PARTICIPANT / Tapfuma Gutsa

  • Name Tapfuma Gutsa
  • Country Zimbabwe
  • Vocation Not Available
  • Education Not Available

Tapfuma Gutsa’s work, both as artist and workshop leader, has transformed art practice in Zimbabwe and beyond. He explores the physical and metaphorical possibilities of materials, from granite and oak, to horn, eggshell, bone and clay. His work both advances and subverts the tradition of stone sculpture that dominated Zimbabwean art through the 1960s and ’70s. Beyond the elegant confidence apparent in his choice of materials, he endows the objects he forms with an otherworldly power. Gutsa studied art at the Driefontein Mission School in Zimbabwe, and later became the first Zimbabwean recipient of a British Council award, studying at the City and Guilds School of Art, London from 1982-1985. Returning to Zimbabwe, he organised, in 1988, the first of a series of Pachipamwe workshops before establishing the Surprise studios in 1997. In 1990 he participated in the seminal exhibition African Artists: Changing Traditions at the Studio Museum, Harlem. Gutsa served as Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

In 2005, his residency at Gasworks, London, coincided with Africa Remix at the Hayward Gallery. His first solo show at October Gallery, in 2006 led to his inclusion in Uncomfortable Truths (2007) at Victoria & Albert Museum, London. In 2011, Gutsa showed in the Zimbabwean Pavilion of the 54th Venice Biennale. His works are in collections worldwide.


Born 1956, Harare, Zimbabwe. Lives and works in Murehwa, Zimbabwe.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2011   Zimbabwean Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2006   Tapfuma Gutsa, October Gallery, London, UK
2003   The Power, The Object- The Object, The Power, Alliance Francaise, Harare, Zimbabwe
1997    The Past, Pierre Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe
The Future, National Gallery Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe 
1996   Seeking Permission, Reece Gallery, New York, USA
1992    Tapfuma Gutsa, Sandro’s Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe
1987    Utonga; Sculptures and Drawings, Harare, Zimbabwe
1985    By Ginde; Of Zen, A few Pots and Other Things, Galerie der Freischaffenden, Vienna, Austria


Selected Group Exhibitions
2019   Dream No Small Dream: Celebrating 40 Years of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2008   Angaza Afrika, October Gallery, London, UK
2007   Voyages; Crossing the Lake of Fire, October Gallery, London, UK
Uncomfortable Truths, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
2005   Transitions, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, London, UK
Wasser Brent, Gallery Habari, Vienna, Austria
2004   Dak`Art, Dakar Biennale, Senegal
Visions of Zimbabwe, Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, UK
Step Inside, Gallery Dieleman, Chateau de Petit Leez, Belgium
2002   Kakuyu Ke Munyaka, Gallery Dieleman, Chateau de Petit Leez, Belgium
2000   South Meets West, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland
1999    Eddie Masaya, Richard Jack, and Tapfuma Gutsa, Künstlerhaus im Schlossgarten, Cuxhaven, Germany
1998    Zimbabwe Heritage, National Gallery Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
1997    Landmark, The Midlands Artists, National Gallery, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Sculpture from Zimbabwe, Melbourne, Australia
1995    Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg, South Africa
Genesis, Gallery Muensterland, Emsdetten, Germany
180 Degrees, Group Exhibition, Los Angeles, USA
1994    Strong Winds, Stage Design, Arnolfini Theatre, Bristol, UK
Alliance Francaise, Harare, Zimbabwe
Gallery Del Ta, Harare, Zimbabwe
1993    Gallri Knud Grothe, Finland
Open Studios, Delfina Studios, London, UK
1991    Contemporary Stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire, UK
African Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
New Generation; Tapfuma Gutsa, Eddie Masaya, Richard Jack, Brighton Sango, Norbert Shamuyarira, Le Forum, Harare, Zimbabwe
Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba
1990    Contemporary African Art, Studio Museum, New York, USA
1989    Pachipamwe International Artists Workshop Exhibition, Harare, Zimbabwe
1988   Sculptures by Tapfuma Gutsa, and Drawings and Paintings by Berry Bickle, Gallery Delta, Harare, Zimbabwe
1985    New Horizons, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK
Hope, Botanical Gardens, Berlin, Germany
Kunst Aus Zimbabwe, Bayreuth Museum, Bayreuth ,Germany
1981    Gallery Delta, Harare, Zimbabwe
1981   Oxyco Weldart, National Gallery, Harare
1986   Nedlaw Sculpture Award, Nat. Gallery, Harare
1992   Johnson & Fletcher Award, Ability in Wood, Harare
1993   Artist’s Residency Programme, Delfina Studios, London,
1995   President’s Award of Honour, Zimbabwe Heritage,Harare
2003   NAMA Award, (National Award for the Arts)
Best achievement Zimbabwean sculpture

Associated Programmes