Tapfuma Gutsa in solo exhibition


Vasco Chaya



RENOWNED sculptor Tapfuma Gutsa will hold an exhibition this Saturday at First Floor Gallery in Harare.

Gutsa’s solo exhibition is titled Damba Nepwere.

“We are so proud and super excited to reopen the gallery this Saturday, October 10 with a blockbuster exhibition. We have lined up a brand new exhibition from the master of contemporary sculpture, Tapfuma Gutsa,” Marcus Gora the director said.

The gallery, just like many other arts joints, has resumed operations though under strict Covid-19 regulations to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

“We will continue to observe social distancing and wearing of face masks remains mandatory as we are still in the Covid-19 period,” Gora said.

Born in 1956, Gutsa, who is affectionately known as Sekuru by the younger generation, is unequivocally the most revered and beloved figure in contemporary Zimbabwean art.

He began his career as a stone sculptor studying under Cornelius Manguma at the Driefontein Mission School, which produced such luminaries like Nicholas Mukomberanwa and Joseph Ndandarika.

He broke away from the purist stone tradition to look inwards to Zimbabwean indigenous materials from clay and weaving to wood and horns in a way that was a breakthrough not only for Zimbabwean contemporary art but also internationally.

Like his friend and legendary Zimbabwean writer Dambudzo Marechera, Gutsa went to study in Britain in the 1980s, going on to establish an international career, with museum and gallery exhibitions ranging from Havanna Biennale, Cuba, Contemporary African Art, Studio Museum, Harlem New York City, USA in 1990 and taking part in the 1991 Venice Biennale, African Pavilion a project curated by Grace Stanislaus.

After living in Europe for almost a decade in the early 2000s, Gutsa came back to Zimbabwe in 2009.

He immediately re-engaged with the emerging arts community of Harare as an inspirational leader, joining the National Gallery of Zimbabwe as deputy director.

His “Live and Direct” exhibition is 2011 was as an important part of the flourishing contemporary art we are seeing today in Zimbabwe and features young and experimental artists from Moffat Takadiwa to Wycliffe Mundopa, Gareth Nyandoro and Misheck Masamvu, with new large and daring works and solid international attention.

Returning to the studio in 2011, Gutsa represented Zimbabwe in the first Zimbabwean Venice Biennale Pavilion, while establishing a studio at Harare Polytechnic art department incorporating young artists in his practice.

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