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Cinga Samson opens at the Norval Foundation

by | Dec 14, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Paintings of figures and subjects that are often mysterious

The Cinga Samson exhibition, Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo, opened at the Norval Foundation – a selection of twenty works of the artist that showcase the Cape Town- based painter’s mastery of the medium.

Titled Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo in isiXhosa, the artist’s native language, the exhibition title translates to “If you come close, I will push you into the river…”, serving as an invitation by way of a taunt and a light goading to step into Samson’s painterly world.

The importance of Samson’s painterly practice lies in his creation of a singularly unique visual language based on the vernacular of his native South Africa. Scenes of ritual-like activity are swathed within questions about life and the self. His subjects are set against the backdrop of conventional motifs of landscape painting and everyday elements of life in South Africa including flora, fauna, and views of mountains in the background.

The large-scale landscapes hint at the ritual-like activities that dominate his cultural and social landscape. Imagery of strelitzias and red canna flowers are often portrayed interlaced in the hands of Samson’s subjects. These innocuous motifs can be seen as lifted from classical notions of painting and the composition of still lives, and which are given new meaning by Samson through their inclusion and placement in his work. Some still-life paintings on display have been composed as if photographic pictures made with a wide camera lens; the still life by Samson has been modernised, and therein lies the first of many surprises.

Paintings of figures and subjects that are often mysterious, whether it be his small-sized portraits of a close-up of a subject or larger works of multiple figures, are placed in dark settings and suggest an otherworldly place.

”Samson’s work has been gaining critical recognition both regionally and internationally in recent years as he engages with today’s global conversation about painting. Samson’s work has a style uniquely his own. Norval Foundation’s decision to have a solo exhibition of his work is due to our commitment to showcasing Africa’s best contemporary artists working today. We are very proud to show a local artist who is not only a world-class artist but who is internationally recognised as such. “ says Heba El Kayal, Chief Curatorial Consultant at Norval Foundation.

The exhibition forms part of the Norval Foundation’s ongoing mission and work to support and promote African artists and artists from the African diaspora. The museum has exhibitions that change annually, and has showed artworks that have represented a multitude of mediums since its inception in 2018.

WHAT: Cinga Samson: Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo
WHERE: Norval Foundation – Gallery 1, 4 Steenberg Road, Tokai, Cape Town
WHEN: 13 December 2023 – 01 September 2024
INFO: T 087 654 5900 | E   | VISIT  | Instagram @norvalfoundation | Facebook NorvalFoundation | LinkedIn NorvalFoundation
PHOTO: Cinga Samson. Lord Forgive Me For My Sins ‘Cause Here I Come III, 2015, oil on canvas, 1500x 1200cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Norval Foundation [27]

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Cinga SamsonNorval Foundation

Born in 1986 in the Western Cape, Samson studied painting and photography, the latter of which he credits with his understanding and approach to composition. Samson’s solo and group exhibitions have been recognised and showcased internationally, at a number of established galleries and institutions. Previous solo exhibitions include White Cube Gallery, London, (2023); FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2021); Perrotin Gallery, New York (2020); and blank projects, Cape Town
(2015,2016,2017,2019). He has been in multiple group exhibitions including ‘Mapping Black Identities’ at the Minneapolis Institute of art in 2020, ‘Kubatana’, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Øvre Eiker (2019); and ‘Hacer Noche’, Centro Cultural Santo Domingo, Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico (2018). This exhibition represents his first solo exhibition in an art museum, in his native Cape Town.
Reflecting on the exhibition, artist Cinga Samson commented; “It’s wonderful to see how Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo has come about. It’s such a delight to see my works, from different parts of the world, return to South Africa just for this exhibition. I’m excited for people to witness this moment, especially for the next nine months. Norval Foundation has been a friend, a great supporter of my work, and an extraordinary champion of contemporary art on this continent. So to have an exhibition here, which reflects my artistic concerns, is absolutely marvellous. ”



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