Ernest Mancoba’s work offers a unique synthesis of modern European art and African aesthetics. His goal was to introduce his deep understanding of southern African culture to the European art scene. His paintings reflect the Ubuntu philosophy he so often referred to: I am because you are. Experiencing the South African apartheid system first-hand, Mancoba moved to Paris in 1938, where he met with the Danish artists’ colony and soon joined the CoBrA circle. In 1942, he married the Danish artist, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba. After the end of apartheid, Mancoba was honoured with retrospectives at the National Gallery in Cape Town and the Museum of Modern Art in Johannesburg.
Mancoba’s recent solo exhibitions include Ernest Mancoba, Aicon Art Gallery, New York (2017), The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy, Blum & Poe, New York & Los Angeles (2016) and EWS, Stevenson gallery, Cape Town (2015).