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Taking shape

Feb 21, 2020 | REAL|People

Dr Esther Mahlangu’s new exhibition offers a look at her renowned graphic style

Dr Esther Mahlangu, the acclaimed South African artist and much-loved cultural icon, returned recently with exciting work to One&Only Cape Town and the resort gallery, The Melrose Gallery.

A disruptor and visionary from an early age, Dr Mahlangu was the first person to reimagine Ndebele design on contemporary mediums and has brought this cultural currency to a new generation via objects such as planes, cars, motorbikes and bicycles, skateboard decks, war helmets, canvases and walls throughout her three-decade-and-counting career.

By collaborating with many of the world’s leading museums, curators, art fairs and global brands, she’s taken South African history and art to a global audience, serving as a powerful ambassador for her country. Demand for Dr Mahlangu’s works is at an all-time high and has been fuelled by the increase in interest in African Contemporary Art, and courtesy of her growing renown, collaborations and acquisitions and rumours of her upcoming Retrospective Exhibition. Many experts feel that no important Pan African art collection can be considered complete without one of Dr Mahlangu’s artworks.

Recently Dr Mahlangu reached another milestone by becoming the first South African to be commissioned to paint an artwork for a Rolls-Royce Phantom, which she unveiled at The Melrose Gallery mid February. Her solo exhibition, Disrupting Patterns, will be on show here until 31 March. It comprises a selection of paintings that explore the bold, geometric, abstract patterns for which she has become so recognised and acclaimed.

For more information on the exhibition and the artists showcased please visit:

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