A YEAR IN REVIEW | The David Krut Workshop in 2023

The David Krut Workshop team.

This year David Krut Workshop  has done 16 projects, 195 individual artworks, we say a huge well done to our talented team. 

We are incredibly grateful to work with many inspiring and eager artists and collaborators who ensure that the Workshop is always buzzing with creative energy. 

In 2023, we were delighted to welcome Heidi Fourie, Peter Cohen, Boemo Diale, Mbali Tshabalala, Nina Torr, Anna van der Ploeg and Raquel van Haver back to the workshop. We initiated collaborations with artists, Phumulani Ntuli, Natalie Paneng, Nono Mothloki and Sudeep Sen. This year also saw a new collaboration between William Kentridge, Jillian Ross Print and David Krut Projects. 

Peter Cohen

Peter Cohen returned to the Workshop in June of 2023. Working with DKW collaborative printer Sarah Judge, Cohen continued working with the monotype technique – although this time around, Cohen produced a series of monoprints that also incorporated pronto lithography. The new unique prints were made in response to charcoal drawings that Cohen had begun developing. This body of work explores the disconnect between notions of utopian and dystopian cities, the concept of viewing cities from within and without and what emerges from the imagery is a sense of both the tension and harmony between natural elements and concrete counterparts.

Boemo Diale

Boemo Diale first interacted with the Workshop as an intern in 2022 – the works she created during this internship were then presented in a solo exhibition, ‘Can I Play’ at DKP earlier this year. 

In July of this year, Diale returned to the workshop to collaborate with Kim-Lee Loggenberg-Tim and continued experimenting with the monotype process and was introduced to pronto lithography, resulting in a series of bright and bold unique works on paper. These new works will be released in the new year. Keep your eyes peeled!

Heidi Fourie

In March 2023 Fourie returned to the workshop and spent three weeks developing new works, this time using multiple layers, including oil-based ink layers, and playing with printing two or more plates to create each work. Along with combining different printing mediums, Heidi further explored the way AI reinterprets her imagery, evidence of which can be found in a few of her new monotypes. This strange imagery falls within Heidi’s ouevre, which combines the bucolic with the eerie. The new imagery is primarily derived from recent excursions to wild spaces. Her work has also taken a more personal turn, using more of her own likeness and body language; perhaps suggestive of different emotional states, vulnerability, and an inward turn. This new body of work was presented at Latitudes 2023.

William Kentridge

In October 2023, David Krut Projects welcomed  Master printer Jillian Ross and Brendan Copestake from Jillian Ross Print (Saskatoon, Canada), to the Workshop for an exciting collaboration with William Kentridge.

The prints produced are based on Kentridge’s new performance in development: “The Great YES, the Great NO“, co-produced by William Kentridge and The Centre for the Less Good Idea, which will be presented in July, 2024, in Aix-en Provence, France. The work has developed into a series of large and small-scale variations made from composite layering in combination of photogravure, plates with added drypoint, photopolymer, with chine collé from Gampi, dictionary, Tosa Washi and Kitakata papers.

The intaglio plates used for the ‘Garden’ imagery were made in Canada and brought to DKW, South Africa, to continue the collaboration with William. The Photogravure plates were made by Steven Dixon and Luke Johnson at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) and the photopolymer plates by Nathaneal Kooperkamp at Cone Editions (Vermont, USA). The plates and images were further developed by Jillian Ross and Kim-Lee Loggenberg-Tim, Sbongiseni Khulu, Roxy Kaczmarek, Sarah Judge and Jesse Shepstone at the David Krut Workshop (Johannesburg, South Africa).

The ‘Small Garden’ (working title) has remained at the David Krut Workshop to be editioned by printers Roxy Kaczmarek and Sbongiseni Khulu. The ‘Large Garden’ variations have travelled back to Canada with Jillian Ross Print for further editioning and exhibiting at the Remai Modern Museum, Saskatoon, in 2024.

Lady Skollie

Laura Windvogel aka ‘Lady Skollie’ collaborated with printers Roxy Kaczmarek and Sarah Judge in March of this year. Lady Skollie started off working onto a large plastic plexi plate with drypoint tools to create the image of a mermaid or ‘Watermeid’. The shape of the plate has been cut into an oval or ‘cosmic egg’. Lady Skollie’s scratching directly into the surface of the plexi plastic material creates a myriad of marks some delicate and detailed, others gestural and textured, with a thick bur that holds the ink to create dark heavy tones.

Natalie Paneng

Multimedia artist, Natalie Paneng collaborated on a series of prints with Sbongiseni Khulu.This project spanned continents over the following months and yielded a vibrant body of work unlike anything else in our archive. 

Paneng’s print works, made in collaboration with Khulu, are punchy and playful, employing the unexpected colour combination of pink and bright green – a favourite of the artist. Paneng began her workshop time with the monotype process, often an initial starting point for many of our artists. However, she expressed keen interest in working in linocut for its graphic quality. Because of her digital oeuvre, it also made sense for her to explore pronto lithography as a way of introducing her character (herself) into scenes, a step which has informed the resolution of the body of work. The collaboration resulted in three images that were presented at the Turbine Art Fair in June.  

Nono Mothloki

Nono Mothloki started her project at the workshop in July 2023. At the time she was preparing for a solo exhibition as part of her achievement in winning the Ernest Cole award. Mothloki’s work is currently centred around explorations of love as dictated by societal and filmic standards.

She initially experimented with  oil based monotype but swiftly moved on to pronto lithography, hardground etching and most effectively – softground etching. 

The last few works were accomplished by creating an impression of a kiss in the softground of the etching plate. Mothloki invited her collaborators in the workshop to actually give the etching plate a kiss! These works will also be released in 2024, so stay tuned. 

Phumulani Ntuli

In June of this year DKP invited Phumulani Ntuli to spend time at the David Krut Workshop in Maboneng to collaborate with printmaker, Kim-Lee Loggenberg. 

The collaboration resulted in Ntuli’s solo body of work titled, Kunanela iphuzu emafini / Echoes of the Point Cloud. This project showcases Ntuli’s first series of intricate unique works on paper made using an old-fashioned printing press in collaboration with Kim-Lee Loggenberg, as well as large mixed media collages on canvas from the artist’s studio. Kunanela iphuzu emafini / Echoes of the Point Cloud contains excerpts from South Africa’s history of motion pictures in collision with current point cloud data, automation, and synthesis bestowed by Artificial Intelligence.

Ntuli then returned to the workshop later in the year to continue working on new monotypes. 

Sudeep Sen

In a matter of less than a week, Sudeep Sen and the David Krut Workshop team collaborated on a series of dozen unique artworks. The collaboration began as all collaborations usually do, a conversation. In that conversation Sbongiseni Khulu and Sen explored the endless possibilities and limitations of printmaking. Given the time constraints of Sen’s NIROX residency coming to an end, it became clear that pronto/paper lithography would be best suited in translating Sen’s writings and photographs. This meant selecting images that not only resonated with his artistic practice but also lent themselves to the medium.

Khulu introduced Sen to the process of pronto-plate lithography. As a method, pronto plate lithography is accessible and ideal for direct photographic transfers. Pronto plates can be digitally prepared using a standard laser printer, or by working directly onto the plates using grease-based materials such as ballpoint pen, crayons and markers. Once satisfied with the marks, the plate is heat set by means of a hotplate, heat gun or oven to bind the marks/image onto the plate, for prolonged printing.

Mbali Tshabalala

The collaboration between Mbali Tshabalala and David Krut Projects has been an ongoing one since she first came to create unique prints in 2021 with Sbongiseni Khulu and the rest of our workshop team. This year Tshabalala was one of the three artists represented by David Krut Projects at the 2023 Latitudes Art Fair.

The works showcased at Latitudes this year are thematically and visually similar to her ongoing body of works that depict her own portrait intermingled a menagerie of textures and colours, achieved through the used of carefully mixing and layering various printmaking techniques. As this body of work continues to grow and develop the artist consistently achieves an exponentially evolving intricacy and bold tonal palette.

Nina Torr

This year, Nina Torr presented a solo body of work at DKP titled, “Marginalia: These unique prints, were made in collaboration with printer Roxy Kaczmarek. The pair brought together several techniques, including silkscreen to achieve the flat coloured areas of paper in both the base and collaged elements, hardground and softground etching printed in a variety of colours, colour-roll printing, hand painting, chine colle, and collage. The practice of collage is an integral process in Torr’s mental toolbox, allowing a fluidity in composition-making. It further imparts the related idea of metaphor, which resonates with the artist’s thinking and creative process. 

Anna van der Ploeg

Van der Ploeg first created etchings at the David Krut Workshop in early 2021, and she continues to weave a narrative about reciprocity and its intricacies, and hidden messages concealed in the smoke and the breeze. Omens in hot bacon contradiction includes new etching editions and unique paintings on paper made in collaboration with Printer Roxy Kaczmarek. The artist is an accomplished printmaker herself, having studied printmaking and awarded residencies in France, India, and Japan, where she worked with Mokuhanga, a water-based woodblock printmaking technique. This ancient technique lends itself to building up many layers of colour – creating depth while maintaining subtlety. A sense of moodiness emerges from the prints as they probe notions of performativity, concealment, and tenderness in social interactions, not only in the subject but in the layering of different techniques, such as tonal aquatint layers integrated with subtle, suggestive drypoint marks. 

Raquel van Haver

In early 2023, van Haver collaborated with Sbongiseni Khulu, where she continued to work with the monotype process, which she first explored at the DKW in 2015. The artist was intrigued by the extreme measures taken by locals to safeguard their belongings – measures that are often unfamiliar to foreigners. Local iconographic elements in the series, such as electric fencing and security fence spikes form halos around central images. The images are marked with text that complements the thematic elements of each work, echoing both the spirit of graffiti in the city and satires the illuminated script reminiscent of the Catholic aesthetic. 

Zhi Zulu

This year Zhi Zulu created her most elaborate silkscreen yet! Zulu and DKW collaborator Roxy Kaczmarek worked closely with expert silkscreen printer Cloudia Rivett-Carnac, with the assistance of DKW printer, Jesse Shepstone, to produce the largest and most complex of Zhi’s editions to date. Jozi-pocalypse consists of twelve silkscreen layers printed on tea-stained paper, meticulously tested by Rivett-Carnac, which creates the antiquated look of a found artefact. 

This new work builds upon Zulu’s Curious Five series that kicked off in 2018 and concluded last year.  Inspired by the artist’s experience of African stories told for tourists and foreigners, the preceding series The Curious Five is a humorous take on stereotypical, usually inaccurate and fantastical tales that foreigners sometimes believe – of wild animals walking the streets of Johannesburg, or people keeping them as pets. With a similar light-hearted spirit, in Jozi-pocalyse, Zulu meddles with iconic South African buildings and motifs, transforming these structures into a symbol of the confusion the nation surrounding our self-representation. 

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