Gallery News for Sam Nhlengethwa
Sam Nhlengethwa in Frankfurt
From the 1st to the 30th July Sam Nhlengethwa will be attending a residency at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. Founded in 1817, it was at first a dedicated ethnological section of the Frankfurt Historical Museum but today houses guest apartments, studios, project and exhibition spaces, a laboratory, a seminar room and an image archive. Invited guests, including anthropologists, scholars, artists, writers, lawyers carry out research in the laboratory.
Various artists at the Beijing Biennale
The exhibition TWENTY: Art in the Time of Democracy is sponsored by the Shanghai-based company Zendai Development South Africa, and will present South African artists at this year’s Beijing Biennale. The exhibition is co-curated by Karen von Veh, professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (Fada) with Gordon Froud, Fada senior lecturer. Goodman Gallery artists exhibiting in Beijing include William Kentridge, David Koloane, Brett Murray, Sam Nhlengethwa, Walter Oltmann and Diane Victor. The Beijing International Art Biennale runs throughout September 2015.
Various artists at the South African Pavilion at Venice Biennale
Works by David Koloane, Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx, Philip Miller, Sam Nhlengethwa, Sue Williamson & Nelisiwe Xaba are featured on the South African Pavilion at the 55th la Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Brenton Maart, the exhibition is titled Imaginary Fact: Contemporary South African Art and the Archive. The exhibition is presented by the National Arts Festival and funded by the Department of Arts & Culture. The 55th la Biennale di Venezia will take place from 1 June to 24 November 2013.
Sam Nhlengethwa live in Atlanta
Following from his first solo exhibition in the United States earlier this year, Sam Nhlengethwa’s exhibition Life, Jazz and Lots of Other Things travels to SCAD Atlanta from its original home at the SCAD Museum of Art. Curated by Laurie Ann Farrell, SCAD executive director of exhibitions, the show features a broad cross-section of the artist’s practice and themes. The show opens with a juxtaposition of works by Nhlengethwa and Romare Bearden, orienting viewers to Nhlengethwa’s source of inspiration. The exhibition features paintings, tapestries and prints of jazz scenes, images of daily life and nation-building. The exhibition runs until 17 October.
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
15 October – 5 November 2016
Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Sam Nhlengethwa titled The Past and the Present… Now is the Time.
Nhlengethwa is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most distinguished artists. His singular style of collage combined with archival elements is recognisable beyond the gallery walls. His series of subjects ranging from cityscapes to jazz musicians, to artists and political figures, has brought to life the themes of the evolution of the African city, and the assertion of diverse individual identities within our changing living environment.
In his new exhibition the artist has chosen to create five major series which deal with memorialising past events that define and epitomise historical South African political discourses, in order to illustrate the underpinnings and foundations of present activist efforts. Nhlengethwa suggests that although he sees himself as being fortunate in having a space and opportunity through which he can freely and actively express his ideas and understandings, there is no real difference between an artist and an ordinary citizen. For Nhlengethwa, all citizens should be equally concerned with the current socio-political climate and contexts of the South African vernacular. This exhibition ultimately challenges us to question and examine actions taken in the construction of democracy.
A set of works based on Drum evoke the famous magazine that ran from 1951 and which was responsible for exploring the zeitgeist of the 1950s and 1960s. Drum has come to symbolise the sense of abandonment that Black Johannesburg denizens experienced at the height of apartheid, the ramifications of which can still be felt in the present. Underlying the images is the narrative of identity and citizenship articulated through dynamic ideas on belonging, equality and universality.
A Recycler series is central to this exhibition, in which the artist examines the characters seen on the city streets – those eking out a living by dragging the detritus of modern life from garbage deposits to cash transactions. Through illustrating the tasks of these characters, Nhlengethwa attempts to grapple with the fragmented debris that has come to describe poverty.
In a series re-examining the 1976 township uprising, Nhlengethwa looks at how his contemporaries paved the way to finding a new voice through political activism. As a series, the works focus on celebrating the triumphs of these activists, whilst simultaneously examining how these narratives have inspired and influenced South African’s youth in an ongoing way to find and articulate their political voices. These are Nhlengethwa’s brave subjects, both past and present, who dynamically engage with the country’s socio-cultural and socio-political contexts.
A large work comprising seven panels titled Long Walk to Freedom recounts the events making up Nelson Mandela’s life from when he left the Eastern Cape to the time he was liberated from Robben Island.
Correspondingly, the series entitled Mzansi Legends, of prints on the theme of legacy documents commemorates the accomplishments of various South African heroes, including Helen Suzman, Bill Ainslie, Ernest Cole and Nelson Mandela. The juxtaposition of black and white political activists invites and exemplifies Nhlengethwa’s vision for a universal and collective effort on the part of committed activists to advance our society. These ideas are reiterated in his charcoal drawings on the theme of leadership, which include portraits of Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, and Steven Bantu Biko.
With the large mixed media work titled 27 April 1994, Nhlengethwa re-imagines the queues of voters on the cusp of democracy. In it we see the ordinary citizens of the country who sought change from the ballot. Through Nhlengethwa’s re-imagining of a globally-iconic moment for democracy, the artist re-evaluates the role of activism, and suggests that the true spirit of activism is found in ordinary citizens.
The exhibition features lithographic prints, linocuts, mixed media collages and tapestry – all of which deal with ideas of courage, voicing identity and exerting valour in the face of adversity in both past and present social discourses. The exhibition also includes some archival objects on display as well as a performance at the public opening.
Ultimately, The Past and the Present… Now is the Time captures the energy of the decades preceding – and asks us to consider the history that has led us to the predicaments of the present.
In his third (and final) tribute show Sam Nhlengethwa portrays the imagery of famous artists who have made an impression on him, and whose work places before us questions about progress and the limits of representation.
Tributes are paid to four deceased artists who collided with the mores and values of their times, and whose work continues to inspire others beyond borders of geography or duration: Ephraim Ngatane, Romare Bearden, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Henri Matisse.
A fifth name is added, completing the tribute. The sole living artist is David Goldblatt who, in his photography, has often explored the mining locations of the East Rand, the very region where Nhlengethwa was born, and still lives today.
Each artist’s oeuvre is exhibited in a suggestive milieu – an imagined space void of people where the work-as-tribute is the primary figurative suggestion. Nhlengethwa wants us to see these great works his way. Elsewhere he has spoken of endeavouring to understand the “mental space” of these iconic artists through placing their works in environments composed in his distinctive style.
“In doing these tributes and in doing the interiors I am taken down memory lane to a time when I was a set designer in broadcasting,” Nhlengethwa says. “Because there we were dealing with space – vacated space. So the tributes are just like that empty space, but they get some sense of vibrancy with the hanging paintings of these specific individuals.”
The works are in stark contrast to his 2012 exhibition Conversations, in which Nhlengethwa sought to evoke the architecture and human flow of the South African city streets. Some Final Tributes then is not about urban noise but about silence, creativity and the domestic space. The emptiness of the interiors reflects what Nhlengethwa claims is the sense of loneliness one encounters as an artist working alone while family and friends are out living their lives.
But the tributes are the antidote, and in portraying the work of Bearden, Nhlengethwa is going back to once again experience the spark that ignited his love of collage. “Around 1977 Bill Ainslie (the art teacher) saw my collages as experimentation,” Nhlengethwa says. “He asked me if I knew of Romare Bearden and I said, ‘no’. Then he pulled out this big book of Bearden and for the first time I saw an artist doing collage in such a professional way. When I saw Bearden’s work I found comfort in doing what I thought was nonexistent.
The largest work in his new exhibition is Homage to Romare Bearden, an outsize tapestry produced by the renowned Marguerite Stephens studio. Also on show will be large- scale works in oil and collage on canvas, studies and a series of lithographs.
Sam Nhlengethwa was born in the mining community of Payneville Springs in 1955 and grew up in Ratanda location in Heidelberg, east of Johannesburg. He completed a two-year Fine Art Diploma at the Rorkes Drift Art Centre in the late 1970s. While he exhibited extensively both locally and abroad during the 1980s and ’90s, Nhlengethwa’s travelling solo show South Africa, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in 1993 established him at the vanguard of critical consciousness in South Africa and he went on to win the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 1994. His work has been included in key exhibitions such as Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and major publications such as Phaidon’s The 20th Century Art Book. He has had several solo shows in South Africa and abroad and has recently exhibited in the 12th International Cairo Biennale (2010) and in constructions: Contemporary Art from South Africa at Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Niteroi (2011) in Brazil. He has been a resident of the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Newtown, Johannesburg since the 1990s. From February to June his solo exhibition Life, Jazz & Lots of Other Things travelled to the Museum of Art at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The show is due to open in Atlanta, Georgia next month.
Conversations is an exhibition of new work by Sam Nhlengethwa that portrays the exuberance of the city of Johannesburg and its people.
To Nhlengethwa, this show is an instinctive thematic progression from his earlier work and he describes it as a review of his previous subjects in the context of conversation. Nhlengethwa uses the large-scale cityscape, Cyclists Mural, as the core vision for the show. It was the first piece in the series that he worked on and it took him more than three months to complete. The elevated view eastwards of the city, from his apartment in Newtown, inspired the piece. First, he began mapping out the architecture of the city and then, as he peopled the scene, the theme for Conversations, he says, “began to flow”.
This, as well as a range of new work, focuses on conversation as a basic human interaction in a selection of social contexts: ebullient schoolgirls on a bustling city street, a couple intimately sharing an umbrella, a group of men smoking together after dark. Several of the pieces depict conversations between young men, some located at an initiation school, wrapped in their characteristic grey blankets. These are images of ritualistic communion, charged with anxious anticipation. In the context of conversation, the ceremonial and the everyday comfortably hang alongside each other.
In Nhlengethwa’s last solo show at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, Kind of Blue (2010), he paid exclusive homage to the landmark Miles Davis album of the same title. Consequently, his work was constrained in terms of subject matter, location and the use of a subdued colour palette. In contrast, Conversations has allowed him complete chromatic freedom. The boisterous use of colour animates the works and lends a levity to the exchanges that they depict.
There is a continued focus on interiors in this show, with the distinction that the stark emptiness of his former interiors has now been populated. Whereas, in the past, Nhlengethwa did not want to “disturb the quietness of the interiors”, he has ushered people into these rooms and allowed their voices to fill the space. As part of his representation of these communal spaces, Nhlengethwa has also included several pieces inspired by a meal shared at his parents’ home, during which he noticed the shadows of his family talking, reflected on the wall.
The titles of the works came to Nhlengethwa as snippets of overheard conversations; some topical, some trivial. He has “always been inspired by people and their surroundings” and these images represent the vitality and humour of the people of Johannesburg. According to Nhlengethwa, to read the titles is to hear the conversations and to think, “This is us”.
The show is comprised of a works in a variety of media including etchings, lithographs, lino prints, tapestries and Nhlengethwa’s hallmark collage, oil and acrylic works.
Nhlengethwa was born in the mining community of Payneville Springs in 1955 and grew up in Ratanda location in Heidelberg, east of Johannesburg. He completed a two-year Fine Art Diploma at the Rorkes Drift Art Centre in the late 1970s. While he exhibited extensively both locally and abroad during the 1980s and ’90s, Nhlengethwa’s travelling solo show South Africa, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in 1993 established him at the vanguard of critical consciousness in South Africa and he went on to win the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 1994. His work has been included in key exhibitions such as Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and major publications such as Phaidon’s The 20th Century Art Book. He has had several solo shows in South Africa and abroad and has recently exhibited in the 12th International Cairo Biennale (2010) and in (Re)constructions: Contemporary Art from South Africa at Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Niteroi (2011) in Brazil. He has been a resident of the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Newtown, Johannesburg since the 1990s.
In a solo exhibition of new drawings, prints and paintings at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, Sam Nhlengethwa pays homage to trumpeter and composer Miles Davis and celebrates the recent 50th anniversary of his groundbreaking album Kind of Blue. The record, which is universally known as one of the most influential and best-selling jazz albums of all time, has been as significant in South Africa as it has been everywhere else.
Described by many musicians and music-lovers as a bible – “something everybody owns” – Kind of Blue could be found in the record collections of everyone Nhlengethwa knew growing up. “When I was a youngster,” the artist reflects, “on Sundays when people were relaxing, from street to street people would sit with a portable vinyl player listening to Miles Davis.”
And, he says “unlike with the other vinyls where we picked tracks, Kind of Blue was played repeatedly from the first track, ‘So What?’ to its last track ‘Flamenco Sketches’”. With its experimental modal sketches, the album’s initial and ultimately enduring success came as a surprise to Davis and his sextet, which consisted of pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. “Evans is quoted as saying when they did the album, they had no idea it would become so important,” explains Nhlengethwa. “As a painter, I drew a parallel to that – when I make a new painting I never know how important it will be.”
Much of the musicians’ astonishment at their own success lay in the album’s commercially precarious experimentation. While Davis’s albums Milestones (1958) and 1958 Miles (1958) featured modal elements, Kind of Blue was based entirely on modality, marking a major departure from his previous albums and their highly popular hard bop style. Influenced by pianist George Russell, Davis provided each performer with a set of scales rather than a complete score, which determined the framework of their improvisation and technique. This musical process, with its focus on scales and modes, embodied what Davis famously called “a return to melody”. Recorded in only two short sessions in 1959, Davis and his sextet reached a new level of ingenuity through an eagerness to relinquish popular approaches in the quest for something new and compelling.
The universal nature of the album, its maverick edge and the significance of its 50th
anniversary prompted Nhlengethwa to devote his entire upcoming solo show to Kind of Blue; the exhibition adopting the album’s title as its namesake. Featuring a series of etchings and lithographs produced at Mark Attwood’s Artists’ Press studio in White River as well as mixed media collage drawings and paintings all the size of vinyl record covers; Nhlengethwa’s new works are stark, mostly monochromatic and affectingly vivid, echoing the emotion of Davis’s melody. Black and white rendered silhouette figures recall another era, an age when taking risks was central to cultural development. The images are – in a smooth yet sketchy technique that takes Nhlengethwa’s characteristic style to new heights – a homage to music that is urbane and transcendent, minimal yet multifaceted and ultimately pioneering.
The show will consist of over 30 mainly small scale works, as Nhlengethwa wants “the show to breathe, I don’t want it to be too cluttered”. The gallery space will, however, be infused with the modal sketches of Kind of Blue, as the album will be played on a loop for the duration of the show. This pensive, musing show will be the last of Nhlengethwa’s to focus on the theme of jazz, something he has dealt with for decades. Presenting a distinctive series, which is at times sombre and at times celebratory, Nhlengethwa’s Kind of Blue maintains a sophisticated character suited to the thematic closure he is pursuing.
Nhlengethwa was born in the mining community of Payneville in Springs in 1955 and grew up in Ratanda location in Heidelberg, east of Johannesburg. He completed a two-year Fine Art Diploma at the Rorkes Drift Art Centre in the late 1970s. While he exhibited extensively both locally and abroad throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Nhlengethwa’s travelling solo show South Africa, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in 1993 established him at the vanguard of critical consciousness in South Africa and he went on to win the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 1994. His work has been included in key exhibitions such as Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and major publications such as Phaidon’s.
The 20th Century Art Book. He has had several solo shows in South Africa and abroad and has been a resident of the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Newtown, Johannesburg since the 1990s where, he says, “a week never passes without me listening to Kind of Blue”.
Sam Nhlengethwa explores a range of themes that encompass everyday urban life both in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent. Alternately sombre or playful, his works may focus on serious social, political and cultural commentary or on the sheer enjoyment of life. As a devotee of jazz, Nhlengethwa draws much of his inspiration from music, which features prominently throughout an oeuvre noted for its strong sense of design, syncopated rhythm and luminosity of colour. Nhlengethwa was Standard Bank Young Artists Award Winner in 1994.
For this exhibition Sam Nhlengethwa brings together his signature combination of collage and paint media to create impressive, large scale works that reflect on the social processes of art. Themed around opening nights, he makes tongue-in-cheek reference to the art world in arcane and witty fashion. The artist also continues his lithographic series of Tributes in which he pays homage to South Africa’s most illustrious artists such as Dumile Feni, David Koloane and Marlene Dumas.
Sam Nhlengethwa’s solo exhibition entitled ‘Townships revisited’ opened on 11 November 2006 at The Goodman Gallery. Along with Nhlengethwa’s work, the monograph entitled Sam Nhlengethwa the Goodman Gallery Editions publication will be launched. This was the first comprehensive publication about Sam Nhlengethwa’s life and artworks.
For the exhibition Nhlengethwa has chosen to focus on the theme of townships around South Africa. Historically townships were under-developed urban residential areas created for non-whites by the apartheid government. They were places of riots, unrest and violence. Townships were also places of great music, fashion and style. They were ‘monumentalized’ in the paintings of Gerard Sekoto and George Pemba. Sekoto and Pemba’s depictions of the townships have inspired Nhlengethwa’s work.
Nhlengethwa was interested to see how life in the various townships of South Africa had changes over the years. Whist working on this series of artworks Nhlengethwa revisited and photographed various South African areas and townships. He visited townships in the Western Cape; KwaZulu Natal; Free State; North West and Gauteng. Nhlengethwa describes how ‘as autumn set in 2005, I embarked on the townships project. As part of my research, I visited different townships in the six provinces. I discovered during my research that each of the townships I covered has its own character depending on where it is’. Nhlengethwa describes townships situated near Metropolitan cities as different from townships that are near less densely populated towns and rural areas. They have a more ‘hybrid’ character that is fast-pacing and one cannot clearly distinguish an origin or cultural essence. Townships, generally speaking, have similar infra-structure and architecture. Life-style is casual and vibrant as portrayed by the different characters in the artworks on exhibition.
As an artist working primarily with the techniques of collage and montage, Nhlengethwa has focused on using his own photographs to recreate these township scenes. Moving away from his earlier canvas works, Nhlengethwa’s new collage works are mainly on paper, which are accompanied by a new series of prints. Nhlengethwa’s new series of work gives the public a glimpse of life in the different townships.
The exhibition ran at The Goodman Gallery from the 11th of November through till the 2nd of December 2006.
The Goodman Gallery was proud to host an exhibition of works by Sam Nhlengethwa. The opening was on the Thursday 19th February 2004 and closed the Saturday 13th March 2004 at 16h00.
Sam says that ‘This exhibition is a culmination of a thought that began 10 years ago. Perhaps on some subconscious level it is very fitting that parallel to this show is the year we celebrate 10 years of democracy. The title of this exhibition is ‘Glimpses of the Fifties and Sixties’. I have chosen to work in the style to which I have become accustomed (collage) and to also explore my printing via the photogravure process. I think one of the reasons I like this process is that it has an element of collage in it, but the process is more physically involved and delicate. It entails digitizing an initial collage and working through at least five plates before even considering the trial print to be used for the series.
I sourced material from the Drum magazine archives and I also looked through my own family albums. The use of my own archive was important because I wanted to reflect an intimacy and a familiarity that would make the images accessible. Looking through the albums I reminisced about growing up in my grandmother’s house and how I always found the dining with the wedding photograph so intriguing. I also recalled enjoying a softball match in Westonaria (a small mining community on the West Rand) amidst the many dompas and curfew laws. Today these images have now been revived in the music videos of Mafikizolo and the ‘Stoned Cherry’ fashion label. I think I’m lucky in the sense that I have used art as an outlet for the frustrations I encountered during this time. My visual expression through painting was therapeutic and has now been transformed into what I believe to be a historical retrospective’.
The Goodman Gallery was pleased to present an exhibition of collage, painting and installation by Sam Nhlengethwa. One of the foremost collagists and painters in the country, Sam’s show, “Jozi People”, comprised entirely of new works.
Sam had this to say about the show: “ ‘Jozi People’ is a culmination of an idea that was conceptualized a long time ago through my everyday interaction with a variety of people. Jozi is a great cultural metropolis. I have seen it evolve through many stages making its people more interesting as they also get engulfed in this evolution.
What fascinates me about Johannesburg is that people from different cultural backgrounds converge in the city and almost through “mutation”, produce a unique cultural identity of their own. I ‘m at a loss of words as to how much Jozi has inspired me through its architect, people, the general vibe and of course the lingo. With its varied and pacy lifestyles, Jozi can either make you or break you.
Jozi has influenced me so much that sometimes when I visit other big cities like New York and watching people go through their daily routines, I long to say to the next person I see “Heyta my Bra. Hoezit?!” (Hi, my brother. How are you?).
I love Jozi with a passion. Through “Jozi People” I have at last achieved my long time wish to deal with Jozi and its people on canvas. I had fun.”
The show opened on the 14th of October and closed on Saturday 3rd November 2001.
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
4 June – 6 August 2016
In 2016, Goodman Gallery celebrates its 50th anniversary – five decades of forging change through artistic production and dialogue, shaping contemporary art within and beyond the continent. From early June, we will host major exhibitions between our Johannesburg and Cape Town galleries featuring significant work, installations, interventions, performances, a video and talks programmes.
Titled New Revolutions, our programme will include prominent international and African artists – each part of the Goodman Gallery’s history, present and future – engaging with the idea of perpetual change, alternative independent movements and the reinvigorating of ideology based upon mutable historical realities. The project as a whole will consider Goodman Gallery’s history as an inclusive space, as well as its approach to showing contemporary art that shifts perspectives and engenders social transformation.
New Revolutions recalls the fulcrum of activity into which the gallery was borne 50 years ago: revolutionary fervour, the gradual decolonisation of African countries and radical responses to the status quo. Locally, the gallery maintained a responsibility to show work by South African artists as museums served the agenda of the discriminatory government. By transcending its role as a commercial space Goodman Gallery rose to prominence as a progressive institution. And, while South Africa was deep in the throes of a draconian era, figures within the fight for African independence trail-blazed the struggle against apartheid. This exhibition reflects on how the events in Africa then, still play a part in the conceptual thinking of artists now. And, beyond that, how artists have responded to new forms of economic colonisation, migrancy, as well as radicalised reactions to economic inequality and lingering institutional racism.
By considering how the roles of artists cross into the realm of activism and socially transformative endeavours, New Revolutions explores historical and contemporary tensions and movements that are unfolding in Africa and around the world, through the panorama of contemporary art.
The 2016 anniversary programme highlights Goodman Gallery’s ongoing affiliation with artists who explore the power of dissent and the importance of alternative factions and cross-disciplinary collaborations in order to engender change and encourage dialogue. A non-chronological, intergenerational but conceptually linked collection of artworks from the 1960s to the present will focus on the spirit of protest, resistance, and revolution, and the way in which South Africa, and Goodman Gallery in particular, has offered an important platform from which to explore such approaches.
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary Goodman Gallery takes pleasure in announcing new partnerships with some of the world’s most significant artists – Sonia Gomes (Brazil), Kiluanji Kia Henda (Angola), Shirin Neshat (Iran) – revealing new directions in the gallery’s programme. Locally, we announce the representation by Goodman Gallery of Tabita Rezaire and The Brother Moves On. In addition, the exhibition will include work by international artists Kapwani Kiwanga (US) and Jacolby Satterwhite (US).
New Revolutions will provide an opportunity to exhibit those who have worked with the gallery for decades including William Kentridge, David Koloane, Sam Nhlengethwa, David Goldblatt and Tracey Rose, and some of the most influential younger voices in contemporary art including Kudzanai Chiurai, Hasan and Husain Essop, Mikhael Subotzky, Gerald Machona and Haroon Gunn-Salie. The show will also include artists who have been integral in the gallery’s transformation over the past decade, including Ghada Amer, Candice Breitz, Alfredo Jaar, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, and Hank Willis Thomas. Performances will be presented by local innovators, Nelisiwe Xaba and The Brother Moves On.
Beyond this, the iconic significance of the gallery, and the historical moment necessitates that certain artists whose ideas and actions impacted on society, and on the course of art history, be included. Artists like Walter Wahl Battis, Cecil Skotnes, Ezrom Legae, Leonard Matsotso and Sydney Khumalo are exhibited as part of our endeavour to show how the regeneration of ideas – and the gallery as a repository of change – is not confined to epochs.
With New Revolutions we invite you to celebrate with Goodman Gallery as we pay homage to artists who have shaped the landscape of contemporary art in Southern Africa. These include artists based on the continent, those of the Diaspora, our northern counterparts who have been distanced from sub-Saharan Africa and those from outside of Africa whose work explores territory such as unequal power structures and socio-political constructs.
New Revolutions is curated by Liza Essers and will take place throughout the month of June at our Johannesburg and Cape Town galleries, and with a special selection of works for Art Basel from 16 June to 19 June.
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg welcomes you to 2012 with Advance/… Notice, an exhibition of new works by a dynamic group of contemporary artists from around the world. As we advance into a new calendar year, this exhibition gives notice of innovations from some of our artists who are already familiar to you, and of our new ventures into an intellectual exchange with artists with whom we are excited to work for the first time. This show will also give audiences a preview of what is to come, as many of the featured artists have solo shows planned for 2012 at Goodman Gallery spaces and other prestigious South African institutions.
Advance/… Notice introduces newly perfected techniques or processes for some of our well-known artists, such as platinum photographic prints by David Goldblatt, and a completely new turn of direction and field of interest for African American artist Hank Willis Thomas, who first exhibited with us on In Context in 2010, as well as for Sigalit Landau, the acclaimed Israeli artist we co-hosted at last year’s Venice Biennale. These international savants are joined by South African artists such as Hasan and Husain Essop, Moshekwa Langa, Mikhael Subotzky, Sue Williamson, William Kentridge, Rosenclaire, and Frances Goodman revealing either brand new works, or works not yet seen in Johannesburg. Also featured are works by Kendell Geers, whose retrospective exhibition will open at IZIKO South African National Gallery in late March 2012.
Our first show of the year seems an apt time to introduce the novel and the unexpected in the work of a number of artists and to also welcome prominent figures including Liza Lou, a world-renowned American now living and working in KwaZulu Natal; South African Candice Breitz, now resident in Berlin; Chilean-born New Yorker Alfredo Jaar; London-based Iranian Reza Aramesh, as well as Carla Busuttil – a young South African artist based in Berlin who is well-established in the United Kingdom, but has never before exhibited in her home country.
Liza Lou presents a work titled Gather Forty, one of a series of forty individual sculptures made from gold-plated beads that have been expertly threaded onto four hundred individual pieces of stainless steel wire and bound in a sheaf – continuing the shift of the beadwork medium from craft to conceptual art. Alfredo Jaar, internationally recognised artist, filmmaker and architect, celebrated for the public interventions he has created all over the world, shows From Time to Time, a panel of nine Time magazine covers focusing on Africa that either feature animals or malnourished Africans – revealing how the rest of the world often encapsulates its second largest continent. Breitz, who opens a major survey of her work titled Extra! at the Standard Bank Gallery this February, presents The Character, a video installation filmed in Mumbai that seeks to understand the role and influence of child characters in mainstream Indian cinema through interviews with a group of young moviegoers. In Action 78, Aramesh uses familiar scenes from news footage of the first Gulf War to restage, re-present and destabilise any easy readings of the conflicts we think we understand. Oil paintings by Busuttil offer a sinisterly-executed perusal of the exploitation of power and cruelty.
We are also very pleased to present for the first time the work of Nelisiwe Xaba, who will be presenting an interactive dance and video collaboration with Mocke J van Veuren at Goodman Gallery Projects in February. The crossover into visual art is exciting new territory for this renowned performer/dancer.
Goodman Gallery hopes you will join us to be inspired, challenged and excited by this exhibition and its promise of advances in the visual arts of South Africa. We trust you will find the exhibition gives notice of an innovative and exciting programme for 2012 in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Goodman Gallery Cape presents Summer Show – opening on 15 December and running until 14 January. The exhibition has been designed as a review, focusing on new and recent work by South Africans artists either represented by or associated with the gallery. Important works from series produced by the artists over the past year are showcased, and the show also features a selection of works recently shown at the gallery’s Johannesburg spaces.
The exhibition includes prints from Siemon Allen‘s Records series, in which the artist explores images of South Africa through the collection and archiving of music records from the beginning of the 20th Century to the present day. Photography is strongly represented, with works from Jodi Bieber’s vibrant, urban-denizen take in her Soweto series, in marked contrast with David Goldblatt’s large-scale colour prints of rural South Africa. Mikhael Subotzky (who recently won the 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art) and Patrick Waterhouse show recent work from their ongoing collaboration on the Ponte City project.
A text piece by Stuart Bird is shown in anticipation of his upcoming solo show in January, Gerhard Marx presents exquisitely detailed and artisanally worked surfaces in his new works, continuing his preoccupation with notions of mapping, place and nature, and Walter Oltmann shows a powerful new addition in aluminium wire to his series of insect suit sculptures.
Paintings by Moshekwa Langa, Lisa Brice and Clive van den Berg explore abstraction and gesture in different ways; all three have produced significant bodies of new works which were well received during 2011. Minnette Vari‘s uncanny brush and ink drawings of the goddess/crone Baubo sit in awkward dialogue with Kendell Geers’ La Sainte Vierge.
This exhibition affords a fascinating look at the output of some of South Africa’s major artists, and will also showcase from our Johannesburg spaces works not yet shown in Cape Town, including Kudzanai Chiurai’s Revelations, a series of photographic tableaux exploring politics and power in Africa, new wood sculptures by Willem Boshoff, and a selection of drawings, linocut graphics and sculpture by William Kentridge.
This winter the Goodman Gallery will relaunch its Parkwood space, which has been extensively reconsidered, both physically and conceptually. This launch will be initiated with a group exhibition simply titled Winter Show, featuring a range of luminary-status local and international artists. The show will not only present recent works by Goodman stalwarts such as William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Sam Nhlengethwa and Mikhael Subotzky, but will also reveal a shift in the Gallery’s approach, showcasing work from around the Continent and beyond that is both explicitly and implicitly concerned with synergies and tensions between Africa and the rest of the globe. Some of the participating international artists, such as Ghada Amer and Hank Willis Thomas, are not only being showcased by the Goodman Gallery, but are now officially represented by us.
The Winter Show will act as a confluence of the Goodman Gallery’s top represented artists, as well as artists participating in In Context – a series of exhibitions and interventions currently taking place at Arts on Main and other venues in Johannesburg. Artists such as Jenny Holzer, Amer, Willis Thomas, Bili Bidjocka, Willem Boshoff and Kara Walker will participate in both shows, with the Winter Show presenting some of their more recent work. While In Context manifests an intimate and often candid exploration of the dynamics of the African continent, the Winter Show will offer a broader conceptual platform, covering many aspects of South African, African and global landscapes and conditions.
The Winter Show will elaborate on the thorny notion of the politics of representation, which Brenda Atkinson and Candice Breitz confronted in their 1999 collection of essays Grey Areas: Representation, Identity and Politics in Contemporary South African Art. The book was a direct response to the critique of Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, who was the creative director of the Second Johannesburg Biennial in 1997. At the time, Enwezor interrogated the practice of artists such as Breitz, Minnette Vári and Penny Siopis, intricately considering the question of ‘who has the right to represent whom?’ Now, over a decade later, accusations of misrepresentation have been revisited and reconsidered not only by Enwezor himself and those whose essays were included in Grey Areas, but by the art community at large. In Context magnifies these issues, while the Winter Show augments the dialogue, bringing new voices into the conversation.
Compelling features of the Winter Show include two of Walker’s 2009 films – which are based on narratives from archives of a bureau established in 1865 to assist African Americans with the transition from slavery to freedom – presenting the artist’s signature black-silhouette cut-out figures, which almost impossibly convey the complexities of race, gender, sexuality and power in their stilted and provocative movements. Jenny Holzer’s Purple Red Curve (2005) transmits a coalescence of master narratives through a curved electronic LED sign. Jeremy Wafer will create a site-specific wall drawing in the Goodman Gallery specifically for the show. Kentridge will present a series of new drawings produced this year as well as a maquette of the structure World on its Hind Legs, created in collaboration with Gerhard Marx. A large scale, steel version of this work will be launched at the Apartheid Museum on 8 July 2010 as part of In Context. The Winter Show will also feature an ongoing screening of all of the Goodman Gallery’s top art films by leading artists such as Kentridge and Vári.
The Goodman Gallery in Parkwood has undergone numerous physical transformations and now boasts a new showroom and a space dedicated to photographic works. We are in the process of establishing an art library accessible to the visiting public and will offer a range of educational art talks and events during the Winter Show.
With Goodman Gallery firmly established as a prestigious, world-class contemporary art institution, the Winter Show will reveal how the Gallery – beyond representing artists of the highest caliber – is dedicated to bringing an innovative programme of relevant and compelling international works to South Africa, offering audiences exposure to some of the best contemporary work being produced locally and abroad.
Ryan Arenson | Walter Battiss | Deborah Bell | Justin Brett | Lisa Brice | Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin | Adam Broomberg | Kudzanai Chiurai | Marlene Dumas | Claire Gavronsky | Robert Hodgins | William Kentridge | David Koloane | Moshekwa Langa | Alexandra Makhlouf | Brett Murray | Sam Nhlengethwa | Walter Oltmann | Jonah Sack | Kathryn Smith | Jaco Spies | Clive Van Den Berg | Diane Victor | Jeremy Wafer | Sue Williamson
For many artists, drawing forms part of a larger process – a loose way of visualizing an artwork before committing to it in a more permanent medium. But the act of drawing itself remains one of the oldest and most eloquent forms of artistic expression. Goodman Gallery Cape is proud to present a group exhibition of drawings entitled ‘The Marks We Make’, exploring notions of mark-making as assertions of ownership and expressions of violence, memory and play.
Drawing usually refers to pencil marks on paper. In this exhibition we approach the term more loosely, featuring a range of media to question what constitutes a drawing and what gives it power. Works will include photographs from the Red House series by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, depicting the marks left behind by prisoners of Saddam Hussein in Iraq; wire and sculptural elements by Walter Oltmann and William Kentridge; installations by Jeremy Wafer, Jonah Sack and Justin Brett, as well as more traditional pencil, oil and charcoal drawings by Sue Williamson, Lisa Brice and Sam Nhlengethwa.
‘The Marks We Make’ brings together South African artists to explore the ways in which marks shape our environments and inform our perspectives. Bodies are circumscribed, silenced or marginalized by the invasive marks of violence. But these marks can also be used to express an identity, stake out a position or form communities. Territory is claimed, land contested, and ownership asserted through the use of marks, both physical and symbolic. The exhibition seeks to interrogate the ways in which these marks act to create the contingent, political spaces within which we form ourselves, and the role they play in shaping our personal and cultural memories.
Born in Springs, South Africa in 1955. Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.Nhlengethwa was born into a family of jazz lovers; his two brothers both collected jazz music and his deceased eldest brother was a jazz musician. “Painting jazz pieces is an avenue or outlet for expressing my love for the music,” he once said in an interview. "As I paint, I listen to jazz and visualize the performance. Jazz performers improvise within the conventions of their chosen styles. In an ensemble, for example, there are vocal styles that include freedom of vocal colour, call-and-response patterns and rhythmic complexities played by different members. Painting jazz allows me to literally put colour onto these vocal colours.
“Jazz is rhythmic and it emphasizes interpretation rather than composition. There are deliberate tonal distortions that contribute to its uniqueness. My jazz collages, with their distorted patterns, attempt to communicate all of this. As a collagist and painter, fortunately, the technique allows me this freedom of expression… What I am doing is not new though, as there are other artists before me who painted jazz pieces. For example, Gerard Sekoto, Romare Bearden and Henri Matisse.”
2014 Life, Jazz and Lots of Other Things, Gallery 1600, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2014 Life, Jazz and Lots of Other Things, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, USA
2014 Life, Jazz and Lots of Other Things, Trois Gallery, Atlanta, USA
2012 Conversations , Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2010 Kind of Blue, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2008 Tributes, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2006 Townships Re-visited, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2005 Sam Nhlengethwa, Axis Gallery, New York, USA
2004 Glimpses of the fifties and sixties, Florence Lynch Gallery, Chelsea, New York, USA
2004 Sam Nhlengethwa Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2004 Sam Nhlengethwa, Joao Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2002 All that Jazz , Kubatana Moderne Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2001 Jozi People, Goodman Gallery, Hyde Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
1998 Interiors, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1996 Mine Trip, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1995 Senegalese Images, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1994-1995 Homage to Jazz, Standard Bank Young Artist Award travelling show, South Africa
1993 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, Market Gallery, Johannesburg,South Africa
1993 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, NSA Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1990 Cassirer Fine Art (with guest Daniel Phaladi), Johannesburg, South Africa
2016 New Revolutions: Goodman Gallery at 50 , Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2014 Contemporary Art / South Africa at Yale University Art Gallery, Standard Bank Gallery, South Africa
2013 My Joburg, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
2013 Imaginary Fact: Contemporary South African Art and the Archive, South African Pavilion, 55th la Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2011 constructions Contemporary Art from South Africa, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, Brazil
2010 12th International Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt
2009 Strengths and Convictions: The lives and times of South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F.W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, Iziko SA National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2006 Faces to Names, Alliance Francaise, Johannesburg, South Africa
2006 Sam Nhlengethwa: Black Goats: Art on Paper, Johannesburg, South Africa
2006 From Apartheid to Democracy: The Freedom Struggle in South Africa and the American South, Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum, Atlanta, USA
2005 Unity Series, The World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland
2004 New Identities – Contemporary South African Art, Museum Bochum, Germany
2004 POST – Contemporary South African photography, Tama Art University Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2004 In a City, collaboration with Andrew Tshabangu, Bag Factory Artists Studios, Fordsburg, South Africa
2003 Southern African Stories: A Print Collection, Centre for Contemporary Art in the Fernandes Industrial Centre, Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago
2003 Florence Lynch Gallery, Chelsea, New York, USA
2003 8th Havana Bienale, Cuba
2002 Towards new Cultures, Trevi Exhibition Area, Bolzano, Italy.
2002 South African Art from 1850 to 2002, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg South Africa
2002 African & African American Shared Understanding Project’ , Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2002 Ubuntu, Malaysia
2001 The Art Salon, Bay Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
2001 Sam meets Zwelethu, collaboration with Zwelethu Mthethwa, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2000 Artlook South Africa, Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage, Chicago, USA
2000 The Art Salon, Bay Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
2000 Project Conflux, touring exhibition started in Cape Town, South Africa
2000 Two-man show with Zwelethu Mthethwa, Seippel Art Gallery, Cologne, Germany
2000 South African Trade Exhibition, Mauritius
2000 Artery, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town, South Africa
2000 The Art Salon, Bay Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
1999 Fast Forward za, Van Reekum Museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
1998 Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands
1998 The Art Salon, Bay Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
1997 Cross Over, Johannesburg to Nantes, Nantes, France
1995 Africa 95, Whitechapel, London, UK
1990 Thupelo Show, FUBA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1990 Goodman Gallery, Hyde Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
1989 Thupelo Show, FUBA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1989 Two-man show with Gerard Sekoto, Cassirer Fine Art, Johannesburg, South Africa
1988 Cassirer Fine Art, Johannesburg, South Africa
1987 Thupelo Show, The Art Foundation, South Africa
1987 Two-man show with Madi Phala, Fuba Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1986 Thupelo Show, FUBA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1985 Tributaries, Africana Museum, Johannesburg, South Africa
1984 FUBA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1983 Shell Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1981 Civic Centre, Kwa Thema, Springs, South Africa
1981 Haenggi Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2001 Lines of Connection, an MTN Art Institute project – exhibiting and facilitating education workshops for students, Douala, Cameroon
2000 College of DuPage, lecturer and conducted workshops, Glen Ellyn, Chicago, USA
2000 MTN Art Institute Community project, Conducted art workshops, South Africa
1992 FUBA, part time teacher, Johannesburg, South Africa
2004 Triangle Workshop with Sir Robert Loder, London, England
2003 Matric Art Seminar project, illustrated lectures to Art & Design students, PE
2003 Technikon and Rhodes University, Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, South Africa
2002 Johannesburg Art City exhibition, Wall Project (part of the WSSD), Johannesburg, South Africa
2002 MTN Art Institute art competition judging in schools, South Africa
2001 Gerard Sekoto Foundation project in partnership with Mamelodi Heritage Foundation, De Beers and Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa
2000 Participant in filming of Afro-Cuban Connection documentary, Havana, Cuba
2000 Secure the Future, a Bristol Myers Squibb art project to promote HIV/AIDS research, Johannesburg, South Africa
2000 Gerard Sekoto Foundation Community project, Mural workshops, Northern
2000 Province and Sophiatown, South Africa
1994 TENQ African Workshop – Senegal, West Africa
1996 First National Bank Vita Awards Nominee, First National Bank, Johannesburg,
1994 First National Bank Vita Awards nominee, Johannesburg, South Africa
1993 Bertrams VO Art for Africa Finalist, Johannesburg, South Africa
1993 Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for 1994, Standard Bank,
Johannesburg, South Africa
1992 Delfina Studio Trust Summer Award, London, UK
1992 AA Vita Awards Nominee, Johannesburg, South Africa
1991 AA Vita Awards Nominee, Johannesburg, South Africa
1988 AA Vita Awards Nominee, Johannesburg, South Africa
1976-1977 Johannesburg Art Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa
1977-1978 Diploma, Rorkes Drift Art Centre, Natal, South Africa
World Bank, USA
Botswana Art Museum, Botswana
Mobil Court, Cape Town, South Africa
Anglo American, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sasol, Johannesburg, South Africa
GENCOR, Johannesburg, South Africa
Standard Bank Head Office, Johannesburg, South Africa
BMW, Pretoria, South Africa
Mercedes-Benz, Johannesburg, South Africa
TELKOM, South Africa
ABSA, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nedcor, Johannesburg, South Africa
Mandela Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg Stock Exchange , Johannesburg, South Africa
SA Broadcasting Corporation, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
DaimlerChrysler Headquarters, Pretoria, South Africa
Millennium Consolidated Investment, Sandton
Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa
Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Private collections in South Africa and abroad
2013 Brent Meersman, An Imperfect Past and Its Impact on the Present, Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, South Africa
1999 The Money Standard, Vol 1, Issue 4, 1999, p26.
1997 Vuka SA, Volume 2, Issue 3
1996 Williams, M. Jazz Heritage. Vol 4. Oxford University Press. p16-17
1988 Younge, G, Leadership, ‘The Next Million Years’, Vol 7, Issue 5, 1988, NAIL, Johannesburg, p 58-65.
Press for Sam Nhlengethwa
Sam Nhlengethwa / Business Day Live / South Africa / 26 June 2015HALF ART: Sobering slice of our fragility By Chris Thurman (95.9 KB)
Sam Nhlengethwa / The Sunday Independent / South Africa / 8 March 2015At home with Sam Nhlengethwa By Paul Duncan (2.4 MB)
Sam Nhlengethwa / Art South Africa / South Africa / 1 December 2014Some final Tributes by Tsholofelo Moche (2.7 MB)
Sam Nhlengethwa / City Press / South Africa / 28 September 2014Modern Master by Percy Mabandu (247.5 KB)
Sam Nhlengethwa / Mail and Guardian / South Africa / 4 July 2014Sam Nhlengethwa's palate for fine things by Stefanie Jason (427.7 KB)
Sam Nhlengethwa / SA's definitive Jazz guide / South Africa / 9 April 2014PORTRAIT[S] OF A JAZZ PAINTER – 1994 STANDARD BANK YOUNG ARTIST AWARD WINNER SAM NHLENGETHWA by Jeffrey Mathethe Sehume (542.5 KB)
Sam Nhlengethwa / City Press / Johannesburg / 27 July 2014Fine China for charity by Percy Mabandu (234.8 KB)
South Africa's exhibition at the Venice Biennale / Mail & Guardian / Johannesburg / April 19-25 2013An imperfect past and its impact on the present by Brent Meersman (306.3 KB)
Sam Nhlengethwa / Sunday Times / South Africa / 29 August 2010Sam pays tribute to jazz giant by Robyn Sassen (2.2 MB)
Sam Nhlengethwa / The Native Aesthetic / South Africa / 30 August 2010On jazz and art by Mpo Moshe (213 KB)