Sam Nhlengethwa / Glimpses of the Fifties and Sixties / 2004

Sam Nhlengethwa / Glimpses of the Fifties and Sixties / 2004
19 February - 13 March 2004
Installation View

Sam Nhlengethwa

While we were young I, 2003 Photolithograph 50 x 30 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mbombela, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Near the bus stop, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

News Time, 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Busking Near a Station, 2003 Woven Mohair (silk) and embroidery by Marguerite Stephens studio 240 x 192cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Sentence, 2003 Collage on paper 35 x 56cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Stop it Verwoed, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Azikhuwelwa, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

The Shebeen, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

A Tired Miner, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

The Grinding Stone, 2004 photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

A portrait of Tod Majikiza, 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Otilia Ntshangase's Pass book and cover, 2003 Collage on paper 49 x 35cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

The Jazz Festival, 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

While we were young III, 2003 Photolithograph 50 x 30 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Hard at Work I, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Coal Shed, 2004 Photolithograph Image: 20 x 28.5 cm Work: 50 x 38.5 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Busking near a station , 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 60 x 45cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Boss Boy, 2003 Collage and oil on paper 99 x 139cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

The Beer Hall, 2003 Collage and oil on paper 70 x 100cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

The Flower girls, 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Miners Showering, 2004 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Protests, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Portrait of Miriam Makeba, 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

A Proud Couple, 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 60 x 45cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Johannesburg Building Society, 2003 Collage on paper 23 x 77cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Pass Raid, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Compounds, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

1966 VW Beetle, 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

The End of Kofifi, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Skipping, 2003 photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Whites Only Area, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Humiliation, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mrs Ngobeni (my mother in law), 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

While we were young II, 2003 Photolithograph 50 x 30 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Migrant Labourers, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Beauty Queens , 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Underground, 2003 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Part-Time Job I, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Sharpeville Massacre, 2004 Photolithograph 30 x 50cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Pay Day, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

My mom and my aunt , 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Hard at Work II, 2004 Photolithograph 50 x 30cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Gumboot Dance, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Enemies of the state , 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 120 x 150cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mr. and Mrs. Ngobeni (my in-laws), 2003 Collage on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Part Time Job II, 2003 Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Candlelit Studying, 2003Photolithograph Photolithograph 30 x 50 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Miriam Makeba and SA Big Band , 2003 Collage and oil on paper 76 x 151cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

The end of the shift, 2003 Collage on canvas 45 x 60cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Waiting for trial I, 2003 Collage and oil on canvas 34 x 55.6cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Colleagues , 2003 Photolithograph Image: 20 x 28.5 cm Work: 49.5 x 38.5 cm

No 3D loaded yet

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’.

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.