Henry Tayali

Henry Tayali (b. 1943 Serenje Zambia d. 1987 Aachen Germany ) was a visual painter who evolved from the fine art style of the late 1950s/1960s/the early 1970s to semi-abstract, through to abstract, and then edging to minimalism at the time of his death. He studied in Uganda, at Makerere University, Kampala, a period which seems to have left its mark on his printmaking. He later obtained his Master in Fine Arts at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany. He is widely regarded as one of the most important contemporary Zambian artists today. Tayali encouraged the interplay of ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’ art, placing emphasis on the necessity of traditional African cultures as a contribution towards modern development in an international dialogue. His woodcuts and silk-screens remained largely the same in composition throughout the latter half of his life, and he used them to pass frank comment on the lives of his subjects – the ordinary, common, people of Zambia (and Zimbabwe, South Africa). Tayaliʼs concerns are evident in his black and white prints of the 1970s. His antipathy towards poverty and injustice and sympathy with the trade unions produced a series of prints on the theme of urban life that was not merely an addition to this growing genre, but a scathing comment on society and the prevailing political landscape of the times. Numerous examples of Tayali's works are held in private collections across the globe being National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Chaminuka Collection, US National Archive and The Argyll Collection.

1987 -
Nationality: Zambian
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