Sam Nhlengethwa

—click on any image to enlarge—


Sam Nhlengethwa has worked on a number of prints of goats, these are the second series of goat images that he has done at The Artists’ Press. The goats are drawn so as to reduce them to almost abstract forms. Goats provide metaphors for a number of human traits and Nhlengethwa plays with these in the titles that he has chosen and in the different ways in which he depicts the goats. In South Africa, goats are culturally and economically significant. Goats are a hardy and adaptable stock animals, surviving in both rural and urban areas. They provide nutrition as well as being used in a number of traditional ceremonies from welcoming a bride to communicating with one’s ancestors.

Sam Nhlengethwa is one of South Africa’s foremost artists. Born in 1955, he studied at Rorke’s Drift and the Johannesburg Art Foundation. He was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award in 1994, the year South Africa held its first democratic elections and freedom was won for all its people. He has successfully exhibited all over the world from Senegal to New York and Cologne. His work is largely figurative and he explores themes that are close to his heart such as the plight of mineworkers, jazz and the physical space of contemporary Africa. In his prints and paintings, Sam Nhlengethwa uses overlays of techniques such as collage painting, drawing and photography. His fine sense of colour and form lend an abstract quality to his work. His work has been included in many contemporary South African art publications and can be found in leading South African and international collections.

Nhlengethwa has worked with The Artists Press since its inception in 1991. Mark Attwood and Sam Nhlengethwa were two of the initial group to establish the Bag Factory, also known as The Fordsburg Artists Studios, which is where they started to collaborate together on prints. Over the years The Artists’ Press has published 161 editions by Nhlengethwa, 65 of which are sold out.

This entry was posted in Visual Art and tagged , by Posit Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.

1 thought on “Sam Nhlengethwa

  1. Pingback: Editors’ Notes (Posit 18) | Posit

Comments are closed.