The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2022 Benefit Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2022 Benefit Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 14. Abstract (C003121)    .

Esther Mahlangu

Abstract (C003121)

Lot Closed

February 22, 05:15 PM GMT


7,000 - 9,000 USD

Lot Details


Esther Mahlangu

South African


Abstract (C003121)

signed and dated 2020 (lower left)

acrylic on canvas

120 by 120cm., 47¼ by 47¼in.

Please be aware of the Conditions of Sale when bidding. As a benefit auction, there is no buyer’s premium charged. The only additional costs due to the winning bidder are applicable sales tax and shipping. Works auctioned are sold “as is,” and condition reports are included with lot descriptions as available. In-person previews of the auction artwork will be available at Norval Foundation at 4 Steenberg Rd, Tokai, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa from 26 January – 22 February, Monday to Sundays 9 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed on Tuesdays). Please note that while this auction is hosted on, it is being administered by Norval Foundation (“the museum”), and all post-sale matters (inclusive of invoicing and property pickup/shipment) will be handled by the museum. As such, Sotheby’s will share the contact details for the winning bidders with the museum so that they may be in touch directly post-sale.

This work has been kindly donated by the artist

Dr Esther Mahlangu (b.1935, South Africa) is a multi-award-winning visual artist, and much loved South African cultural ambassador. She was taught the art of house painting by her mother and grandmother as per the tradition of the Ndebele nation. A visionary and disruptor from an early age, Dr Mahlangu recognised that by reimagining and expanding on the geometric patterns typically used to decorate houses onto contemporary mediums she could create artworks that were transportable and more accessible to global audiences.  


Abstract (C003121) is a geometric painting that follows the laws of sacred geometry. Patterns, shapes, and colours are applied in flat acrylic paint in order to create balance and harmony. Straight black lines work to outline the shapes of bold colours and the white of the canvas remains untouched to provide an uncluttered background that works to accentuate the painted areas. Her work is laced with the wisdom of her ancestors, depicting the legacy of her mother, and her grandmother before her.