Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa

Live Virtual Auction, 28 February 2023

Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa
About the Session

Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa is a dynamic collaborative project conceived by Strauss & Co to address the need for diversified representation of artists from across the African continent in the secondary market. Curated by Strauss & Co Heads of Sale, Kirsty Colledge and Kate Fellens, with input by seven international art experts with embedded knowledge of Africa; Serge Tiroche, Valerie Kabov, Heba Elkayal, Danda Jaroljmek, Anne Kariuki, Dana Endundo Ferreira, Kimberley Cunningham. Curatorial Voices presents collectors with a broad selection of work by leading contemporary artists alongside select pieces by important historical artists.

  • Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude; Mazino (The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men)

Lot Estimate
ZAR 100 000 - 150 000

About this Item

Zimbabwean 1988-
Mazino (The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men)

signed and dated 2017; accompanied by a First Floor Gallery Harare certificate of authenticity signed, dated 2017, and inscribed with the title and medium

oil on canvas
248 by 138 by 4cm, unframed


Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude formed part of a cohort of artists shortlisted for the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2023.

Mazino (The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men) was produced in response to the demise of Robert Mugabe, who initially served as the prime minister of Zimbabwe in 1980 and then served as president from 1987 until 2017.1 The artwork is symbolic of Mugabe's notorious rule and subsequent demise after being seized by the Zimbabwean National Army at his Blue Roof mansion. The work pays hommage to the phrase 'the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry', meaning that the most strategic plans can lead to misfortune. The present lot details this ubiquitous lesson in life and places it in critical dialogue with the state of the Zimbabwean nation.

1., accessed 26 January 2023.

Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude was born in 1988 in Harare, Zimbabwe where he currently lives and works. Mbare is Harare’s – and perhaps Zimbabwe’s – most vibrant and notorious ghetto. Allegedly ridden with hooliganism, violence, and prostitution, Mbare is said to parallel the conditions of Harare for Zimbabweans during the colonial segregation era (in respect of its hardship and quality of living space). To this day, Mbare retains the character of a port city with its trade, shady deals, and otherwise bustle of unremitting human traffic amid urban decay. Born and raised in Mbare, Nyaude works against the sweeping identity that has been defined by the voice of the state. His images oscillate between figuration, abstraction, and hallucination, drawing from the restless energy of the ghetto. Living on the verge between survival and demise has been somewhat of a call to poetry, at times proving brutal and at others sentimental or cynically satirical. His figures defy characterisation, underscored by the humanity of their quest to attain a quality of life that appears even beyond the reach of dreams.

Nyaude’s work has achieved wide international critical and collector recognition. 2018 was a pivotal year for his career: in the spring, he presented a major body of work in the USA as part of Songs for Sabotage at the New Museum Triennial and, in the summer, he participated at the Africa First Residency in Israel along with fellow artists Helen Teede and Wycliffe Mundopa. Following the residency, Serge Tiroche donated one of the works Nyaude produced to the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. His works can also be found in the Museum of Contemporary African Art Al Maaden (MACAAL), Marrakesh, Morocco; Rubell Family Collection, USA; Jorge Perez personal collection; and numerous notable private collections.

Biography courtesy of Africa First.


First Floor Gallery Harare, Zimbabwe, 2017.

Africa First, 2023.

View all Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude lots for sale in this auction

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