Lucas Sithole

Lucas Sithole bigraphy, stories - South African sculptor

Lucas Sithole : biography

1931 – 1994

Lucas Sithole (1931-1994) was a South African sculptor best known for his work in mainly indigenous woods, as well as for his sculptures in bronze, stone and other media.

He was born on 15 November 1931, in Springs, Transvaal, Republic of South Africa; he died on 8 May 1994, in Pongola, Transvaal, Republic of South Africa. Born of a Zulu father and a Swazi mother; he was married, had 7 children. He lived in Kwa-Thema, Springs, Transvaal, until 1981, thereafter near Pongola on the Swaziland/Mozambique border. He never travelled beyond the South African borders, except to Lesotho and Swaziland.

Significant exhibitions in Europe and the U.S.A.

  • 1965 Piccadilly Gallery, London
  • 1968 Venice Biennale, Venice
  • 1974 ART 5’74, Basel
  • 1974/75 Gallery 21, Grafton Street, London
  • 1976 Texas A&M University "Art of Black Africa" (from the Rex Grey Family Collection)
  • 1979 Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg (Retrospective Exhibition)
  • 1979 Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria (Retrospective Exhibition)
  • 1985/86 "Quellen und Strömungen", presented by BMW in Germany and Austria
  • 1993 Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany (Meisterwerke der Sammlung Péus)
  • 1995 Kunstsammlung Kulturstiftung, Unterseen / Interlaken, Switzerland (Memorial Exhibition)
  • 1997/98 Galerie Artimex Fine Arts AG., Basel
  • 2001 "The Short Century", curated by Okwui Enwezor, exhibited at:
    • Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany;
    • Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin;
    • Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • 2002 P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and The Museum of Modern Art, New York

PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED EXHIBITIONS in Africa (other than South Africa):

  • 1976 National Museum & Art Gallery, Gaborone, Botswana
  • 1977 National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 1978 National Art Gallery, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

HIS OEUVRE You can view more than 390 exciting sculptures by Lucas T. SITHOLE out of some 800 recorded works by going to (a non-commercial site put up in his memory). A mini-Master Registry of many recorded works has been put up on this site, depending on suitable images being available, listed according to the following categories:

  • the beginnings,
  • animals and birds,
  • elongated and other figures,
  • heads,
  • mother and child subjects,
  • mythological beings,
  • paintings and drawings,
  • other media including panels and murals,
  • unidentified or misnamed works and queries,
  • an addendum for works listed since 1 January, 2004, without disclosure of private ownership.

Similarly, a selection of stories relating to his sculptures or explanations which Lucas gave in his inimitable way, has been added onto the appropriate pages.

There are over 70 recorded works in the U.S.A., over 40 in the United Kingdom, over 40 in Switzerland, 20 in Germany, etc.

Museums and Institutions which have his works

  • Museum der Weltkulturen, Frankfurt a.M., Germany
  • Evangelisches Zentrum, Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany
  • The Haenggi Foundation Inc., Johannesburg / Basel (PELMAMA Permanent Art Collection)
  • National Museum & Art Gallery, Gaborone, Botswana
  • S.A. National Gallery, Cape Town
  • Oliewenhuis Art Gallery, Bloemfontein
  • Durban Art Gallery, Durban
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria (incl. 50% of the unfinished works at the time of Lucas’ death, donated by the Estate and The Haenggi Foundation Inc.)
  • University of South Africa (UNISA), Pretoria
  • University of the Free State, Bloemfontein
  • Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • University of the North West, Mmabatho
  • University of the North, Sovenga
  • University of Fort Hare, Alice (incl. 50% of the unfinished works at the time of Lucas’ death, donated by the Estate and The Haenggi Foundation Inc.)
  • State Theatre, Pretoria
  • The Rupert Family Foundation for the Arts, Stellenbosch

More information

  • Lucas Sithole 1958 – 1979 by F.F. Haenggi – ISBN 0-620-03982-5
  • African Arts Magazine, UCLA, Los Angeles (Review: Aug., 1980)
  • Images of Man – Contemporary S.A. Black Art and Artists, 1992 (de Jager), pp. 120/124
  • OUR ART 4 ONS KUNS, 1993 (Marilyn Martin) pp. 178–185 – ISBN 0-7970-2832-3
  • Lucas Sithole: Highlights 1966 – 1993 (F.F. Haenggi) (unpublished)

Category:1931 births Category:1994 deaths Category:People from Springs, Gauteng Category:Zulu people Category:South African sculptors Category:South African people of Swazi descent