Cinga Samson - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session New York Thursday, November 18, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Executed in 2016, Hliso Street II belongs to Cinga Samson’s compelling five-part series of the same name and is a stunning example of the surreal mystery and absorbing narrative power that defines his portraits. Incorporating elements taken from his upbringing in rural South Africa and his studies of art historical precedents, the self-taught artist explores masculinity, community, spirituality, and the tensions between tradition and modernity. A tribute to his late mother, the works in the Hliso Street series are united by recurring accents of gold, ethereal floating flowers, and cut stems held by a solitary figure possessing the milky opalescence that distinguish his recent self-portraits. A haunting example among the five Hliso Street paintings, Hliso Street II connects Samson’s earlier vanitas and still-life paintings with the dominant motifs of his more recent Safari Fantasy and Ivory series.


    Andrew Wyeth, Grape Wine, 1966. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2021 Andrew Wyeth / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


    Looking to the work of Egon Schiele and Andrew Wyeth, among others, Samson typically uses himself or his brother as model in his lush, figurative paintings. Staging his settings with found décor to situate his work in foreign and mysterious environments, these portraits fuse themes of spirituality and superstition drawn from his upbringing in the South African village of Ethembeni with those of aspiration and identity. While Samson has noted the deep influence of Western artists on his work, including Alberto Giacometti, Paul Gauguin, Francis Bacon, and Louise Bourgeois, what ultimately foregrounds his practice is preserving the dignity of his heritage. As he cheekily expressed, “It’s that Serena Williams excellence, which, if you deny it, you know you’re just evil.”1


    1 Meara Sharma, “An Artist Who Doesn’t Want to Feed Western Fantasies About Africa,” The New York Times Style Magazine, February 21, 2020, online.

    • Provenance

      blank projects, Cape Town
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Hliso Street II

signed and dated "CINGA SAMSON 2016" on the reverse
oil on canvas
31 5/8 x 23 7/8 in. (80.3 x 60.6 cm)
Painted in 2016.

Full Cataloguing

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $283,500

Contact Specialist

Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session, New York
1 212 940 1250

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session

New York Auction 18 November 2021