Albert Nathan Mamvura (1954 - 1997)

Albert was born in the rural Buhera district of eastern Zimbabwe in 1954. After leaving school, he qualified as a carpenter and worked for several years with various construction companies. However, his life changed forever when in 1975 he began to learn the basics of stone carving from his cousin Nicholas Mukomberanwa, one of the most famous and internationally respected artists of the 'Shona sculpture' movement.

By 1977 he was confident to start sculpting by himself, and by 1978 the National Gallery of Zimbabwe included some of his pieces in its annual exhibition. Mamvura’s style become an interesting cross-over between a staple figurative diet and underlying abstraction; he therefore appealed to a large cross-section of collectors and his reputation continued to grow until his untimely death in 1997 at the young age of 43, and his talent is much missed.

Selected international group exhibitions:

  • ’Contemporary Stone Carving From Zimbabwe’, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (1990)
  • ‘Shona Sculpture From Zimbabwe’, Solomon Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (1989)
  • ‘Soul In Stone’, Group Exhibition, Irving Sculpture Gallery, Sydney, Australia (1985)
  • ‘Contemporary Shona Sculpture’, The Mall Galleries, London, UK (1982)

A Mamvura sculpture was presented by the Government as a wedding gift to Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981. In 1986, another of his works was presented to Queen Sofia of Spain following her visit to Zimbabwe.

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