Michael Armitage

Michael Armitage, Ewaso Niro, 2016-17 © Michael Armitage. Courtesy the artist and White Cube. Photo: © White Cube (George Darrell)

Michael Armitage, Ewaso Niro, 2016-17 © Michael Armitage. Courtesy the artist and White Cube. Photo: © White Cube (George Darrell)

For Michael Armitage, painting is ‘a way of thinking through something.’ Born in Nairobi to an English father and a Kikuyu mother, his work has its roots in East Africa; its people, politics, history and mythology, its animals and landscapes. He paints enigmatic and ambiguous narratives on Ugandan lubugo bark cloth; its heavily textured surface marked by holes, stitching, bumps and woodgrain, both dictates and subverts the composition and handling of paint. Many of his works – including drawings and lithographs – address socio-political concerns. Dream and Refuge (2020), a lithograph produced as a fundraiser for Kenyan charities, portrays a homeless woman while highlighting the richness of her visions.

 

Michael Armitage‌ ‌(born‌ ‌1984,‌ ‌Nairobi,‌ ‌Kenya)‌ ‌lives‌ ‌and‌ ‌works‌ ‌in‌ ‌Nairobi‌ ‌and‌ ‌London.‌ Armitage‌ ‌studied‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌Slade‌ ‌School‌ ‌of‌ ‌Fine‌ ‌Art‌, ‌University College London‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌Royal‌ ‌Academy‌ ‌Schools, London.‌

Michael Armitage, Wayaki Way Wet Nurse, 2016 © Michael Armitage. Courtesy the artist and White Cube. Photo: © White Cube (George Darrell)

East Africa is where I was born, it is where I grew up, it is where my attitudes to life were shaped.

– Michael Armitage

Michael Armitage, The Octopus’s Veil, 2016 © Michael Armitage. Image: Crown Copyright, UK

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Michael Armitage, The Long Walk Home (Xala), 2020 © Michael Armitage. Courtesy the artist and White Cube. Photo: © White Cube (George Darrell)