Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa

Live Virtual Auction, 28 February 2023

Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa
About the Session

Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa is a dynamic collaborative project conceived by Strauss & Co to address the need for diversified representation of artists from across the African continent in the secondary market. Curated by Strauss & Co Heads of Sale, Kirsty Colledge and Kate Fellens, with input by seven international art experts with embedded knowledge of Africa; Serge Tiroche, Valerie Kabov, Heba Elkayal, Danda Jaroljmek, Anne Kariuki, Dana Endundo Ferreira, Kimberley Cunningham. Curatorial Voices presents collectors with a broad selection of work by leading contemporary artists alongside select pieces by important historical artists.

Sold for

ZAR 115 000
Lot 77
  • Esther Mahlangu; Gateway
  • Esther Mahlangu; Gateway
  • Esther Mahlangu; Gateway

Lot Estimate
ZAR 100 000 - 150 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 115 000

About this Item

South African 1935-

signed and dated 2005

acrylic on canvas
114 by 167,5cm excluding frame; 119,5 by 172,5 by 6,5cm including frame


The present lot is accompanied by an Esther Mahlangu 80 book.

Esther Mahlangu formed part of a cohort of artists shortlisted for the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2023.

Dr Esther Mahlangu is a multi-award-winning visual artist, and a much loved South African cultural ambassador. She was born in 1935 and has been painting since she was 10 years old. The bold Ndebele-inspired artworks for which she is globally acclaimed grace many of the world’s most respected museum, private, public, and corporate collections. Many experts believe that any important Pan African Contemporary collection cannot be considered complete without including one of her works.

Mahlangu grew up outside Middelburg, Mpumalanga, and learned the art of Ndebele wall painting and beadwork from her mother and grandmother. She first came to national and international prominence when she painted an installation of brightly coloured traditional geometric designs with strong black outlines for the Magiciens de la Terre (Magicians of the Earth) exhibition in Paris in 1989. She was invited to paint a design on a BMW 525i (as part of the BMW Art Car Project) in 1991 and in 2020 painted panels for a Rolls-Royce Phantom. In 2018 Mahlangu was presented with two honorary doctorates. In 2019, she was appointed an Officer of Arts and Letters, which is France's highest decoration for contribution to the arts, the Department of Arts and Culture published a book in her honour, and she received an award from the United Nations in Johannesburg. She also paints her characteristic designs on canvas at a smaller scale and teaches traditional art skills to a new generation of young artists at her art school in Mabhoko, Mpumalanga.


Colin Sayers Collection, Cape Town, 2011.

Cotton Tree Collection.


1-54 London, United Kingdom, 2013.

View all Esther Mahlangu lots for sale in this auction

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