Ernest Mancoba Symposium: A dialogue on his art and words

February 11, 2020
Ground floor
       Arts Foundation / Projects


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 South Africa in 1938 for Paris, where he studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs. He married the Danish artist Sonja Ferlov in 1942, while interned in a labour camp in St Denis. In 1947 Ernest and Sonja moved to Denmark, where they became members of the CoBrA group of abstract artists. Mancoba died in 2002, in France.


Winnie Sze
Nomusa Makhubu 

heeten bhagat

Dr Chika Okeke-Agulu
Dr Karen Kurcynzki
Dr Luvuyo Wotshela
Dr Nomusa Makhubu
Dorthe Aagesen
Dr Same Mdluli
Alicia Knock
Jaco van Schalkwyk
Sean O’Toole
Thembinkosi Goniwe
Wilhelm Van Rensburg

Musical performances by:
Kyle Shepherd
Derek Gripper

Strauss & Co
The South African National Research Foundation (NRF)
ITOO Art Insure
The Estate of Ferlov Mancoba