William Kentridge Prints

William Kentridge, Blue Head, 1993-98
Apr 07, 2006 - Jul 16, 2006
Voorhees Gallery

William Kentridge Prints is an exhibition of 120 works, ranging in date from 1976 to 2004 and representing over a third of the output in the medium of printmaking by this internationally renowned South African artist.

Kentridge may be viewed as a contemporary participant in a long tradition of socially and politically engaged printmakers, such as William Hogarth, Francisco Goya, Honoré Daumier, and Kathe Kollwitz. In Kentridge’s case, his social concerns were impelled by his reaction to the institutional oppression of apartheid that held sway in his native land for much of his lifetime. His personal involvement with this theme arose not only from his general societal context, but specifically from his immediate family, which included several prominent lawyers committed to social justice and active against the system of apartheid.

The artist’s inventive imagery, almost always based around the human figure, offers intriguing and sometimes oblique commentary on the human condition and human folly. The vast majority of Kentridge’s prints are restricted to black and white, with color accents added to certain images. This choice results in works that are alternately exceedingly powerful in the stark contrast of image to background in woodcuts and lithographs, or subtle in employing the linear and atmospheric effects of etching or monotype. 

William Kentridge
Blue Head, 1993-98
Etching and aquatint
Collection of the artist