Dates & Events

02.09.2008 -
William Kentridge Prints
William Kentridge Prints
February 9 – April 27, 2008 and June 21 – August 24, 2008
and History of the Main Complaint, 1996
February 2–April 27, 2008

Williamstown, MA—The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) presents William Kentridge Prints, the first of a two-part exhibition, which features 120 works by this pioneering South-African artist. WCMA will also be showing Kentridge's film History of the Main Complaint, 1996, in the museum's media field gallery. Okwui Enwezor, Dean of Academic Affairs at San Francisco Art Institute and Adjunct Curator at International Center of Photography, New York, will give a lecture entitled "(Un) Civil Engineering: William Kentridge's Allegorical Landscapes" on Saturday, April 12 at 2:00 pm in Brooks -Rogers Recital Hall at Williams College. This is a free public program and all are invited to attend.

William Kentridge Prints represents over a third of the out put in the medium of printmaking for Kentridge, who works in the tradition of socially and politically engaged artists such as William Hogarth, Francisco Goya, Honore Daumier, and Kathe Kollwitz. Kentridge's work reflects on the human condition, specifically the history of apartheid in his own country and the ways in which our personal and collective histories are intertwined. The work in this exhibition ranges from 1976 to 2004 and includes aquatint, drypoint, engraving, etching, monoprint, linocut, lithograph, and silkscreen techniques, often in combinations. Kentridge's prints are rich in layering and restricted to black and white, with color accents added to selected images. The results are works that are powerful in the stark contrast of image to background in woodcuts and lithographs and subtle in linear and atmosphere with etching or monotypes.

“William Kentridge is one of the most innovative artists practicing today. His engagement with the profound political changes of his country have inspired a new generation of artists,” says Director Lisa Corrin.

History of the Main Complaint, 1996, a key animated film in Kentridge's oeuvre, will also be on view at WCMA this spring. His animated films are composed from his charcoal and pastel drawings, which he vigorously reworks, leaving traces of erasure and redrawing. Each stage is filmed and then animated. Traces of what has been erased are still visible to the viewer and as the films unfold a sense of fading memory or the passing of time. Through this process, Kentridge constructs moral allegories that explore themes of love and betrayal, oppression and violence, death and regeneration.

William Kentridge Prints was organized by Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa.

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