BEATRICE WANJIKU (B. 1978)
BEATRICE WANJIKU (B. 1978)
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BEATRICE WANJIKU (B. 1978)

Study II (Savages Series)

Details
BEATRICE WANJIKU (B. 1978)
Study II (Savages Series)
signed and dated 'Wanjiku 2017' (upper left); signed and dated 'Beatrice Wanjiku 2017' (lower right); titled and dated 'Study II Savages Series 2017' (on the reverse)
ink and graphite on paper
30 1/8 x 22 1/2in. (76.5 x 57cm.)
Executed in 2017
Provenance
ARTLabAfrica, Nairobi.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

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Isabel Millar
Isabel Millar Specialist

Lot Essay

Beatrice Wanjiku’s work probes psychological themes relating to human existence and behaviour, questioning our perception of reality. Commencing with the Mortality series, her oeuvre falls into distinct phases, exploring questions of mortality, immortality and identity arising from the experience of profound grief.
Study II derives from Wanjiku’s Savages series in which the artist continues her search for the soul. With a largely-obscured, colour-bleeding face, the work alludes to internal conflict and anguish. A sense of urgency and frustration is conveyed through the overworked, almost imperceptible features of the face, a technique typical of her more recent work. In this way, the artist strips the carapace off of the facade, conjuring a sense of the sitter’s dystopian internal reality.
Wanjiku was born in Nairobi in 1978. She received her diploma from Nairobi's Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts in 2000 and is a rising star on the Kenyan contemporary art scene. Wanjiku was the recipient of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation Fellowship in 2011, as well as the UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary and the Lava Thomas and Peter Danzig Fellowship in 2013. She exhibited at the 57th Venice Biennale, in the exhibition Personal Structures - Open Borders, Palazzo Mora, Venice, in 2017. She has shown her work in both solo and group exhibitions at RaMoMA Musuem of Modern Art, Nairobi; Nairobi National Museum, Nairobi, and the OSTRALE Biennale for Contemporary Art, Dresden, Germany, among others.
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