Sun, 3rd Mar 2019 12:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

  Lot 38
Lot 38 - Sam Nhlengethwa (South Africa 1955-)


Sam Nhlengethwa (South Africa 1955-)
Homage to Myself

oil and collage on canvas

Artwork date: 2017
Signature details: signed and dated; signed, dated and inscribed with the title on the reverse

Estimated at R220,000 - R280,000

Condition Report


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oil and collage on canvas

Artwork date: 2017
Signature details: signed and dated; signed, dated and inscribed with the title on the reverse


155 x 175 cm


In his Tribute Series, Sam Nhlengethwa works with carefully selected images from public media such as magazines and posters. These found images are appropriated, reproduced, cut up, and fragmented to create new images, relationships and meanings, combining printed material with photography, drawing and painting.The series pays homage to significant creatives – visual artists and jazz musicians – who influenced and inspired Nhlengethwa. Impelled by people and their spaces, he recreates the works of his favourite artists and places them in a constructed environment, an imagined space, giving the viewer a new context in which to experience the works. By recreating works of other artists, he challenges the concept of authorship and the limits of representation.

The environments in which the artworks are placed are contemporary interiors, suffused with a clean, minimalist aesthetic, characteristic of the artist's dapper personal style. The spaces are void of people with the artworks providing the only figurative suggestion. Nhlengethwa talks about a sense of loneliness that artists encounter when working in their studios for long periods, isolated from family and friends. This sense of quiet and solitariness is poignantly reflected in the emptiness of the interiors he conjures, creating a soothing environment with a calming atmosphere.Featured artists include South African greats such as Gerard Sekoto, Dumile Feni, William Kentridge and Marlene Dumas, amongst others, while international influences like Romare Bearden and Henri Matisse also occupy the series. Having started the project in 2008, the third and final Tributes exhibition was held at Goodman Gallery in 2014. At the end of the long period of creative output, Nhlengethwa returns the gaze onto himself and, in Homage to Myself, creates a final tribute to his own significant legacy.

Ruarc Peffers

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Sun, 3rd Mar 2019

Aspire Art Auctions set a new bar for the market in its Autumn 19 Auction in Cape Town, with a South African auction record for its cover lot.

An early work, by international star Marlene Dumas, Love Lost (1973/4) achieved R7 283 200, more than doubling its pre-sale estimate of R3 000 000. Further successful sales included a range of paintings by Alexis Preller from across his career, and new world records for work by Jane Alexander, Simphiwe Ndzube, and Moshekwa Langa. These results further establish Aspire’s growing reputation as the discerning auction house for handling contemporary South African art.  

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