C. T. Zimbiti

Stages of Life (Germinating Flower), 2004
Sculpture, Opal
35 x 19 x 10 in
SKU: 11566g
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"Stages of Life (Germinating Flower)" is a stone sculpture carved from opal serpentine. Internationally recognized as one of contemporary Africa’s most significant art forms, Zimbabwean stone sculpture (also known as Shona sculpture, after Zimbabwe’s dominant cultural group) has its origins in the late 1950s when Joram Mariga began carving in soapstone after finding a stone deposit when leading a road-building crew. Mariga’s sculpture influenced Frank McEwen, the British director of the National Gallery of Art of Rhodesia, to encourage Africans, mostly of the Shona tribe of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to represent their “mystical beliefs.” McEwen, who was connected to the European art world (he was previously a curator at the Musée Rodin in Paris and was acquainted with members of the European artistic avant-garde such as Matisse and Picasso), was significantly involved in the creation of the Shona sculpture movement. McEwen was struck by what he believed was the lack of visual representations of the Shona belief system. He started the National Gallery Workshop School at the museum to encourage and promote the creation of art that was uniquely African—Zimbabwean.


Zimbiti is a second-generation Shona sculptor. "Stages of Life" represents the metamorphosis from a shoot to a flower. The sculpture’s petals also evoke wings reaching toward the sky.  


Artwork Size: 35" x 19" x 10"