ESTHER Mahlangu 2003: updated CV

ESTHER Mahlangu: CV

Born 11 November 1935 near Middelburg, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.
Esther Nikwambi Mahlangu was taught the skill of mural painting by her mother and grandmother.
Between 1980 - 1991 she was a resident at the Botshabelo open air museum which presents Ndebele culture to visitors.

Exhibitions and projects

Solo Exhibitions

2024 Then I Knew I Was Good at Painting, World Retrospective - Starting @ Iziko South Africa National Gallery, Cape Town, SA
2023 Dr. Esther Mahlangu, Where two rivers meet, Almine Rech Gallery, Grosvenor Hill, W1K 3JH, London
2023 Breath of Calligraphy, Galerie Enrico Navarra - Paris, France
2023 Almine Rech (15 April - 3 June) - 64 rue de Turenne, 75003 - Paris, France
2021 Dr. Esther Mahlangu, Almine Rech Gallery , Front Space, Paris, France
Esther Mahlangu 85, The Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
Investec Cape Town Art Fair (ICTAF), The Melrose Gallery, Cape Town, SA
Timeless', Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein, SA
2019 Esther Mahlangu, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, SA
Johannesburg, SA
A Tribute to Nelson Mandela, The Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
London, UK
Esther Mahlangu 80, UCT Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, SA
Esther Mahlangu: An Artistic Residency, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia, USA
Overlay, 34FineArt, Cape Town, SA
2010 Centro Espositivo St. Art, Calenzano, Italy
Esther Mahlangu: Reacquiring, The Kyle Kauffman Gallery, New York, USA
Esther Mahlangu 2007, 34LONG, Cape Town, SA
Why Africa?, Fiat 500, Turin, Italy
Esther Mahlangu, 34LONG, Cape Town, SA
Esther Mahlangu 2003, UCT Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, SA
1998 Museum of Oceanian and African Art, Paris, France

Selected Exhibitions

2023 Reversed Safari - Contemporary African Art, The Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia
2023 AI Canvas, BMW, Art Bazel, Switzerland
2022 SCULPTX / AKAA, (Africa Art & Design Fair), Johannesburg, SA
2022 Noval Art Museum, Cape Town, SA
2022 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, UK
2022-23 Standard Bank Art Gallery, Johannesburg, SA

2020 Expo 2020 Dubai, Air Jordan 1 Design, Dubai, UAA
2019-2020 Expressions d'Afrique, Inside Jean Pigozzi's collection, Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, Switzerland
2018 Public Commission, Three Murals, The Market Theatre foyer, Esther Mahlangu Boardroom at Windybrow Theatre in Hillbrow, The Contemporary Market Square Complex, Johannesburg, SA

Group Exhibition, Museum of Arts and Design, New York , USA
2018 Not A Single Story, Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park, Cradle of Humankind, SA
2017 Imibala Gallery, Somerset West, SA
South Africa the art of a nation, The British Museum, UK, 27 October 2016
2016 New design - Belvedere(RED), NY, USA
2015 Amref Health Africa Artball: Celebrating Contemporary African Art, New York, USA
2015 Imibala Gallery, Somerset West, SA
2015 Sneaker design with Swedish Company Eytys, Paris Fashion Week, France
2015 40 years of BMW Art Cars, BMW Museum, Munchen, Germany
2014 Traditional African Murals, Museum of African Art, Belgrade, Serbia
Look Mickey!, 34FineArt, Cape Town, SA
Les Magiciens de la Terre, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
2014 Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
2014 Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, SA
2013 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London, UK
Urban Interpretation, Graffik Gallery, London, UK
FourWalls, 34FineArt, Cape Town, SA
Art Drive! Exhibition, Great Eastern Street Car Park in Shoreditch, London, UK
Urban Interpretation, 34FineArt, Cape Town, SA
Blend, 34FineArt, Cape Town, SA
2011 Durban Tourism Indaba, Durban, SA
Ensemble, 34FineArt, Cape Town, SA
2011 ArtMonaco'1 1 , Monaco
2011 Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA
Africa. Objetos y Sujetos, Teatro Fernan Gomez, Centro de Arte, Madrid, Spain
2010 ATASA Trust Southern Africa Handcraft & Ndebele Art Exhibition, Newtown, SA
La mostra sulla Regina d'Africa Esther Mahlangu, Napoli, Italy
2010 Museum of Arts and Design, New York City, USA
2010 FIFA Official Artist, Italy
Sortileges, Fondation pour L'art Contemporain, Claudine et Jean-Marc Salomon, Alex, France
2009 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
2009 - 2010
Africa? Una nuova storia, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy
2008 The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
2008 Denver Museum of Art, Denver, Colorado, USA
2008 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA
Why Africa?, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy
2007 Painted the New Fiat 500 - "Why Africa?", The Pigozzi Collection, Italy
SA Art -- Signs, Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia
Berlin and Beyond Art in Public Places, Florida, USA
Esther Mahlangu & Speelman Mahlangu, 34 LONG, SA
2007 Durban Art Gallery, Durban, SA
2007 Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, USA
2007 The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
2007 Tacoma Museum of Art, Tacoma, Washington, USA
Esther Mahlangu & Noria Mabasa, 34 LONG, SA
100% African; The Jean Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
2006 Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Memory Innovation Tradition, 34 LONG, Cape Town, SA
2006 Roppongi Hills Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Beyond Lilith: The Sacred Feminine, Scuderie Aldobrandini Frascati, Roma, Italy
Arts of Africa, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
2005 Yokohama Triennial, Japan
New Identities Contemporary Art from South Africa, Pretoria Art Museum & Johannesburg Art Gallery, SA
2005 Galleria Spacia, Italy
2005 South Africa-USA Native American Exchange Project, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, USA
2005 Project Row Houses, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
2005 National Museum of African Art, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA
New Identities Contemporary Art from South Africa, Museum Bochum, Germany
2004 New Orleans Jazz Festival, South African Stage, New Orleans, USA
2003 Dentro e Fuori le Mura, Fabbrica Eos, Milano, Italy
Passport to South Africa, Centro Culturale Trevi, Bolzano, Italy
The Art of Colour, Knysna Fine Art Gallery, Knysna, SA
Arte Africana Contemporanea, Galleria d'arte Spazia, Bologna, Italy
2001 Galleria Cavellini, Brescia, Italy
South Africa Today, The Helsinki Fair Centre, Finland
2000 5th Biennale of Contemporary Art, Lyons, France
Dialogue of Cultures, EXPO 2000, Hannover, Germany
1999 The Three Rivers Art Festival, Pittsburgh, USA
<<REWIND>>FAST FORWARD.ZA, Van Reekum Museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
1998 Solo Exhibition, Musee des Arts d'Afrique et d'Oceanie, Paris, France
Africa Africa: Vibrant New Art from a Dynamic Continent, Tobu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
1997 BA Airways Tail wing design, UK
1997 Exhibit Gallery, Philadelphia, USA
1997 York College, Los Angeles, California, USA
1997 Mural for National Museum of Woman in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA
Ndebele Images - Then and Now, National Arts Club, New York, USA
Oog op Zuidelijke Afrika, Het Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, Netherlands
Portal to America, Installation, Spoleto Festival, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
1997 African Immigrant Folklife Festival, Washington D.C., USA
1996 Parish Gallery, Georgetown, USA
1996 Exhibition for the Congressional Black Caucus, Washington D.C., USA
1996 Armour J. Blackburn Centre, Howard University, Washington D.C., USA
1996 World Bank, Washington D.C., USA
1996 Mural - Ministry of Finance Building, Pretoria, SA
1996 Mural - Alexandra Township Stadium, Johannesburg, SA
1995 BMW Art Cars and Paintings Exhibition, Sydney, Australia
1995 Group Exhibition, Market Theatre, Johannesburg, SA
1994 BMW Art Cars Collection, National Museum of Woman in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA
1994 Mural - National Museum of Woman in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA
1994 Mural - Ndebele College of Education, KwaNdebele, SA
1994 Mural - African Festival, Lisbon, Portugal
1994 Mural - European Inventive Business Travel Meetings Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland
Out of Africa, Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, France
La Grande Verite, Les Astres Africains, Nantes Fine Arts Museum, Nantes, France
1993 European Inventive Business Travel Meetings Exhibition, Lisbon, Portugal
1993 Geneva International Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland
Comme des Garcons, Tokyo, Japan; New York, USA; and Paris, France
Out of Africa, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
1992 Fire Screen, Civic Theatre, Johannesburg, SA
1992 BMW Art Cars, Documenta 9, Kassel, Germany
Africa Hoy, Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands
Africa Hoy, Cultural Centre of Contemporary Art, Mexico City, Mexico
1991 BMW Art Cars, Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, SA
1991 BMW Art Cars Commission, Germany
1991 Painting columns in Building, Tokyo, Japan
1991 Fashion Collection, Tokyo, Japan
Ny Afrikansk Billedkunst, Copenhagen, Denmark
Africa Hoy, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, de Gran Canaria, Spain
1990 Caravan Auto Show, Lavante, France
1990 Bordeaux Festival, Bordeaux, France
1990 Mural Painting, Rosebank Shopping Centre, SA
1990 Mural Painting, Johannesburg School, SA
1989 Centre de la Villette, Paris, France
1989 Fine Arts Museum, Angouleme, France
1989 Mural Painting, Musee des Beaux Arts, France
Les Magiciens de la Terre, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France


Museum of Modern Art, USA
Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia
The Pigozzi Collection, Geneva, Switzerland
Johnnic Communications Management Services Collection, Johannesburg, SA
Museum Bochum, Bochum, Germany
South African National Gallery, Iziko Museums, Cape Town, SA
BROKER Art Collection, Belgium
BOE Bank, Cape Town, SA
Musee des Arts d'Afrique et d'Oceanie, Paris, France
Botshabelo Museum, Botshabelo, SA
BMW Art Cars Collection, Germany
BMW Group South Africa's Heritage Collection, Johannesburg, SA
World Bank Collection, USA
Museum of Modern Art, Equatorial Guinea
BHP Billiton Collection, Johannesburg, SA
Roppongi Hills Art Museum, Japan
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia, USA
Museum Bochum, Germany
Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, SA
RE:CM Collection, Cape Town, SA
National Museum of Woman in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Musee des Beaux Arts, France
Rupert Art Collection, Stellenbosch, SA
University of Cape Town, SA
Esther's work is also represented in numerous public and private collections.


2023 Lifetime Winner Metro FM Music Awards at Mbombela Stadium, Mbombela, S.A
2022 Honorary Doctorate - Doctor of Arts and Design (Honoris Causa) in the Faculty of Arts and Design  - Tshwane University of Technology, Tshwane, SA

2021 DSAC and INNIBOS NATIONAL craft awards - Lifetime Achiever Award for Excellence in Craft , for her contribution to Art, Culture and Entrepreneurship in South Africa, SA

2019 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Southern Africa NGO & Multi-Stakeholder Award in recognition of inclusivity & empowerment

2019 Officier de L'Orde Arts et Lettres, France

2018 Hononary Doctors Degree, University of Johannesburg, SA
2018 Hononary Doctors Degree, Durban University of Technology (DUT), Durban, SA
2017 Arts and Culture Veteran Award, Ubuntu Awards, Cape Town, SA
2016 The Lilizela Awards, Minister's Award, SA
2016 CAAMMPPS, South African Women Identity & Heritage Life Lessons, Discourse Honorary Award, SA
2015 Lilizela Tourism Awards, Best Roots and Culture Exhibition, SA
2015 The Lilizela Tourism Award, Roots and culture, SA
2015 South African Traditional Music Achievement Awards, Life Time Achievement Award, SA
2013 1st Mbokodo Award, SA
2012 1st Mbokodo Award, South African Women in the Arts, SA
2010 Increasing Access to the Arts Award - 13th annual BASA Awards, SA
2007 The Heritage Award for Preservation and Promotion of South African Heritage and Culture, The Premier of KZN, SA
2006 The Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) , Government of South Africa, SA
2006 National Arts and Culture Trust, Lifetime Achievement Award, SA
2001 Arts and Culture Award, Art Promotion, SA
2001 Pan African Broadcasting, Heritage and Achievement Award (PABHA) , SA
2001 Radio Ndebele Award, SA
1999 Mpumalanga Arts and Culture Award, SA
1997 Nassau County Commendation, New York, USA
1997 Incorporated Village of Hempstead Citation, Hempstead, New York, USA
1997 Ministry of Culture and Communication, Centre de la Villette, France
1996 Mpumalanga Sport Premier's Culture Award, SA
1988 Radio Ndebele Award, SA

Selected publications and references

ARTsouthAfrica, (2015), 'In conversation with Esther Mahlangu', Available at: 3/2460-the-painting-s-not-dead-issue-in-conversation-with-esther-mahlangu.html
Boeriu H, (2016) ,
BMW Individual 7 Series, 2 September 2016,
Belvedere ( RED ),
Cantz, H, (2005) ,
New Identities, Zeitgenossische Kunst Aus Sudafrika, Museum Bochum, Germany, ISBN 978-3-77571 489-1
Courtney-Clarke, M, (1 986) ,
Ndebele, Thames & Hudson, London, ISBN 0-500-28387-7
de Jager, FR & Loots, AG, (2003) ,
Esther Mahlangu 2003, Vgallery, Cape Town, ISBN 0-620-30600-9
de Jager, FR & Loots, AG, (201 5) ,
Esther Mahlangu 80, 34FineArt, Cape Town, ISBN 978-0-620-67031 -9
Duke, L, (1 994) , 'The Living Art of Esther Mahlangu: On a D.C. Street, a South African Master Paints in the Tradition of Her Tribe', The Washington Post, 4 September 1 994
Forbes - Esther Mahlangu, One Of South Africa's Most Famous Artists, Perpetuates Traditional Ndebele Painting, June 2019
Grenier, C, (201 3) ,
Multiple Modernities: 1905-1970, Centre Pompidou, France, ISBN 978-2-84426-653-8
Guggenheim Bilbao Museum TF Editores & FMGB, (2006) , '100% Africa' [Exhibition Catalogue]
Hansen, L, (1 995/1 996) , 'Memory and Amnesia: Transformation of the Vernacular Architecture
of the Southern Ndebele in South Africa' [Unpublished Thesis], Post Graduate Centre for Human Settlements, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
James, D & van Vuuren, CJ, (1 998) , 'The Ndebele', in (ed.) Magubane, P, Vanishing Cultures of South Africa, Struik, Cape Town, ISBN 978-0-847-82097-9
Loubser, A, (1 994) , 'Recent Changes in Wall Painting amongst the Ndzundza as an Indication of Social Changes amongst AmaNdebele Women'
[Unpublished Honors Dissertation], The University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Magnin, A & Soulillou, J, (1 996) ,
Contemporary Art of Africa, Thames & Hudson, London, ISBN 0-500-01 71 3-1
Magubane, P & Klopper, S, (2001 ) ,
African Heritage, Arts and Crafts, Struik, Cape Town, ISBN 1 -86872-51 6-2
Martin, J-H, (1 989), 'Les Magiciens de la Terre', Editions du Centre Pompidou, Paris, ISBN-1 3: 978-2858504985
Martin, J-H & Cohen-Solal, A, (201 4) , 'Les Magiciens de la Terre: Retour sur une exposition legendaire', Editions Xavier Barral, Centre Pompidou, Paris,
ISBN 978-2-84426-693-4
Magnin, A, de Lima Greene, A & Wardlaw, AJ, (2005) ,
African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection [Exhibition Catalogue], Merrel, ISBN-1 3: 978-0890902950
McGlone, P, 'South African muralist Esther Mahlangu keeps traditions alive', The Washington Post, 8 October 201 4, Available at:
Mountain, A, (1 995) ,
Ndebele Artist Nation, Struik, Cape Town, ISBN 1 -86825-848-3
Orford, M (ed.) , (2006) ,
Life and Soul: Portraits of Women who Move South Africa, Double Storey, Cape Town
Parise, A, (201 0) , 'Esther Mahlangu La Regina d'Africa', Colognola Al Colli
Powel, I & Lewis, M, (1 995) ,
Ndebele: A People and their Art, Struik, Cape Town, ISBN-1 3: 978-1 86825691 4
Rousset, JM, (1 996) ,
Contemporary Art ofAfrica: Esther Mahlangu & Francina Ndimande, (eds.) Magnin, A & Soulillou, J
'Africa Africa: Vibrant New Art from a Dynamic Continent' [Exhibition Catalogue], Tobu Museum of Art, Tokyo
Williamson, S, (2009) , 'South African Art Now', Harper Design, ISBN 978-0061 34351 3