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

About

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.

  • Taking a Break

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Taking a Break, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • One Love

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    One Love, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Against the Traffic

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Against the Traffic, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • No Luck

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    No Luck, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Buddies

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Buddies, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Barb Wire

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Barb Wire, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • No Stopping

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    No Stopping, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Eish it's Heavy

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Eish it's Heavy, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Night Shift 2

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Night Shift 2, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Night Shift 1

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Night Shift 1, 2016

    Monotype

    Image: 48 x 66.5cm, Paper: 56 x 76cm

    Edition of 1

  • Headlines

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Headlines, 2016

    Collage, oil and acrylic on canvas

    40 x 220 cm

  • 27 April 1994

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    27 April 1994, 2016

    Collage, oil and acrylic on canvas

    40 x 220 cm

  • Underground

    With Marguerite Stephens

    Underground, 2016

    Woven mohair tapestry

    245 x 172 cm

    Edition of 3

  • Near the Station (Drum)

    With Marguerite Stephens

    Near the Station (Drum) , 2016

    Woven mohair tapestry

    210 x 175 cm

    Edition of 3

  • Protests

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Protests, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 380 x 280 mm / Paper size: 522 x 403 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Khalamazoo Mokone

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Khalamazoo Mokone, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 380 x 280 mm / Paper size: 522 x 403 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Forced Removal

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Forced Removal, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 380 x 280 mm / Paper size: 522 x 403 mm

    Edition of 22

  • King Kong

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    King Kong, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 380 x 280 mm / Paper size: 522 x 403 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Miriam Makeba

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Miriam Makeba, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 380 x 280 mm / Paper size: 522 x 403 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Under The Bridge

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Under The Bridge , 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Tired

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Tired, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Searching II

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Searching II, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Searching I

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Searching I, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Looking Around II

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Looking Around II, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Looking Around I

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Looking Around I, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • loaded II

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    loaded II, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Loaded I

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Loaded I, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Let's Move

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Let's Move, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • Heavy Loads

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Heavy Loads, 2016

    Lithograph

    Image size: 250 x 310 mm / Paper size: 330 x 390 mm

    Edition of 22

  • A luta Continua

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    A luta Continua , 2016

    Painted bronze

    L: 140 cm x W: 65cm x H: 75 cm + 80cm (base height)

    Edition of 6

  • Heading for Delivery

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Heading for Delivery , 2016

    Painted Bronze

    L: 60 cm x W: 50 cm x H: 140 cm + 80 cm (base)

    Edition of 6

  • 1976 Grieving Mothers II

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    1976 Grieving Mothers II, 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Farewell Comrades 1

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Farewell Comrades 1, 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Knocked Down

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Knocked Down, 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Don't move

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Don't move, 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Monitoring

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Monitoring , 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Away with Afrikaans

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Away with Afrikaans , 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Hey You

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Hey You, 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • 1976 Grieving Mothers 1

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    1976 Grieving Mothers 1, 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Departing

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Departing, 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Farewell Comrade

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Farewell Comrade, 2016

    Etching, aquitent and hand paint

    Image: 20 x 25cm Paper: 38 x 45cm

    Edition of 22

  • Mzansi Legends

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends, 2016

    24 linocut prints with hand colour wash plus 13 text letter prints, framed as triptych

    overall (in 3 frames) 2...

  • Leaders: Stephen Bantu Biko

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Leaders: Stephen Bantu Biko , 2016

    Mixed media on paper

    69 x 99cm

  • Leaders: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Leaders: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 2016

    Mixed media on paper

    69 x 99cm

  • Leaders: Robert Sobukwe

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Leaders: Robert Sobukwe , 2016

    Mixed media on paper

    69 x 99cm

  • Nocturnal Load

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Nocturnal Load, 2016

    Oil and collage on canvas

    120x 160cm

  • Shebeen Queen (Madi Curves)

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Shebeen Queen (Madi Curves), 2016

    Oil and collage on canvas

    120 x 160cm

  • Mzansi Legends: Ernest Cole

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Ernest Cole, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: John Dube

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: John Dube, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Nadine Gordimer

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Nadine Gordimer, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Helen Joseph

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Helen Joseph , 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Albert Luthuli

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Albert Luthuli, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Miriam Makeba

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Miriam Makeba, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi legends: Sol Plaatje

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi legends: Sol Plaatje, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Lilian Ngoyi

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Lilian Ngoyi, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Beyers Naude

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Beyers Naude, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Ruth Mompati

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Ruth Mompati, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi legends: Chris McGregor

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi legends: Chris McGregor, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Govan Mbeki

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Govan Mbeki, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Todd Matshikiza

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Todd Matshikiza, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Bill Ainslie

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Bill Ainslie , 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends:  Dumile Feni

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Dumile Feni, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Gerard Sekoto

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Gerard Sekoto, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm / 38 x 30cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Walter Sisulu

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Walter Sisulu, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm / 38 x 30cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Robert Sobukwe

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Robert Sobukwe, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm / 38 x 30cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Enoch Sontonga

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Enoch Sontonga, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm / 38 x 30cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Helen Suzman

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Helen Suzman, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm / 38 x 30cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Oliver Tambo

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Oliver Tambo, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm / 38 x 30cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Jim Bailey

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Jim Bailey, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    30 x 38cm / 38 x 30cm

    Edition of 24

  • Mzansi Legends: Madiba

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Mzansi Legends: Madiba, 2016

    Linoprint and hand wash

    38 x 30cm

    Edition of 24

  • Let Us Pray

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Let Us Pray, 2007

    Collage, oil and acrylic on canvas

    124 x 220 cm (each panel: 124 x 110 cm)

  • 3 sculpture maquettes

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    3 sculpture maquettes, 2016

    wood, paper, string, fabric and found objects

    29 x 56 x 56 cm (variable)

  • Sketch for Heading for Delivery

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Sketch for Heading for Delivery, 2016

    charcoal on paper

    30 x 22 cm

  • Sketch for A luta Continua

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Sketch for A luta Continua, 2016

    charcoal on paper

    22 x 30 cm

  • Sketch for Rushing

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Sketch for Rushing, 2016

    charcoal on paper

    22 x 30 cm

  • Wake Up!

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Wake Up!, 2016

    sculpture installation: wood, metal, found objects

    155 x 139 x 93.5 cm

  • Long Walk to Freedom

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Long Walk to Freedom, 2016

    6 part oil on canvas

  • Installation picture [Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016]
  • Installation picture [Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016]
  • Installation picture [Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016]
  • Installation picture [Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016]
  • Installation picture [Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016]
  • Installation picture [Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016]
  • Installation picture [Sam Nhlengethwa / The Past and the Present ... Now is the Time / 2016]