Bernard Matemera (Zimbabwe, Africa, 1946-2006) unknown title, serpentine marble sculpture, signature incised on bottom “MATEMERA. B.” Circa 1980-1990. Three fingered and three-toed mythical figure with bulbous bulging eyes, engorged lips and perfectly round button nipples. Measurements: Sculpture alone measures approximately 33 inches height by 28 inches depth by 19 inches width. Add 5 inches to height with base. Base measures 35.5in x by 35.5in x 5in height. Condition: scattered areas of light colored discoloration mostly on the back side, couple small nicks to right middle toenail.
Matemera explained the inspiration for these unusual animalesque figures in an interview saying “I had a dream in 1963 about these three toed and three- fingered people who changed into animals and assisted me to hunt for game. They climbed trees and hunted for honey with their deformed limbs which facilitated climbing trees”
Matemera broke onto the International art scene in 1968 at the “New African Art”, exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art – MOMA, New York,
He exhibited internationally and among the notable exhibitions are:
Art from Africa, London – 1981
Janet Fleisher Gallery, Philadelphia, USA – 1982,
The Kresge Art Museum, Michigan, USA -1985,
Zimbabwe Sculpture at Foundation Beelden op de Berg Expose, Wageningen, The Netherlands – 1989,
Contemporary, stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, Millesgarden Museum, Stockholm, Sweden -1990
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire, England – 1990
The Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, The Netherlands -1990
the Musee de Jardin, Paris, France -1997
Group Exhibitions, Springstone International Art Gallery, Idlehurst Way, off Ridge Road Avondale – 1996, 1997, 2003 and 2006, under the auspices of Dr. Michelina Andreucci.
The Botanic Garden, in Hamburg, Germany – 1998
The Kew Gardens, United Kingdom, under the auspices of Chapungu Village Gallery – 2000
Matemera’s sculptures are at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the Chapungu Sculpture Park, and the Museum fur Völkerkunde, Frankfurt. They are also in important private collections which include: Pierre Gallery, the Michelina Andreucci historic collection of Old Master Zimbabwean Stone art, The Frank McEwen collection, Lord De La Warr, Sir Ronald Prain, Dr. J.R. Raeber, and Mr. David Apter, New York, USA.
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