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William Kentridge: Universal Archive on view at the Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University
William Kentridge, Ref 2, 2012, from Universal Archive series, linocut printed on non-archival pages from The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Image courtesy of Gund Gallery, Kenyon College and David Krut Projects, Johannesburg/New York.

HAMILTON, NY.- The Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University announces the opening of its new exhibition, William Kentridge: Universal Archive, on January 21, 2016. This exhibition features more than seventy-five linocut prints by renowned South African artist William Kentridge. Drawn from the artist’s Universal Archive series (begun in 2012), works on display are based on an earlier set of ink drawings and explore recurring themes in Kentridge’s art and stage productions: coffee pots, typewriters, trees, birds, and nude figures. Juxtaposing text and image as well as figuration and abstraction, Universal Archive illustrates the artist’s creative process and experimentation across media.

The Picker’s presentation also includes two sculptures entitled Nose II (Walking) by Kentridge as well as a video recording of his Norton Lectures, Six Drawing Lessons, delivered at Harvard University in 2012. In addition, two documentary films, Drawing the Passing and The End of the Beginning, are on view. The exhibition runs through May 15, 2016, and is free and open to the public.

William Kentridge: Universal Archive is organized for tour by the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College.

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1955. He attended the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1973–76) and the Johannesburg Art Foundation (1976–78) and studied mime and theater at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris (1981–82). Having witnessed first-hand one of the twentieth century’s most contentious struggles—the dissolution of apartheid—Kentridge brings the ambiguity and subtlety of personal experience to public subjects that are most often framed in narrowly defined terms. Using film, drawing, sculpture, animation, and performance, he transmutes sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. In a now-signature technique, Kentridge photographs his charcoal drawings and paper collages over time, recording scenes as they evolve. Working without a script or storyboard, he plots out each animated film, preserving every addition and erasure. Aware of myriad ways in which we construct the world by looking, Kentridge uses stereoscopic viewers and creates optical illusions with anamorphic projection to extend his drawings-in-time into three dimensions.

Kentridge has had major exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008), Moderna Museet, Stockholm, (2007), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2004), among other venues. He has also participated in Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008), the Sydney Biennale (1996 and 2008), and Documenta (1997 and 2002). His opera and theater works, often produced in collaboration with Handspring Puppet Company, have appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (2007), the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa (1992, 1996, and 1998); and Festival d’Avignon, France (1995 and 1996). His production of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera The Nose premiered in 2010 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in conjunction with a retrospective organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. William Kentridge lives and works in Johannesburg.

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