Sam Nhlengethwa / Townships Re-Visited / 2006

Sam Nhlengethwa / Townships Re-Visited / 2006
09 November - 02 December 2006
Installation View
Sam Nhlengethwa / Townships Re-Visited / 2006
09 November - 02 December 2006
Installation View
Sam Nhlengethwa / Townships Re-Visited / 2006
09 November - 02 December 2006
Installation View
Sam Nhlengethwa / Townships Re-Visited / 2006
09 November - 02 December 2006
Installation View
Sam Nhlengethwa / Townships Re-Visited / 2006
09 November - 02 December 2006
Installation View

Sam Nhlengethwa

Thursday (Garankuwa), 2006 Etching 12.3 x 19.7 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Welcome to Nyanga, Western Cape, 2006 Mixed media on paper 122 x 140cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Saulsville, 2006 Mixed media on paper 50 x 122cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Public Phones, 2006 Lithograph 37 x 46cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Winnie's House, Brandfort, I, II, III, 2006 Mixed media on canvas, triptych 40 x 40cm / 40 x 51cm / 40 x 40cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Gossipers, 2006 Colour Lithograph 37 x 46cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

1st Ave Alexandra, 2006 Mixed media on paper 70 x 100cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Boneha P.S. (Ratanda), 2006 Etching Image: 12.3 x 19.7 cm Work: 50 x 35 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

White city slopes, Kwa-Thema, 2006 Mixed media on paper 70 x 100cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Kwa Guqa, Witbank I, 2006 Mixed media on paper 40 x 50cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Kwa Guqa, Witbank, III, 2006 Mixed media on canvas 40 x 50cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

No Dumping Area, Western Cape, 2006 Mixed Media On Paper 127 x 275cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Washing Day, 2006 Lithograph 37 x 46cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Granny (Seshego), 2006 Etching 12.3 x 19.7 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

On my way to Guguletu, 2006 Mixed media on paper 140 x 260cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Night Vigil (Natalspruit), 2006 Etching 12.1 x 19.5 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Teacher (Mabopane), 2006 Etching 12.3 x 19.7 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Kwa Mashu, KZN, 2006 Mixed media on paper 82 x 79cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Nyanga, Western Cape, 2006 Mixed media on paper 120 x 322cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Elamonti, KZN, 2006 Mixed media on paper 74 x 125cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Hair Salon, 2006 Colour Lithograph 37 x 46cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Sunday, 2006 Colour Lithograph 37 x 46cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Umlazi Section B, KZN, 2006 Mixed media on paper 88 x 147cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mkhozi (Sebokeng), 2006 Etching 12.1 x 19.5 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Spearville, Barberton, 2006 Mixed media on canvas 88 x 147cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Brandfort, 2006 Mixed media on paper 40 x 51cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Going To Church, 2006 Lithograph 37 x 46cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Lotto Q (Kagiso), 2006 Etching Image: 12.3 x 19.7 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mamelodi, 2006 Mixed media on paper 70 x 100cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Emhluzi, Mpumalanga, 2006 Mixed media on paper 53 x 101cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Kwa Guqa, Witbank, II, 2006 Mixed media n canvas 40 x 50cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

17th Ave Alexandra , 2006 Mixed media on paper 70 x 100cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Bhabhalazi (Daveyton), 2006 Etching 12.3 x 19.7 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Kwa Guqa, Witbank IV, 2006 Mixed media on canvas 40 x 50cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Baragwanath Bridge, 2006 Mixed media on paper 79 x 282cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mangaung, Bloemfontein, I, 2006 Mixed media on paper 40 x 51cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Church Street, Kwa Guya, I, 2006 Mixed media on canvas 50 x 60cm

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Church Street, Kwa Guqa, II , 2006 Mixed Media On Canvas Work: 50 x 60 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Shebeen (Thembisa), 2006 Etching 12.1 x 19.5 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Self-portrait, 2006 Mixed media on canvas 40 x 40cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Postman, 2006 Colour Lithograph 37 x 46cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Lotto Q (Kwa-Thema), 2006 Etching 12.3 x 19.7 cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Friends, 2005 Lithograph 37 x 46cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Emhluzi, Middelburg, 2006 Mixed media on canvas 40 x 51cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Mangaung, Bloemfontein II, 2006 Mixed media on canvas 40 x 51cm

Sam Nhlengethwa

Car Wash, 2006 Colour Lithograph Work: 37 x 46 cm

No 3D loaded yet

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.

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.