Circle Art

Founded in 2012, and based in Nairobi, Kenya, Circle Art Gallery promotes contemporary art from Eastern Africa.

Through group and solo exhibitions, as well as participation in various international art fairs, the gallery has increased local and international visibility for established and emerging artists. Working closely with local and international collectors and curators, we are building a strong and sustainable market for East African artists.

Shabu Mwangi, Joseph Waweru, Ngugi Waweru: REVIEW

Image: Joseph Waweru, Undying Support, 2018
Circle Art Gallery 25 July – 11 August 2018

REVIEW, a group show by Lawrence ‘Shabu’ Mwangi, Joseph ‘Weche’ Waweru and Ngugi ‘Googs’ Waweru.

This exhibition, marks 10 years since the establishment of the Wajukuu Project. It features new work by Googs, Weche and Shabu, celebrating their friendship and their individual development as artists.
When artists give much to their community, this can impact the time needed to make and develop their own work. In contrast, for these artists, it has enhanced their private practice, giving us honest and authentic stories and insights into their concerns and beliefs.

For Weche, Nairobi provides a livelihood to people who continually struggle to cater for their basic needs. Googs’s work is part of an ongoing series where he explores the passionate emotions driven by guns and their destructive power. Shabu’s ‘Identity’ focuses on the human condition, how we have subconsciously become slaves to our psyche. He shows how we see ourselves, and how much we care how we are perceived by others.

The artists are using this exhibition to reflect on historical, social and political concerns. How identity leads to categorization, how our environment determines how we are perceived and the disparity between official statistics and the reality on the ground.

Samuel Githui: Transformations

Sam Githui Transformations triptych at Circle Art Gallery
Circle Art Gallery 4 – 20 July 2018

Inspired by a performance by the dancer, Kefa Oiro, the Transformations series traces the human body, transformed as it moves into, and out of light. The drawings follow the body through various stages of motion, between flight and rest. Bending, and swaying, leaping or crawling, alternately limp and taut, the ‘dancer’ in Githui’s drawings is brought in and out of sight, at times coming into full view and elsewhere reduced to leave only the most essential of marks.

Working primarily in black and white, Githui’s works intermingle the tangible and intangible, the known and unknown worlds. Furthermore, he presents the in-between area as an alternative to either extreme, as a space of infinite possibility, where magic can happen. With his dancer, Githui invites you to dream.

Born in 1973, Samuel Githui has been drawing from a young age, since he was about five or six years old. He has always paid close attention to his surroundings, and his impressions of his the spaces, people, and events around him are the material for his artwork. Githui relies on his observation of typical events to investigate societal shifts, politics, and the lives of people working to make a place for themselves in a world that does not always work in their favour.

Vanguard Part 1

Charles Sekano, Hostess, Undated
Circle Art Gallery 13 – 29 June 2018

Vanguard Part I presents an historical review of 27 artists who were dominant in Kenya’s art scene during the late 1980’s and the 1990’s, many of whom are still active today. The exhibition sets out to reintroduce them to a contemporary audience, and to consider their enduring influence on Kenya’s art scene.

Cape Town Art Fair 2018

Gor Soudan, Snakes and Ladders at Circle Art Gallery, Cape Town Art Fair 2018
Gor Soudan, Snakes and Ladders, black and white hanging works on paper (detail)

Presenting Jackie Karuti, Shabu Mwangi, Ephrem Solomon and Gor Soudan

Sidney Mang’ong’o: Imagined Structures

Sydney Mang'ong'o at Circle Art Gallery
Circle Art Gallery 16 May – 9 June 2018

Circle Art Gallery is pleased to present a new body of work from Sidney Mang’ong’o, Kenyan, born 1983. These works on paper, informed by the planes and angles of architectural forms, represent a shift in Mang’ong’o’s practice from his early figurative work to pure abstraction.