George Lilanga was born in Kikwetu, Masasi District, Tanzania in 1934. He lived and worked in Dar-es-Salaam. He was a sculptor and a painter animated by sense of humour, his work reflected his social critique.
In 1978 group exhibition organized in Washington D.C. featured 100 of his pieces. The Washington Post compared Lilanga’s work to Jean Dubuffet’s Art Brut. From then on George Lilanga enjoyed international exposure and a continuous and impressive number of exhibitions in Europe, Japan and the United States. Lilanga began a long series of exhibitions. His work was exhibited in international expositions of African contemporaries all around the world.
His artwork between tradition and modernism is characterized by dynamic and whirling lines. His characters with anthropomorphic appearance seem to dance a whirling dancing. His sculptures are modern and humoristic representations of human’s character.
He became a reference in the african art. He died in 2005 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
In the same year (2005) the African Collection series (Skira Editore, Milan) published a well-illustrated book on Lilanga’s work with useful information.
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