A Universal Archive: William Kentridge as Printmaker, a Hayward Touring exhibition which opened at QUAD
in Derby, is the first UK exhibition to focus solely on the internationally renowned South African artists prints. This major exhibition includes 100 prints in all media dating from 1988 to the present, ranging in scale from intimate etchings and drypoints to linocuts measuring 2.5 metres high. New works from Kentridges ongoing series Universal Archive, including Cat Assemblage (2012) and 12 Coffee Pots (2012), are being shown in Britain for the first time. With a stress on experimental and serial works, this exhibition highlights Kentridges distinctive use of light and shadow and silhouettes, his concern with memory and perspective, and his absorption in literary texts.
Highlights of the exhibition include Art in a State of Hope and Art in a State of Siege (both 1988) early silkscreens which mark Kentridges transition from designing posters for political protests and theatre productions into fine art printmaking; Living Language (1999), a series of experimental drypoint prints on vinyl 33rpm LPs; Telephone Lady and Walking Man (both 2000), two surreal life-sized figures in linocut; Portage (2000), an accordion-folded book spanning 4 metres, with silhouetted figures collaged onto pages of the French encyclopedia Le Nouveau Larousse Illustré.; Nose (2007-2010), a series of thirty smallscale prints inspired by the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogols story The Nose.
Acclaimed for his animated films, drawings, theatre and opera productions, Kentridge studied etching at the Johannesburg Art Foundation, and printmaking has remained central to his practice ever since. In the past two and a half decades he has produced more than 400 prints, including etchings, engravings, aquatints, silkscreens, linocuts and lithographs; often experimenting with challenging formats and a combination of techniques.
A Universal Archive: William Kentridge as Printmaker, a Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre opened at QUAD on 15 June and runs until 18 August 2013
The exhibition is part of QUADs season of Memory, which includes exhibition events and a film season. The exhibition is free to visit.