Zimbabwe Shona Sculpture

Brighton Sango

Knowlton Collection
Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania USA

A Present For You
10" wide
19.5" high
$ 5,000
Fern Serpentine
13" wide
12.5" high
Fern Serpentine
$ 3,500
"Brighton Sango was one of the most successful young sculptors, but being Shona was not necessary to his art. Indeed there is nothing that is recognizably Shona about his work". (Stone Sculpture in Zimbabwe, Context, Content and Form, Celia Winter-Irving). According to Brighton, he preferred to stand back from Shona culture to look at it critically in both his life and in his art.

He was born in 1958 in Guruve, a rural area in northeast Zimbabwe. Coming from a poor family and being one of seven children, he had to leave school after only two years of secondary level education. He began sculpting as a result of contact with the rural community of sculptors at Tengenenge, where he learned the basic techniques. He stayed there for only a few months, however, as he strongly felt the need to be able to work on his own and to develop his own style. Sango's style is abstract and expresses profound emotion. His work has a distinctive and individual quality. It increasingly incorporates sharp lines and angled planes in contrast to the much softer, more rounded approach of earlier pieces. He often carved in sharp planes that contained exploding emotions.

Sango's work clearly displays his mastery of the medium. To most Western observers, his work appears to be the least "African". It is certainly more abstract than that of any other leading Zimbabwean sculptor. Frequently, his sculptors have, to Western observers familiar with the language of Western art, been seen as having distinctively cubist characteristics. He depicted images that captured ideas that expressed such feelings as pride or balance in this transitional time for nation-building in Zimbabwe.

Prior to his death in 1995 at the age of 37, Brighton Sango chose to live and work at Raffingora near Guruve because he wanted to be near the exquisite stone that was accessible to him in that area.

His work is prized in public and private collections. His exhibits include the annual exhibition, National Gallery of Zimbabwe (1980 to 1990); Zimbabwe House, London (1981); Botswana National Gallery, Gaborone (1983); Irving Sculpture Gallery, Sydney (1985); International Contemporary Arts Fair, Los Angeles (1986); the Award of Merit, Zimbabwe Heritage Exhibition, National Gallery of Zimbabwe (1987); Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago (1987 & 1988); International Gallery Invitational, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City (1988);
Solomon Gallery, Dublin (1989); Foundation Beelden Op de Berg, Holland (1989); Australian Art Exposition, Sydney (1989); Musee des Arts Africains et Oceaniiens, Paris (1990); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, U.K. (1990-1991); Millesgarden Museum, Stockholm (1990); Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio (1991); "A New Generation", Alliance Francais, Harare (1991); DePaul University Art Gallery, Chicago (1993), and a one man show in March 1994 at Alliance Francias, Harare, Zimbabwe.

last update
22 June 2016 ~ 15:10 EST
Knowlton Collection
4961 River Rd., Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania, 18950, USA

Mailing address:
763 Almshouse Rd, Doylestown, PA 18901

Thomas Gamache


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