In 2004, David Krut Publishing published TAXI-010 Deborah Bell, the first ever monograph on the acclaimed South African sculptor, printmaker and artist Deborah Bell and her body of work. In the run-up the book’s publication, Bell had started to collaborate with newly established David Krut Workshop (DKW) on various etchings.
Before that Bell had already collaborated with David Krut, beginning in 1998. Krut published some of the prints she had created with various print workshops. 2004 saw not only the publication of her TAXI Art Book but also the work on the Ulysses series at DKW. In the following years, she continued work with printers from DKW on various print projects.
It was only in 2009 and in 2010 that Bell had her first solo exhibitions with David Krut Projects (DKP), titled Collaborations I and Collaborations II. The latter was accompanied by Alchemy, a book publication by DK Publishing, which dealt with her printmaking collaborations, which was then transformed into an exhibition at DKP Cape Town.
In 2015, DKP Johannesburg presented Renunciation, a solo exhibition focused on the artist as a printmaker, further cementing her collaborative nature.
In 2017, her first solo exhibition at DKP Cape Town, Uncovering Ancient Memory – 15 years of Etching, showcased the evolution of Bell’s etching career with DKW.
In the following year, major new prints, which were created in collaboration with DKW and Master Printers Jill Ross and Phil Sanders, were part of Invocations to the Plate at DKP Johannesburg. This solo exhibition was accompanied by a book of the same name which described in detail the making process of the various artworks displayed in the exhibition.
She has also been part of various group exhibitions at DKP and been the focus of the fifth episode of the Artist Series at David Krut Podcast.
Bell (*1957) is a leading painter, sculptor and printmaker in South Africa. Besides working with DKW, she has worked with Jack Shirreff from 107 Workshop in the UK. Bell’s collaborations with artists Robert Hodgins and William Kentridge on different projects in a range of media and themes form a central part of her oeuvre. The unique relationships that were forged with these collaborations had further significant influence on the individual works of each artist to follow. With the passing of Robert Hodgins, Bell created Cry me a River (2010).
She is mostly concerned with worlds in between: the realm between “mortality and immortality, matter and spirit, presence and absence, the quotidian and the mythic, the grounded and transcendent.”
She is the winner of multiple awards and her works lie in numerous collections, including: Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian Institute, both Washington, D.C..