Square Chikwanda

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Square Chikwanda (born 1972) is a Zimbabwean sculptor, living and working in Harare, Zimbabwe. He first learned his art from his father, also a Zimbabwean sculptor.

Short Biography[edit]

Born in Mvurwi, Chikwanda moved to the Tengenenge Sculpture Community with his father at the age of seven.[1] There his father taught him at an early age to wash and polish stone. He finished primary school and learned the art of sculpture to become a full-time artist at the age of thirteen, developing his own style. At the Community he had several students, of whom Jonathan Mhondorohuma became a good friend. In 1993 he left the community to work in Harare at the Chapungu Sculpture Park. At this Park, Square continued expanding his artistic know-how, which made him one of the leading Harare sculptors. Square now (2006) works on his own in Chitungwiza, a Harare suburb.[2] His work has been exhibited worldwide.


Square's sculptures deal mostly with portraits and animals e.g. "Blind Portrait",[3] Berlin, Germany or "Hippo",[4] Tengenenge, Zimbabwe. His figures are generally very square and stylised : arms, legs and fingers are often square and show hard lines; noses have knife sharp edges. His sculptures remind indeed the art-deco figures of the 1930-1940 and are always polished to a high degree of perfection. He uses local Zimbabawean stone, e.g. Opal,[5] Lemon Opal,[6] Springstone,[7] Verdite and Cobalt.


  1. ^ -, "Contemporary Master Sculptors of Zimbabwe", Ruwa, Zimbabwe 2007, p.57; ISBN 978-0-7974-3527-8
  2. ^ -, "Meister Bildhauer aus Simbabwe", Art Center Berlin Friedrichstrasse, Berlin, Germany, Oktober – Dezember 2006, p.24-27 (catalogue)
  3. ^ Square Chikwanda, "Blind Portrait", Springstone, 55 cm x 14 cm x 23 cm.
  4. ^ Square Chikwanda, "Hippo", Springstone, 18 cm × 31 cm × 33 cm.
  5. ^ A beautiful light greenish serpentine. Opal stone is a very hard stone finely textured with an almost translucent surface sometimes specked with red, orange and bluish dots and patches. Opalstone is famous for its milky light coloured greens and smooth texture. It is also unique in that it has fewer colour variations than Serpentine. It is also mined at Chiweshe, two hours north of Harare. This stone is one of the favourites of sculptors, as it’s not as hard as springstone and other serpentines, but still polishes to a high finish. Opalstone also has, at times, a brown colour throughout the predominate green. The appearance can be smooth or mottled. As with most of the stones mined for the purpose of sculpting, opal is mined without the use of automotive tools. Lemon Opalstone is easily identified by contrasting yellow striations within the stone. On the Mohs hardness scale, Opalstone rates between 5.0-5.5.
  6. ^ Usually a much deeper colouration all over the stone, more colourful and a harder stone to sculpt than the usual Opal Stone, mostly due to the particles of quartz found within the stone. Lemon Opalstone is easily identified by contrasting yellow striations within the stone. On the Mohs hardness scale, Opalstone rates between 5.0-5.5.
  7. ^ Springstone is a very hard serpentine with high iron content and a fine texture, no cleavages, hard and firm offering a good resistance to the sculptor. Springstone has a rich outer "blanket" of reddish brown oxidised rock. They emerge from the quarry like sculptures created by nature millions of years ago and are often a source of inspiration to the artist. There are a few mines where this stone is found, but Guruve, in the north, is where springstone is mined. A beautiful dark stone, it polishes to a high shine because of its density. As with most other stones that are mined for the purpose of sculpting, this stone is mined by hand on communal lands.



Recent Exhibitions[edit]

  • Annual Heritage Exhibition, National Gallery, Harare, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1997.
  • Museum for Humour and Satire, Bucharest, Bulgaria, 1988.
  • National South-African Gallery, Overport, Durban, South Africa, 1991.
  • Master Sculptors Of Zimbabwe, Art Center an der Friedrichstrasse, Berlin, Germany, October – December 2006
  • Mestres Escultors de Zimbabwe, Museo Comarcal, Montsia d'Amposta, Spain, 21 May-21 June 2009.
  • Master Sculptors Of Zimbabwe, Boserup Gallery, Boserupvej 100, Roskilde, Denmark, February 2010.
  • Master Sculptors Of Zimbabwe, Sanomatalo Building, Helsinki, Finland, March 2010.
  • Master Sculptors Of Zimbabwe, Friends For Ever Gallery, Friedrichstrasse 134, Berlin, Germany, May 2010.

Permanent Collections[edit]

  • Museum of Tengenenge, Zimbabwe.
  • Chapungu Sculpture Park, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Africa Museum, Berg en Daal, The Netherlands.