Sam Nhlengethwa

“Throughout the years, all my pieces have dealt with the movement of people. I enjoy paying homage to people and places through my art”. – Sam Nhlengethwa

Sam Nhlengethwa a south African artist, born in 1955, studied both at Rorke’s Drift and the Johannesburg Art Foundation. He is a full time artist living and working in South Africa.

Nhlengethwa won the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award in 1994 and has exhibited locally and internationally.

Primarily a print maker and painter, Nhlengethwa’s work explores themes in a figurative sense using techniques of collage, painting, drawing and photography.

Nhlengethwa produced a series of prints with Artists’s Press – In the tributes prints, he pays homage to some of his visual art contemporaries and others who have paved the way for South African art. He salutes and honours Ephraim Ngatane, David Goldblatt, Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden, Jean Michel Basquiat, Cecil Skotnes, Helen Sebidi, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Deborah Bell, Dumile Feni, William Kentridge, Judith Mason, Marlene Dumas, Peter Clark, David Koloane, George Pemba, Dumisani Mabaso, Esta Mahlangu, Robert Hodgins and Gerard Sekoto. Most of these artists are South African and all of them have secured their place on the local and international art scene. By recreating the works of his contemporaries and role models and then placing them within a represented or imagined gallery space Nhlengethwa provides a new context in which to experience the work of these celebrated artists. The artist’s work has been paired up with contemporary interiors and furniture that emphasise Sam Nhlengethwa’s understanding of the “mental space” of that particular artist, and are then pulled together using Nhlengethwa’s own distinctive style.

Image credit: Art Africa Magazine