Portrait photo of first generation Shona sculptor Bernard Matemera of Tengenenge, Zimbabwe

Bernard Matemera

Bernard Matemera (1946 – 2002)

The late Bernard Matemera was one of the most important sculptors of the First Generation of Zimbabwean Sculpture.

Bernard was the symbolic leader at the Tengenenge Sculpture Village in northern Zimbabwe. He had been one of the first artists to take up sculpting there full-time, having grown up nearby.

His work is full of depth and spiritual meaning, much like the man himself. He was until his death a humble, spiritual man whose great strength exploded in his work.

Group exhibitions include:

  • ‘Tengenenge Old, Tengenenge New’, Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, Netherlands (1994)
  • ‘Contemporary Stone Carvings from Zimbabwe’, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (1990-91)
  • ‘Whispering The Gospel of Sculpture’, National Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe (1989)
  • ‘Art from Africa’, Commonwealth Institute, London, UK (1981)

Bernard’s work is targeted for imitation and forgery. Be very careful when investing in a ‘Matemera’ that its authenticity can be traced reliably through reputable dealers. Look in particular at the detail in the technical creation of the piece – anything poorly made is unlikely to be an original. If in doubt, ask the seller for proof e.g. photos of the artist with the piece, and don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions.

We also have a few pieces of Bernard’s work that are not yet on the web gallery. If you are interested, please contact us and we can send you photos.

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