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Ernest Mancoba, Untitled (2), 1963, oil pastel on canvas, 24 × 19 1/2". © The Estate of Ernest Mancoba and Galerie Mikael Andersen.

Ernest Mancoba

Aicon Gallery New York

Ernest Mancoba, Untitled (2), 1963, oil pastel on canvas, 24 × 19 1/2". © The Estate of Ernest Mancoba and Galerie Mikael Andersen.

The first North American solo exhibition of Ernest Mancoba included four small paintings ranging in date from 1958 to 1985 (one is undated) and some twenty works on paper (many of them likewise undated, but the others are mostly from the early 1990s), giving art lovers on this side of the Atlantic at least a nodding acquaintance with an oeuvre I suspect we are going to get to know much better in coming years: The artist’s work is included in this year’s Documenta 14. Mancoba, who was born in Johannesburg in 1904, began training as a wood-carver in 1925; his academically styled 1929 Bantu Madonna nonetheless aroused controversy because he dared to depict her with the features of a black woman. Mancoba traveled to Paris for further study in 1938—not exactly a happy time to be in Europe. When the Nazis occupied France, he was interned as an enemy alien. After the war, living

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