VIVIANEART is proud to present a print exhibition of works by Internationally acclaimed South African artist, William Kentridge. The result of a collaboration between VIVIANEART, Jillian Ross Print and David Krut Workshop, this project brings Kentridge’s exceptional print works into our Calgary gallery. Kentridge considers printmaking of particular importance in his art making practice. Having been a printmaker first, he uses the processes unique to the medium to think through and develop ideas for future drawings, films, and theatre productions. Working with long-time collaborator and Master Printer, Jillian Ross, he focuses on continued experimentation with different artistic approaches and content.
Watch gallery owner + founder, Viviane Mehr, in conversation with master printer, Jillian Ross, here.
William Kentridge is one of the world’s most prolific and well recognized living artists. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kentridge witnessed the ramifications of both the reign and dissolution of the oppressive Apartheid regime. These experiences continue to influence his politically and socially critical practice.
In 2016 the artist created an ephemeral installation along the walls of the Tiber River in Rome, a procession of images twelve meters in height created using a process of reverse graffiti. The installation’s title, The Triumphs and Laments of Rome, references the reality that one person’s triumph is often another’s lament.
The installation in turn inspired a series of 6 large woodcut prints. The cornerstone piece in the exhibition at VIVIANEART is Lampedusa, the third print in the Triumphs and Laments Woodcuts series. The woodcut is pinned from 28 relief prints made from 12 hand carved woodblocks. Lampedusa was inspired by an image of a group of Eritrean widows weeping for a shipwreck off the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa. The vessel had been carrying more than 500 refugees from Eritrea, Somalia and Ghana. This woodcut centres on a single figure seen from the back, bent forward in grief.
The exhibition will also include 5 prints from Kentridge’s series, L’Inesorabile Avanzata, 2007, made using drypoint, engraving and sugarlift aquatint, alongside his most recent print works, a set of 6 prints in his Studio Life series, 2021 and Eight Vessels, 2021, all made using photogravure, a printmaking technique that softens the contrast between white and black, in effect softening the print.
Kentridge’s work has been exhibited widely in major institutions including the Tate Modern, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, to name a select few. He has represented South Africa in a number of international biennales and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and prizes. He lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Watch a virtual conversation with gallery owner + founder, Viviane Mehr, master printer, Jillian Ross, and artist and printmaker, Sbongiseni Khulu here.
VivianeArt would like to thank David Krut Projects, David Krut Workshop, the Kentridge Studio, and Jillian Ross Print for the use of their images.