Sam Nhlengethwa / Waiting / 2018

About

Goodman Gallery Cape Town
11 November – 8 December 2018

Waiting is an exhibition of new work by Sam Nhlengethwa exploring the myriad ways in which we find ourselves occupied by this state of being.

What are we waiting for? In certain works, the answer appears self-evident: an empty stage of instruments on stands overlooking a packed audience, a person loitering beside a pole, a group of commuters on the side of the road. But upon closer inspection of these quotidian scenes, more questions arise. Who is doing the waiting? What qualities do these people share?

For Nhlengethwa this theme emerges from universal experience. ‘We all see people waiting and sometimes we become victims of waiting,’ says Nhlengethwa. By depicting these scenarios through the rich figurative mediums of lithographic prints, mixed media collage and tapestry, Nhlengethwa vividly draws our attention to this distinction, making us acutely aware of the stories of waiting experienced in the everyday lives of South Africans. And through his ongoing depiction of mineworkers, also reflecting the harsh lived realities more hidden from view.

As one of South Africa’s preeminent artists, Nhlengethwa has established himself by conveying this sort of nuance through his work. Over his several-decade career he has employed a signature style of collage that brings together archival material and painting to tackle subjects ranging from cityscapes to jazz musicians, artists and political figures.

This latter subject matter features on Waiting in the form of a collaged sepia photo of a young Winnie Madikizela-Mandela seated in a brightly painted living room. ‘When black and white creeps into the paintings it recalls the past. It is a form of worlds colliding,’ says Nhlengethwa. By incorporating this poignant historic reference into this exhibition, Nhlengethwa reminds us that our past needs to be constantly reevaluated. In this sense we are all waiting for our present history to unfold.

  • Waiting inside

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Waiting inside, 2018

    Mixed media on canvas

    Work: 80 x 90 cm

  • Waiting outside

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Waiting outside, 2018

    Mixed media on canvas

    Work: 80 x 90 cm

  • Waiting for a friend I

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Waiting for a friend I, 2018

    Mixed media on canvas

    Work: 80 x 90 cm

  • Definitely Waiting for Someone

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Definitely Waiting for Someone, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 90 x 80 cm

  • Waiting for the Bride

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Waiting for the Bride, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 90 x 80 cm

  • Phalaborwa Six

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Phalaborwa Six, 2018

    Oil on canvas

    Work: 120 x 180 cm

  • Waiting for the Jazz band

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Waiting for the Jazz band, 2018

    MIxed media on canvas

    Work: 140 x 200 cm

  • ...to be rescued I

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    ...to be rescued I, 2018

    Mixed media on canvas

    Work: 100 x 140 x 10 cm

  • Madiba waiting for his freedom

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Madiba waiting for his freedom, 2018

    Mixed media on canvas

    Work: 80 x 90 cm

  • ...to be rescued II

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    ...to be rescued II, 2018

    Mixed media on canvas

    Work: 100 x 140 x 10 cm

  • Home Affairs

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Home Affairs, 2018

    Mixed Media on paper

    Work: 80 x 121 cm

  • Evening queue

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    Evening queue, 2018

    Mixed media on paper

    Work: 80 x 121 cm

  • They are waiting

    Sam Nhlengethwa

    They are waiting, 2018

    Mixed media on canvas

    Work: 80 x 70 cm

  • Installation picture [Sam Nhlengethwa / Waiting / 2018]