The David Krut Workshop (DKW) is the centre of David Krut Project’s (DKP) artistic collaborations. The workshop based at Arts on Main in the Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg, has been involved in exciting print collaborations with artists since 2002.
The studio has been under the skilful hand of Master Printer and Workshop Manager, Jillian Ross, since 2004. DKW specialises in the techniques of intaglio, relief and monotype printing. The workshop’s focus is that, from conception, each collaboration becomes an opportunity for the artist to create something new and adds to their entire body of work. The workshop’s commitment to challenging technique as well as aesthetic form, is another core philosophy.
Artist collaborations: William Kentridge, Deborah Bell, Stephen Hobbs, Maja Maljević, Mongezi Ncaphayi, Senzo Shabangu, Diane Victor amongst others.
In early 2016 William Kentridge was at work on a monumental frieze to be installed along the banks of Rome’s Tiber River in April of the same year. The 550 meter work would be stencilled onto the wall of the river from Ponte Sisto to Ponte Mazzini. It would be called Triumphs and Laments and would consist of scenes from the cultural and political history of Rome from drawings that Kentridge had been preparing in his studio in Johannesburg for a number of years.
In January 2016 Kentridge also began discussions with a long-time collaborator, Master Printer Jillian Ross of David Krut Workshop (DKW), about using these drawings as the basis for a series of large woodcut prints. Ross and her assistants Sbongiseni Khulu and Chad Cordeiro began extensive tests on a grouping of three figures from the frieze as this would be their first woodcut project with Kentridge. Over the course of the year, the printing team worked on creating and editioning the first two woodcuts in the series, 'Mantegna' and 'The Flood'. February 2017 saw the completion of the third woodcut, 'Lampedusa', and the fourth image, 'That which we do not remember' was completed in October 2017. Work began on the next two images simultaneously in October 2018. This is the first work in the series created in two parts. Kentridge’s reference images for this entire series were drawn from moments in Roman history and interleaved and overlaid with current world events. The image chosen for 'Mantegna' is based on a group of nine paintings by Andrea Mantegna in 1484 and entitled 'Triumphs of Caesar'; 'The Flood' is based upon a photograph of Romans seeking refuge from the devastating flood that ravaged Rome in 1937; 'Lampedusa' was from a photograph taken in 2013 of a group of widows who had lost their husbands in a shipwreck off the island of Lampedusa; and lastly, 'That which I do not remember' is a black mass that as Kentridge states is not only “about a personal loss of memory, [but also] about the things that society wants us to forget, a sort of ‘fill in what you want’ for what we do not want to remember.”
'Refugees' is adapted from a scene showing the forgiveness of debts from the Plutei of Trajan (first half of the second century CE, marble, Curia Julia) in Rome as well as influenced by a 2012 newspaper photograph of migrants from Rwanda. The focus here has been placed on the large loads that they carry; ‘they’ could be seen in any number of photographs and could represent migrants from any number of countries.
Each print comes unassembled with the following contents included:
a black linen portfolio box that houses:
an instructions manual
a booklet on the making of each artwork
the number of prints found in the finished work
the number of aluminum pins found in the finished work
two acetate sheets with registration notes (life size)
Triumphs and Laments Woodcuts Published by David Krut
Printed at David Krut Workshop (DKW)
Printers: Master Printer Jillian Ross, Sbongiseni Khulu, Chad Cordeiro and assistant Sarah Hunkin
Production Assistants: Pebofatso Mokoena, Diego Silands and Lisa Cloete, (carving); Alan Epstein (carpentry); Roxy Kaczmarek (post-production)