The Henry Tayali Art Gallery was named as a tribute to late artist Henry Tayali, who died in Germany in 1987.
Henry Tayali was born in Serenje, Zambia in 1943. Tayali’s talent was evident so early that he had his first exhibition at the age of 15, in Bulawayo , Zimbabwe where he lived at the time. He had already developed a social and political conscience which came to inspire all his work. His work reflected African nationalism, and deep concern for Africa’s urban masses uncomfortably uprooted from their traditions.
He was the foremost Zambian artist recognized in the international art scene. Tayali developed artistically from his first major, untutored and representional work, Destiny, to his unexplained Red Abstract via a BA in Fine Arts from Uganda’s Makerere University and an MA in Fine Arts from Dusseldorf Art College, West Germany. Tayali was tireless in his efforts to get a school of Fine Arts established in Zambia. As a University Artist at the University of Zambia, he was endlessly involved in art workshops, seminars, projects and every committee in involved in artistic development.
“Each painting I do is a stage forward to my next work. But the main thing to remember is that the whole of my life is just doing one big painting, the only difference being that the style in which I execute it varies from painting to painting. Since I was a child I have lived in art and art is my life, and in this field, all I know is determination and simple hard work.”