Esther Mahlangu ( 1935 - 
 

' Esther Mahlangu is regarded as one of our most important traditional Ndebele artists. She is best known, as the first person to transfer the traditional mural art to canvas and also decorated a BMW motor vehicle with traditional designs. She utilizes feathers, twigs and bundled-twigs as brushes in the traditional way, utilising natural pigment but also works with conventional paints. '

Born 1935 in Middelburg, Mphumalanga, South Africa. 

Studies :
She learned the skill of mural painting from her mother and grandmother.
Between 1980 - 91 she was a resident at the Botshebelo open air museum, designed to present a view of the Ndebele culture to visitors. 
Exhibitions:  
2008 'Reacquiring' - Kyle Kauffman Gallery, New York, March 27-May 10, 2008
The Speed Art Museum, December 23, 2007 — March 16, 2008 
Denver Museum of Art, April 13 — July 6, 2008
Philadelphia Museum of Art, August 2 — October 2, 2008
2007 'Why Africa?' - Exhibition Opening At The Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin, Italy
Durban Art Museum
Berlin and Beyond Art in Public Places, Florida USA
Orlando Museum of Art, January 28 — April 22, 2007
The Walters Art Museum, June 17 — August 26, 2007
Tacoma Museum of Art, September 25 — December 9, 2007
34LONG, Cape Town August 7 - September 1
2006 Indianapolis Museum of Art
34 LONG, Cape Town
Roppongi Hills Art Museum, Japan 
2005 Solo Exhibition - 34 Long, Cape Town 
National Museum of Art, USA
Yokohama Triennale, Japan
Museum of Fine Art, Houstin, Texas, USA
Arts of Africa, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco - France

Project Row Houses, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas 
Contemporary South African Art, Pretoria Art Museum
Contemporary South African Art, Johannesburg Art Gallery
Galleria Spacia, Italy 
South Africa - US Native American Exchange Project,  Institute of American Indian Arts - Sante FE, NM.
2004 Contemporary South African Art, Museum Bochum, Germany
New Orleans Jazz Festival South Africa Stage
2003  Dentro e Fuori le Mura, Fabbrica Eos, Milano, Italy
2003

First Solo Exhibition in South Africa, UCT Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, South Africa

2002 Passport from S.Africa, Centro Culturale "Trevi", Bolzano 
Knysna Fine Art Gallery, Knysna 
2001 Arte Africana contemporanea, Galleria d'arte Spazia, Bologna, Italy 
Galleria Cavellini, Brescia, Italy 
South Africa Today, The Helsinki Fair Centre, Finland
2000 5th Biennale of Contemporary Art in Lyons, France 
Dialogue of cultures, EXPO 2000, Hannover, Germany
1999  <<REWIND>>FAST FORWARD, Van Reekum Museum, Appeldoorn, Netherlands 
1998 Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, Paris France 
Africa Africa, Tobu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
1997 York College Art Gallery, Pennsylvania, USA 
Ndebele Images Then and Now, National Arts Club, New York, USA 
Oog op Zuidelijke Afrika, Berg en Dal, Holland 
Portal to America, Installation, Spoleto Festival, Charelstown, South Carolina, USA 
African Immigrant Folklife Festival, Washington D.C., USA 

Exhibit Gallery, Philadelphia, USA
Mural for National Museum of Woman in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA
Ndebele Images Then and Now, National Arts Club, New York, USA
1996 Parish Gallery - Georgetown, Washington D.C., USA 
Exhibition for the Congressional Black Caucus, Washington, D.C., USA 
Armour J. Blackburn Centre, Howard University, Washington, D.C., USA 
World Bank, Washington, D.C., USA 
Mural - Ministry of Finance Building, Pretoria, South Africa 
Mural - Alexandra Township Stadium, Johannesburg 
1995 BMW Art Car and paintings Exhibition, Sydney, Australia 
Group show, Market Theatre, Johannesburg 
1994 BMW Art Car Collection, National Museum of Woman in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA 
Mural for National Museum of Woman in Arts, Washington D.C., USA 
Mural - Ndebele College of Education, Kwandebele, South Africa 
Mural - African Festival, Lisbon, Portugal 
Mural - European Inventive Business Travel Meetings Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland 
Out of Africa, Musée des Beaux Arts de Nantes, France 
1993 Painted Pillars in Art Gallery, Nantes, France 
1992 Fire Screen, Civic Theatre, Johannesburg 
BMW Art Car, Documentra 9, Kassel, Germany 
Africa Hoy, Groninger Museum, Holland 
Africa Hoy, Cultural Centre of Contemporary Art, Mexico City, Mexico  
Comme des Garçons, Tokyo, Japan; New York, USA and Paris, France
Out of Africa, Gallery Saatchi, London, UK
1991 BMW Art Car, Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town 
Painting Columns in Building, Tokyo, Japan
Ny Afrikansk Billed Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Caravan( trailer ) Auto Show, Lavante, Paris, France 

European Inventive Business Travel Meetings Exhibition, Lisboa, Portugal
Geneva International Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland
Fashion Collection, Tokyo, Japan
Africa Hoy, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderna, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
1990 Caravan ( trailer ) Auto Show, Lavante, France
Bordeaux Festival, Bordeaux, France
Mural Painting, Rosebank Shopping Centre, South Africa  
Mural Painting, Johannesburg School, South Africa   
1989 Group show, Centre de la Villette, Paris, France 
Les Magiciens de la Terre, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Fine Arts Museum, Angouleme, France
Mural Painting, Mus
ée des Beaux Arts – Museum for African Art, Paris, France
Awards:
2006 The Order of Ikhamanga, Silver - Government of South Africa
2001 Arts and Culture Award,  Art Promotion
2001 Pan African Broadcasting, Heritage and Achievement Award
2001  Radio Ndebele Award
1999  Mpumalanga Arts and Culture Award
1997 Nassau County, NY, USA,  Commondation
1997 Village of Hampstead, NY, USA Citation
1997 Ministry of Culture and Communication, Centre de la Villette, France
1996 Mpumalanga Premiers Award
1988 Radio Ndebele Award
Represented:
Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava
Johnnic Communications Management Services Collection, Johannesburg
Museum Bochum,  Germany
BOE Bank, Cape Town
National Gallery, Cape Town
Musée des Arts d'Afrique et Océanie, Paris, France
Bothabelo Museum, South Africa
BMW Car Collection, Germany
World Bank Collection
BHP Billiton Collection, Johannesburg
RE:CM Collection, Cape Town
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
Roppongi Hills Art Museum, Japan

Esther's work is also in numerous private collections in South Africa and abroad 
Publications:  
Courtney-Clarke, M. 1986. Ndebele. London: Thames & Hudson. Reprinted in 2002. (ISBN 0-500-28387-7)
Loots, AG and De Jager, FR. 2003. Esther Mahlangu. Cape Town: Vgallery. (ISBN 0-620-30600-9)
Magnin, A and Soulillou, J. 1996. Contemporary Art of Africa.  London: Thames & Hudson. (ISBN 0-500-01713-1)
Magubane, P. and Klopper, S. 2001. African Heritage, Arts and Crafts. Cape Town : Struik. ( ISBN 1 86872 516 2 )  
Magubane, P. and Klopper, S. 2001. African Heritage. Cape Town: Struik. (ISBN 1 86872583 9)
Mountain, A. 1995. Ndebele Artist Nation. Indaba, Mini Curio. Cape Town: Struik. (ISBN 1 86825848 3)

 
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