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Esther Mahlangu

At this year’s Venice Biennale

We are celebrating Esther Mahlangu’s participation in this year’s Venice Biennale.

Born on November 11, 1935 in South Africa, Esther Mahlangu’s art is inspired by her Ndebele heritage. The geometric, vivid patterns of the Ndebele people’s jewelry and clothes shaped Mahlangu’s signature style of colourful paintings, with white bounded lines set diagonally or shaped like chevrons.

Although Mahlangu’s work remains closely tied to her traditions, she has applied her designs to a variety of objects, such as canvas, sculpture, ceramics, and even automobiles. She gained international recognition for her distinctive abstract art when she participated in the Centre Pompidou’s 1989 group exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre (Magicians of the Earth). Mahlangu has achieved an almost iconic status over the years, garnering a wide following in the art world.

View available works by Esther Mahlangu

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