This limited offer consists of Kemang Wa Lehulere’s Unknown Poem and Sam Nhlengethwa’s John Coltrane. Music is a pervasive influence on both of these prints. Sam Nhlengethwa’s John Coltrane is a portrait of the American jazz saxophonist during his work on Miles Davis’s beloved 1959 album ‘Kind of Blue’. The lithograph is a tribute both to Coltrane’s performance and to the enduring influence of jazz on Nhlengethwa’s work.
The presence of music manifests itself in a slightly more abstracted sense in Kemang Wa Lehulere’s work but is no less prevalent. Included amongst the iconography of ‘Unknown Poem’ are the beginnings of a sheet music transcription in 3/4 time signature (also known as ‘waltz time’), which serve to prescribe a sense of rhythm to the print. Music stands, piano hammers, and references to the extraordinary South African jazz musician Feya Faku have been recurring signifiers in Wa Lehulere’s body of work.
Kemang Wa Lehulere, Unknown Poem
Aquatint on Zerkall 250gsm
Size: 50.5 × 66 cm
Edition of 60
Kemang Wa Lehulere (b. 1984), is based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Kemang Wa Lehulere’s work is concerned with the intersection between personal biography and collective history, often rendered in materials that have open association to networks of ideas. This print Unknown Poem reveals some of Wa Lehulere’s recurring themes music, pencils and a poetic sense of tragedy.
Made with Zhané Warren of Warren Editions, this print is the result of multiple experiments and iterations in the print studio. The print is an aquatint, which has a similar look to chalk on black board while allowing for new kinds of mark-making.
Sam Nhlengethwa, John Coltrane
Two-colour chine collé lithographic print
Image: 23.5 x 33 cm, Paper: 36.5 x 46 cm
Edition of 60
Sam Nhlengethwa (b. 1955) is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nhlengethwa has had many solo exhibitions at the Goodman Gallery, as well as several two-person shows. His work is represented in major public and corporate art collections in South Africa and abroad.
This lithographic print of John Coltrane was inspired by the jazz album Kind of Blue released in 1959. In a 2010 artist statement for his solo show of the same name at Goodman Gallery, Nhlengethwa wrote: ‘In my studio in downtown Johannesburg, a week never passes without me listening to Kind of Blue. I actually have three copies, two CDs – one for my car, the other for my studio and a vinyl for my collection.’
Once seen as one of South Africa’s leading resistance artists, Nhlengethwa has grown and adjusted the style and content of his works to explore other themes such as music, specifically jazz, and the mechanics of everyday living. This is a one run hand-printed lithograph, drawn by Sam Nhlengethwa using india ink and litho pencils and made in collaboration with Mark Attwood, and printed by The Artists’ Press.