Tapfuma Gutsa’s work, both as artist and workshop leader, has transformed art practice in Zimbabwe and beyond. He explores the physical and metaphorical possibilities of materials, from granite and oak, to horn, eggshell, bone and clay. His work both advances and subverts the tradition of stone sculpture that dominated Zimbabwean art through the 1960s and '70s. Beyond the elegant confidence apparent in his choice of materials, he endows the objects he forms with an otherworldly power. Gutsa studied art at the Driefontein Mission School in Zimbabwe, and later became the first Zimbabwean recipient of a British Council award, studying at the City and Guilds School of Art, London from 1982-1985. Returning to Zimbabwe, he organised, in 1988, the first of a series of Pachipamwe workshops before establishing the Surprise studios in 1997. In 1990 he participated in the seminal exhibition African Artists: Changing Traditions at the Studio Museum, Harlem. Gutsa served as Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
In 2005, his residency at Gasworks, London, coincided with Africa Remix at the Hayward Gallery. His first solo show at October Gallery, in 2006 led to his inclusion in Uncomfortable Truths (2007) at Victoria & Albert Museum, London. In 2011, Gutsa showed in the Zimbabwean Pavilion of the 54th Venice Biennale. His works are in collections worldwide.