Mahlangu 34 Long, Cape Town
18 October Ė 5 November 2005
Two years ago, a very successful
exhibition of works by Esther Mahlangu took place at the UCT Irma Stern Museum. Now, once again, Cape Town will have the opportunity to pay tribute to Esther Mahlangu: South African artist extraordinaire, ambassador, educator, world traveler, beloved grandmother.
Arranging an exhibition of Estherís work is no easy task as she spends almost as much time abroad as at home. In the two years that have elapsed since her last Cape Town show, she has exhibited in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and the USA. At seventy years of age, Esther continues working and teaching, spending her precious time in between international exhibitions at home in Mabhoko in Mpumalanga making art. Apart from making her gallery art, she also makes time to decorate her house in the traditional Ndebele style, attracting visitors from all over the world to her village and her home.
Esther is a true traditionalist with a very strong sense of adventure. No challenge is too big for her. For example, her BMW painted in traditional Ndebele style in 1991 remains a prime exhibit in the Art Cars Collection in Germany, and last year she painted a 24 x 6,6 meter mural
in situ for the New Identities exhibition in the Bochum Museum, also in Germany. Her latest project is a proposed set of five mural paintings, each 1.21 m x 2.59 meters, for the refurbished section of Virgin Atlanticís flagship music store on Times Square in New York. She always wears her traditional attire when she executes commissions like these, and comments with a smile that "from Paris to New York, people stare at me because of the way I dress, I do not know why as this is the only way I know".
Esther will make a personal visit to Cape Town in October during her show at 34 Long and will be available for interviews. New two-dimensional works in a wide range of media from beads and dung to paint will be on view as well as some sculptural installations. Esther will also produce a
mural in the gallery before opening night.
Copies of a comprehensive exhibition catalogue, Esther Mahlangu (2003), covering most of her life and work, is on sale at 34 LONG in Long Street, Cape Town.
Mahlangu's house in Mabhoko