login    password    artist  buyer  gallery  
Not a member? Register
Indepth Arts News:

2000-02-25 until 2000-03-31
San Francisco, CA, USA United States of America

Featured at San Francisco's newly opened Fine Arts center for East Africa, THE ART ROOM, this inaugural presentation entitled EAST AFRICA'S MODERN ART MOVEMENT highlights original works by two leading members of this fine art movement, David Kibuuka, currently residing in Canada, and James Kitamirike, a San Francisco resident.

While traditional masks and sculpture have been studied and collected for centuries, since the 1930's world-class works of contemporary fine art have developed among members of East Africa's celebrated Ugandan School. While East African modern painting has been collected throughout Europe for decades, this exhibit marks its arrival in the Bay Area. Stylistic innovation combines with technical mastery yielding works of striking depth and power--exploring diverse origins and revealing new directions taken by leading members of this fine art movement.

Newly opened, THE ART ROOM establishes a center for East African fine painting in the Bay Area. Important original works by leading Ugandan artists James Kitamirike and David Kibuuka, among others, are exhibited regularly.

Early traditions
With rock walls serving as their canvas, prehistoric artists drew upon Africa's vibrant surroundings for their subject matter to create the world's oldest cave paintings---mankind's earliest surviving art form. Later settlement and cultural development across vast and varied landscapes has endowed the continent with a rich and diverse artistic heritage which continues to evolve. While many of these artistic traditions can be found incorporated into utilitarian items such as masks, mats, baskets, and textiles, recent reconnections with Africa's historical roots in fine painting are yielding surprising and original expressions of this most ancient art form.

Modern influences
East Africa's modern art movement began with the founding of the School of Fine Art at Makerere University in 1936 by art historian and chief instructor, Margaret Trowell, a native of the United Kingdom. Located in Uganda's capital city of Kampala, this recognized and acclaimed school has provided resources, guidance, and inspiration for generations of aspiring East African artists. Trowell infused talented local students with her appreciation for the work of both classic and modern European masters such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and Dali, among others. Among her noted students, Mugalula Mukiibi, Tereza Musoke, Elly Kyeyune, and Henry Lumu demonstrated exceptional brilliance and originality.

Emerging East African modernism
The combined ingredients of dedicated instructors, enthusiastic students, and creative freedoms resulted in a blossoming of artistic innovation and excellence in a process not unlike the European Renaissance. Kampala's flourishing art community attracted buyers from Europe, leading some of the more successful artists to open their own galleries and studios to the public.

During this time, a distinctive Ugandan school emerged which was characterized by typical African scenery and figurative themes captured with imaginative blends of both classical and modern influences. Works by these artists would usually harmonize two or more distinct styles---realism, abstraction, cubism, impressionism, surrealism, etc.---using vibrant local colors and imagery. The result was technically advanced work with striking originality, often highlighting subject matter having historical as well as cultural significance.

The movement expands
While many in Uganda's growing art community chose to remain there, increasing political unrest during the 1970s forced others to migrate to other parts of the world. Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya, became a focal point where much of this transplanted talent began to collaborate, selling work through local galleries and participating in museum exhibits. During this time, celebrated Ugandan national artist the late Henry Lumu and his younger brother David Kibuuka met James Kitamirike. Working among fellow Ugandan artists such as Dan Sakanwagi, Joseph Mungaya, Jack Katarikawe and others, they brought their unique art to Kenya's thriving art scene, gaining international collectors and recognition.

Related Links:


Discover over 150,000 works of contemporary art. Search by medium, subject matter, price and theme... research over 200,000 works by over 22,000 masters in the indepth art history section. Browse through new Art Blogs. Use our advanced artwork search interface.

Call for Artists, Premiere Portfolio sign-up for your Free Portfolio or create an Artist Portfolio today and sell your art at the marketplace for contemporary Art! Start a Gallery Site to exclusively showcase your gallery. Keep track of contemporary art with your free MYabsolutearts account.


Copyright 1995-2013. World Wide Arts Resources Corporation. All rights reserved