Text by Annabel Williams, 4 February 2020
Maja Maljević is no stranger to the David Krut collective, initiating the partnership with David Krut Workshop in 2007 and subsequently participating in multiple projects and solo exhibitions in Johannesburg, Cape Town and New York. Maljević’s work is wholly abstract, incorporating graphic blocks, drippings and swirls of colour amongst both free-formed and structural lines. Maljević’s compositions reflect the motives behind her work – her intuitive nature, the notion of ‘appearing in the moment’, and the very physicality of her craft.
Recently, I joined Gallery Director Amé Bell at an introductory meeting at the David Krut Workshop (DKW) to discuss the creation of editions from Maljević’s latest project with Master Printer Jillian Ross and her team, Kim-Lee Loggenberg, Roxy Kaczmerek and Sbongiseni Khulu. Through this, I was able to grasp one of the fundamental bases of the art world: collaboration. The conception of Maljević’s editions involves the careful choosing of various technical and stylistic elements from a number of the artists’ previous bodies of work, specifically from Document for the People and Winter Files, to form the basis of the composition of her new editions.
For Maljević’s upcoming editions, she will design and make the original image for printing, which goes on to be manually recreated by Jillian and her team as an editioned work. This development in printmaking – allowing the production of more than one impression of an artist’s image – functions not only extend the reach of an artist’s work to a larger audience, thereby strengthening their collector base, but also facilitates a special relationship between the artist and the printmaking technicians. The expertise of the printmakers at DKW, working closely with Maljević as the premier, ensures the maintenance of her artistic intention while indulging in their own craft and, in many ways, leaving their own mark on each piece. This emphasises the trust each actor in this process has with one another that, essentially, defines an artwork, and what defines David Krut Projects. The interconnectedness of the art-making process, the production, reproduction and distribution of it, is a powerful thing to understand. Witnessing the behind-the-scenes of Maja Maljević’s editions epitomised just that.
Maja’s anticipated editioned work, which will be a collection of prints inspired by her two previous bodies of work, Document for the People and Winter Files, will be showcased at the RMB Turbine Art Fair 2020, which runs from Thursday the 9th, to Sunday the 12th July 2020 and at her subsequent solo exhibition nearing the end of the year.