Ernest Mancoba Symposium: A dialogue on his art and words | Art Blog
× artists exhibitions training blog shop

Art Blog

Ernest Mancoba Symposium: A dialogue on his art and words

Posted on 29 January 2020

This symposium brings experts from Denmark, the USA, France, and South Africa together to talk about the work and life of Ernest Mancoba, in recognition of the critical evaluation which his contribution to the canon demands.

Curating the first retrospective of Ernest Mancoba's work in Paris at the Centre Pompidou in June 2019, Alicia Knock writes, "Ernest Mancoba is an unclassifiable artist, as witnessed by the scope of his historical career, his transnational trajectory through societies that were repressive or not very open to a black man having an autonomous career and a visual language half-way between figuration and abstraction...."*

Born in 1904 in Johannesburg, Mancoba earned his BA from the University of Fort Hare. He left the country in 1938 for Paris, where he studied at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs. He married the Danish artist Sonja Ferlov in 1942, while interned in a labour camp in St Denis. Ernest and Sonja moved to Denmark, where they became members of the CoBrA group of abstract artists. Mancoba died in 2002, in France.


11 February | 9:00am - 5:00pm | A4 Library


12 - 28 February | A4 Library

Convened by:

Winnie Sze and Nomusa Makhubu


Dr Chika Okeke-Agulu (Princeton University); Dr Karen Kurcynzki (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Dorthe Aagesen (Danish National Art Gallery); Dr Luvuyo Wotshela (University of Fort Hare); Dr Nomusa Makhubu (University of Cape Town); Dr Same Mdluli (Standard Bank Art Gallery); Alicia Knock (Centre Pompidou); Wilhelm Van Rensburg (Strauss & Co.); Thembinkosi Goniwe (Rhodes University); Jaco van Schalkwyk (University of Stellenbosch); Sean O?Toole (independent).

Musical performances by:

Kyle Shepherd and Derek Gripper


R500 (discount available for students)


082 866 2601 (Winnie Sze)

Ernest Mancoba: A dialogue on his art and words is produced in collaboration with Strauss & Co, The South African National Research Foundation (NRF), ITOO Art Insure and The Estate of Ferlov Mancoba

* References
Code couleur n?34, May-August 2019, p. 32-33.

Like this post? Sign up and get curated South African art and news straight to your inbox


New detailed ink drawings by Lebo Tladi explore fantastical nature scenes

Three dimensional paper cut sculpture by Daniel du Preez