|The Early Pioneer Artists of South Africa|
Ernest Mancoba ( 1904 - )
|26 February 2001 by Andries Loots|
Ernest Methuen Mancoba was born in 1904 in
Although he never received formal art training, he was greatly inspired by two fellow artists namely Lippy Lipshitz ( 1903 - 1980 ) and Irma Stern ( 1894 - 1966 ). He read as much literature as possible on European Art and also about African Art included in Museums abroad. From these studies it became apparent to Ernest that African Art had a very significant and strong influence on 20th Century European art. This inspired him in his work but also motivated him to travel abroad to see the paintings for himself. He loved sculpting and completed various commission works for different churches. In 1938 he left South Africa to study art in Paris.
In Paris he met Danish artist Sonja Ferlov
( 1911 - 1984 ) who he later married. Ernest's works can be described as
spontaneous bursts of colour. It is immediately apparent that
he wanted to express the fact that line and colour can be used without
representing anything else. It was extraordinary for a South African artist to have worked in this style.
Ernest is presently still living in France.
His works are taken up in
Mancoba, A Resource Book, Johannesburg Art Gallery, 1994, Elza
Miles, ISBN 1-87436-21-3
Ernest Mancoba at home, Video, 1994, Bridget Thompson
Images of Man, Contemporary South African Black Art and Artists, Fort Hare University Press, E.J. De Jager, ISBN. 1-86810-015-4
Lives, The story of early black artists, Human &
Rossouw, Elza Mils, ISBN 0798136588
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