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Unbound City: Iziko South African National Gallery hosts the Opening of 'Then I Knew I Was Good at Painting: Esther Mahlangu, A Retrospective'

Opening
17 February 2024
11:00 – 13:00
Iziko South African National Gallery
Government Ave, Gardens, 8001, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Then I Knew I Was Good at Painting: Esther Mahlangu, A Retrospective will open on 17th February 2024 at Iziko South African National Gallery. Curated by Nontobeko Ntombela, the exhibition features over 100 artworks from around the world, as well as historic photographs and a short film. It offers a comprehensive yet intimate view of Mahlangu's artistic journey, showcasing her unique approach that blends isiNdebele tradition with modernity and contemporary styles.

 

Esther Mahlangu's journey began in the 1940s as a young talent. The title is based on the story she often recounts about how her artistic journey began, saying, "I would continue to paint on the house when [my mother and grandmother] left for a break. When they came back, they would say: what have you done, child? Never do that again! After that, I started drawing on the back of the house, and slowly my drawings got better and better until they finally asked me to come back to the front of the house. Then I knew I was good at painting." The exhibition is a testament to Mahlangu's self-determination, passion, innovation, and resilience. It celebrates her unique approach to art, emphasising her voice, agency, and pioneering spirit. The event is made possible with the generous support of the National Arts Council and BMW.

 

 


 

The Mother City’s premier public art museum, housing a vast and critically engaging collection of historical, modern and contemporary South African, African and international artworks. Selections from the Permanent Collection are rotated regularly to enable the museum to showcase a full programme of temporary exhibitions of paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles and architecture.

 

Selections from the Permanent Collection regularly change to enable the museum to have a full programme of temporary exhibitions of paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, beadwork, textiles and architecture. These exhibitions provide insight into the extraordinary range of aesthetic production in South Africa, and from across the African continent and further afield.

Iziko South African National Gallery
Government Ave, Gardens, 8001, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
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