Peterson Kamwathi

Peterson Kamwathi, born in Nairobi in 1980, is one of Kenya’s most highly regarded young artists. Exhibiting internationally since 2005, Kamwathi has become a major name in contemporary African art. His work combines clear conceptual elements and rich content with technical mastery.

His main body of work has been in printmaking where he is an acknowledged master of the woodcut process though more recently he has broadened his oeuvre to create several series of charcoal and mixed media works culminating in his “Sitting Allowance” installation which is almost epic in its scale documenting the grim realities of the crisis following the Kenyan 2007-8 elections.

A substantial portion of his work has been concerned with the iconography and process of the first Kenyan constitutional referendum 2005 which he explored through the medium of woodcut. In a series of works he use the bull as the main symbol representing his country Kenya and the issues taking centre stage during this important period of her history.

Kamwathi’s work has been purchased by the British Museum and will feature in an exhibition at the British Museum in April 2013.

The global art initiative, films4peace, sponsored by Puma, recently included Kamwathi’s work as part of their World Peace Day celebrations. World Peace Day is an international United Nations day of ceasefire, when people and governments are brought together to demonstrate movements toward global peace.


Peterson Kamwathi

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, 1998
Shang Tao media Arts College ‐ 2D, 3D Animation, 2005

Selected exhibitions
Ed Cross Fine Art – London, “…Matter of Record…”
The Edinburgh Arts Festival, Ed Cross Fine Art “The Spectre of Memory in Contemporary African Art”
Dakar Senegal, IFAN, “DAK’ART 2010″ Biennale show
St Louis Festival – Senegal “Le nord, le sud, l’est et l’ouest” Ed Cross Fine Art
Johannesburg RSA, Museum Africa, “Space: Currencies in contemporary African art”
Mombasa‐Kenya, Old law courts, “Stereotype III project”
Vienna Austria, BrotKunsthalle, “Cocacolonized”

Nairobi, Goethe institut, solo exhibition, “Sitting Allowance”
Nairobi, The GoDown art centre “Probe”
Nairobi, Kuona trust, “Stereotypes”
Liverpool, Liverpool world museum
Ed Cross Fine Art – London, “Seven Artists One Continent”

Washington DC, World Bank headquarters, “Africa Now: emerging talent from a continent on the move”
Nairobi, Solo exhibition, Le rustique
Nairobi, solo exhibition, GoDown art centre
Lamu, Gallery Baraka, August
Lamu, Gallery Baraka, November

Nairobi, East African printmaker’s exhibition, GoDown arts centre
Nairobi, RaMOMA, Printmaking exhibition

University of Kentucky, Tuska center for contemporary art, Solo exhibition
London, Bankside gallery, Exhibition of Kenyan prints, part of Africa 05

New York, “Off the main”
New York, university of Long Island, Selena gallery, “Kenya art”
Nairobi, National museum of Kenya, “Edition one”, printmaker’s exhibition
Nairobi, Le rustique, “Two faces of love”, two man exhibition ×