David Krut talks about Scribble Cat, 2010 by William Kentridge


David Krut talks briefly about the large-scale etching by William Kentridge titled Scribble Cat which was published by the David Krut Workshop at Arts on Main in 2010.

Scribble Cat was originated by Kentridge in August 2010, in collaboration with Jillian Ross at the David Krut Print Workshop, which had relocated just before then to its current facility at Arts on Main in the City and Suburban precinct of downtown Johannesburg.

The work consists of six separate sheets printed from six copper plates. At one point in the proofing process Kentridge, publisher David Krut and the workshop team were standing together assessing the latest proof, which the artist felt was very static. The six sheets on which the plates had been printed were all lying exactly next to each other in two rows of three in a standard grid format. With a single deft movement, Kentridge shifted the top left print, placing it at a jaunty angle and thereby breaking the grid. This decision created the tension and movement – the arch of the cat’s back, the subtle postural nuances – that were lacking previously. The sheets were meticulously cut and shaped in order to accommodate the angle, and registration marks were added in the form of red pencil crayon lines and circles, to guide the assembly of the work.

This method of working with separate sheets brought together at different angles formed a foundation for the production processes employed in the Universal Archive Series of linocuts that began in 2012 and became increasingly elaborate over the course of four years.