Chenge Baruti Biography

Chenge Baruti



Chenge Baruti was born Barnabé Berquin to a Belgian father and Congolese mother in Katanga, a part of the Democratic Republic of Congo's Copperbelt, on June 5, 1937. He began painting at age fifteen and was accepted at the Académie des Beaux-Arts at Kinshasa, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Change Kanuto. He graduated with a diploma in painting in 1959 and moved to Lubumbashi where he briefly taught painting at the city's Academy of Fine Arts before leaving to open an arts workshop and gallery with Kanuto. The two held workshops in copperware, sculpture, and painting.

Baruti was active until his death on September 11, 2001 and is regarded, along with his brother, as one of the leading Post-Independence Katanga artists to make his mark on the global art market, successfully appealing to European collectors through through pioneering self promotion. Notable exhibitions include his participation in the
AICA Modern Art exhibition (1969) and Biennial of Contemporary Bantu Art (1990). Baruti sometimes signed his art with his given name, "Berquin."