongside his wife and fellow artist Eunice Wadu, he continues to support young artists through The Sane Wadu Trust where they hold weekly art workshops from their studio in Naivasha.