William Kentridge ’27 Years of collaboration’ feature: Universal Archive (Peonies), 2012

Universal Archive (Peonies) (ed. of 40), 2012. Linocut with Hand-Painting. Published by David Krut.
Image size: 83 cm x 83 cm. Paper size: 98 x 98 cm.

This work also forms part of the Universal Archive series of linocuts. The traditional still life image of flowers in a vase reverberates throughout Western art history, from the Impressionists to the present. This image recalls most specifically the 1882 painting by Edouard Manet of flowers in an oblong crystal vase. Flower-centric still life images function in Kentridge’s oeuvre like breathing space – a relatively benign image that becomes the platform for experimentation with medium, substrate, connotative content, or simply a moment in which to rest.