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Esther Mahlangu’s Artistic Tribute To Nelson Mandela

A series of paintings created by Esther in 2004 will be exhibited publicly for the first time at The Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg.

On 1 March 2017, internationally renowned artist Esther Mahlangu will join Dr Makaziwe

Mandela and invited guests to unveil an important collection of artworks inspired by Mr Nelson Mandela. Created in 2004, Esther says it remains one of the most rewarding collaborations of her long and illustrious career. The paintings were created by embellishing prints of drawings created by Mr Mandela in 2001 in her style.

Dr Makaziwe Mandela, Mr Mandela’s eldest daughter and CEO of The House of Mandela, says: “We are proud to be joining Mam Esther Mahlangu to unveil her exquisite collection for the first time. We are certain that these artworks will work to contribute to and celebrate my father’s legacy at a time in which the world desperately needs his message of peace, love and respect for all.”

Esther celebrated her 81st birthday in November 2016, ending off a very busy and exciting year with collaborations with BMW at the Frieze Contemporary Fair in London, John Legend and Belvedere Vodka, and she is currently exhibiting at the British Museum as part of the ‘South Africa – Art of a Nation’ exhibition.

Esther has exhibited with many of the world’s most renowned artists. In 1991, she was invited to be the 12th artist to paint a BMW as part of the Art Car Collection, becoming the first woman and first African to do so. She joined an illustrious list of artists who participated in this project including Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein and Frank Stella among others.

Career and Achievements

Esther’s successful career has included receiving The Order of Ikhamanga from the President of South Africa and a collaboration with American artist Sol LeWitt at the 5th Biennale in Lyon France in 2000, commissioned by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for two major works for their permanent collection in 2014.

Born on 11 November 1935, Esther lives in the Mabokho village of Weltevrede (Afrikaans for “well satisfied”) in the KwaMahlanga district in Mpumalanga Province. Esther’s contribution to South African contemporary art and the impression that she has left on so many people globally as she travels adorned in traditional Ndebele dress makes her a national treasure.


The exhibition will also include several other recent paintings by Esther Mahlangu. Collectors will be able to acquire a set of fine limited edition prints reproduced from her Mandela-inspired artworks that have been signed by Esther, presented in a special collector’s edition box with a certificate of authenticity signed by Dr Makaziwe Mandela.

Details of public launch

Date: 2 March to 2 April 2017

Time: 19h00

Venue: The Melrose Gallery, 10 High Street, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg

Contact: +27 (0) 83 777 6644 or email craig@themelrosegallery.com

Facebook: The Melrose Gallery

Source and images: Creative Minds Network

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