Born 1911 in Copenhagen, Denmark
Died 1984 in Paris, France
Sonja Ferlov Mancoba occupies a central position in 20th century Danish art history. Primarily affiliated with Linien, she showed with other Danish avant-garde movement groups including Høstudstillingen and CoBrA. In 1936 she moved to Paris, where she married South African painter Ernest Mancoba in 1942. Returning to Denmark in 1947, they were part of Høstudstillingen’s CoBrA years 1948 and 1949. Discouraged by the break-up of the movement, they moved back to Paris in 1961. Ferlov Mancoba’s sculptures from 1935 to 1984 are sculptural expressions of her concept of humanity. “They are human expressions more than art,” as she put it. A central theme for Ferlov Mancoba was the mask, often inspired by African and Mexican traditions. In a 1978 letter, she explains her view of the mask: “For me, working with the mask is an attempt to find and keep a human face in an inhuman society.” A major solo exhibition of her works will be held at the SMK – Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, opening in February 2019.
Ferlov Mancoba’s work will be presented in a solo exhibition at Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen 2018.