b. 1955, South Africa. The Fire Place, 2020. Mixed media on canvas. 130 x 110 cm Dark Grey Wall II, 2020. Collage on canvas. 100.5 x 90.5 x 10 cm Courtesy of Goodman Gallery.

Sam Nhlengethwa’s two painting-collages are emblematic of his rich oeuvre that depicts the South Afrian experience. The vibrant colours of the paintings contrast the muted hues of the overall space, signaling how jazz pivotally and vibrantly influenced the artist’s life. Derived from his belief that jazz emphasises interpretation over composition, The Fire Place and Dark Grey Wall II reflect the artist’s desire to synchronize the freedom found in the genre. By thoughtfully placing jazz artists in his personal space, Sam pays homage to the long and significant presence of the genre in his life and career.

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