Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016

Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016
15 October - 05 November 2016
Installation View
Sam Nhlengethwa
Eish it's Heavy, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
27 April 1994, 2016
Collage, oil and acrylic on canvas
40 x 220 cm
With Marguerite Stephens
Near the Station (Drum) , 2016
Woven mohair tapestry
210 x 175 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
King Kong, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 522 x 403 mm Image size: 380 x 280 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Ode to Miriam Makeba, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 522 x 403 mm Image size: 380 x 280 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Tired, 2016
Lithograph
Image: 25 x 31 cm Work: 33 x 39 cm Frame: 41 x 47 x 3 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Headlines, 2016
Collage, oil and acrylic on canvas
40 x 220 cm
With Marguerite Stephens
Underground, 2016
Woven mohair tapestry
245 x 172 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Protests, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 522 x 403 mm Image size: 380 x 280 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
One Love, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Barb Wire, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
No Stopping, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Night Shift 2, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Kalamazoo Mokone, 2016
Lithograph
Image: 38 x 27.5 cm Work: 52 x 40.5 cm Frame: 60.5 x 48.5 x 3.3 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Forced Removal, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 522 x 403 mm Image size: 380 x 280 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Under The Bridge , 2016
Lithograph
Image: 25 x 31 cm Work: 33 x 39 cm Frame: 41 x 47 x 3 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
No Luck, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Buddies, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Taking a Break, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Against the Traffic, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Night Shift 1, 2016
Monotype
Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Searching II, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 330 x 390 mm Image size: 250 x 310 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Searching I, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 330 x 390 mm Image size: 250 x 310 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Looking Around II, 2016
Lithograph
Image: 25 x 31 cm Work: 33 x 39 cm Frame: 41 x 47 x 3 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Looking Around I, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 330 x 390 mm Image size: 250 x 310 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
loaded II, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 330 x 390 mm Image size: 250 x 310 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Loaded I, 2016
Lithograph
Image: 25 x 31 cm Work: 33 x 39 cm Frame: 41 x 47 x 3 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Let's Move, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 330 x 390 mm Image size: 250 x 310 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Heavy Loads, 2016
Lithograph
Paper size: 330 x 390 mm Image size: 250 x 310 mm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Rushing, 2016
Painted bronze
Work: 160 x 100 x 45 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
A luta Continua , 2016
Painted bronze
Work: 155 x 65 x 140 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Heading for Delivery , 2016
Painted Bronze
L: 60 cm x W: 50 cm x H: 140 cm + 80 cm (base)
Sam Nhlengethwa
1976 Grieving Mothers II, 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Farewell Comrades 1, 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 19.5 x 24.5 cm Work: 37.5 x 45 cm Frame: 47 x 54 x 2.5 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Knocked Down, 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Don't move, 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Monitoring , 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 19.5 x 24.5 cm Work: 37 x 44.5 cm Frame: 47 x 54 x 3 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Away with Afrikaans , 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Hey You, 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 19.5 x 24 cm Work: 37.5 x 44.5 cm Frame: 47 x 54 x 3 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
1976 Grieving Mothers 1, 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Departing, 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 19.5 x 24 cm Work: 37 x 44.5 cm Frame: 47.5 x 54 x 3 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Farewell Comrade, 2016
Etching, aquitent and hand paint
Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends, 2016
24 linocut prints with hand colour wash plus 13 text letter prints, framed as triptych
overall (in 3 frames) 208 x 358 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Leaders: Stephen Bantu Biko , 2016
Mixed media on paper
69 x 99cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Leaders: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 2016
Mixed media on paper
69 x 99cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Leaders: Robert Sobukwe , 2016
Mixed media on paper
99 x 69 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Nocturnal Load, 2016
Oil and collage on canvas
120x 160cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Shebeen Queen (Madi Curves), 2016
Oil and collage on canvas
120 x 160cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Ernest Cole, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
Work: 38 x 30 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: John Dube, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
Work: 38 x 30 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Nadine Gordimer, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Helen Joseph , 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Albert Luthuli, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
Work: 38 x 30 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Miriam Makeba, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
Work: 38 x 30 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi legends: Sol Plaatje, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Lilian Ngoyi, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Beyers Naude, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Ruth Mompati, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi legends: Chris McGregor, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Govan Mbeki, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Todd Matshikiza, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Bill Ainslie , 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Dumile Feni, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
30 x 38cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Gerard Sekoto, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Walter Sisulu, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Joe Slovo, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Robert Sobukwe, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Enoch Sontonga, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Helen Suzman, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Oliver Tambo, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Jim Bailey, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Mzansi Legends: Madiba, 2016
Linoprint and hand wash
38 x 30cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Let Us Pray, 2007
Collage, oil and acrylic on canvas
124 x 220 cm (each panel: 124 x 110 cm)
Sam Nhlengethwa
3 sculpture maquettes, 2016
wood, paper, string, fabric and found objects
29 x 56 x 56 cm (variable)
Sam Nhlengethwa
Sketch for Heading for Delivery, 2016
charcoal on paper
30 x 22 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Sketch for A luta Continua, 2016
charcoal on paper
22 x 30 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Sketch for Rushing, 2016
charcoal on paper
22 x 30 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Wake Up!, 2016
sculpture installation: wood, metal, found objects
155 x 139 x 93.5 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Long Walk to Freedom, 2016
6 part oil on canvas

Sam Nhlengethwa
Leaders: Desmond Tutu, 2016
Mixed media on paper
99 x 69 cm
Sam Nhlengethwa
Leaders: Abdullah Ibrahim, 2016
Mixed media on paper
99 x 69 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016 - Installation View

15 October - 05 November 2016

Sam Nhlengethwa

Eish it's Heavy

Sam Nhlengethwa

27 April 1994

With Marguerite Stephens

Near the Station (Drum)

Sam Nhlengethwa

King Kong

Sam Nhlengethwa

Ode to Miriam Makeba

Sam Nhlengethwa

Tired

Sam Nhlengethwa

Headlines

With Marguerite Stephens

Underground

Sam Nhlengethwa

Protests

Sam Nhlengethwa

One Love

Sam Nhlengethwa

Barb Wire

Sam Nhlengethwa

No Stopping

Sam Nhlengethwa

Night Shift 2

Sam Nhlengethwa

Kalamazoo Mokone

Sam Nhlengethwa

Forced Removal

Sam Nhlengethwa

Under The Bridge

Sam Nhlengethwa

No Luck

Sam Nhlengethwa

Buddies

Sam Nhlengethwa

Taking a Break

Sam Nhlengethwa

Against the Traffic

Sam Nhlengethwa

Night Shift 1

Sam Nhlengethwa

Searching II

Sam Nhlengethwa

Searching I

Sam Nhlengethwa

Looking Around II

Sam Nhlengethwa

Looking Around I

Sam Nhlengethwa

loaded II

Sam Nhlengethwa

Loaded I

Sam Nhlengethwa

Let's Move

Sam Nhlengethwa

Heavy Loads

Sam Nhlengethwa

Rushing

Sam Nhlengethwa

A luta Continua

Sam Nhlengethwa

Heading for Delivery

Sam Nhlengethwa

1976 Grieving Mothers II

Sam Nhlengethwa

Farewell Comrades 1

Sam Nhlengethwa

Knocked Down

Sam Nhlengethwa

Don't move

Sam Nhlengethwa

Monitoring

Sam Nhlengethwa

Away with Afrikaans

Sam Nhlengethwa

Hey You

Sam Nhlengethwa

1976 Grieving Mothers 1

Sam Nhlengethwa

Departing

Sam Nhlengethwa

Farewell Comrade

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends

Sam Nhlengethwa

Leaders: Stephen Bantu Biko

Sam Nhlengethwa

Leaders: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Sam Nhlengethwa

Leaders: Robert Sobukwe

Sam Nhlengethwa

Nocturnal Load

Sam Nhlengethwa

Shebeen Queen (Madi Curves)

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Ernest Cole

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: John Dube

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Nadine Gordimer

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Helen Joseph

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Albert Luthuli

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Miriam Makeba

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi legends: Sol Plaatje

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Lilian Ngoyi

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Beyers Naude

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Ruth Mompati

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi legends: Chris McGregor

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Govan Mbeki

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Todd Matshikiza

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Bill Ainslie

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Dumile Feni

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Gerard Sekoto

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Walter Sisulu

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Joe Slovo

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Robert Sobukwe

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Enoch Sontonga

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Helen Suzman

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Oliver Tambo

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Jim Bailey

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mzansi Legends: Madiba

Sam Nhlengethwa

Let Us Pray

Sam Nhlengethwa

3 sculpture maquettes

Sam Nhlengethwa

Sketch for Heading for Delivery

Sam Nhlengethwa

Sketch for A luta Continua

Sam Nhlengethwa

Sketch for Rushing

Sam Nhlengethwa

Wake Up!

Sam Nhlengethwa

Long Walk to Freedom

Sam Nhlengethwa

Leaders: Desmond Tutu

Sam Nhlengethwa

Leaders: Abdullah Ibrahim

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.

Sam Nhlengethwa

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.

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 visualise 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 emphasises 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.”

Nhlengethwa’s 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, exhibiting 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. In 2018 Nhlengethwa was included on the group exhibition Beyond Borders: Global Africa at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.