News from New York: Celebrating Collaboration and Printmaking

Masha Marchenko, the Programs Manager at David Krut Projects in New York, recently had the opportunity to showcase several of William Kentridge’s works produced at DKW during the International Fine Print Dealers Assosiation (IFPDA) Art Fair in February. Coinciding with the fair was the opening of a new show at the David Krut New York space. Below is an account of her experience.

Upon joining the gallery in October 2023, I never anticipated the degree of fluidity and openness to change within a space that has operated for over 20 years. However, four months in, and I can confidently say that my initial expectations were entirely off base. The people within the gallery, alongside our supporting team from South Africa, collaborate seamlessly, constantly pushing boundaries and embracing new initiatives. At David Krut Projects, our commitment lies in our pursuit to share and talk about art that resonates with us, constantly striving to expand our horizons and offer fresh perspectives to our audience.

In 2024, David Krut Projects, New York, began the year with preparations for a show that deviated somewhat from our recent exhibitions. We decided to exhibit American local artists alongside works produced in our workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa. This decision aimed to offer a fresh perspective on the differences and similarities in artists’ processes, illuminating the nuances and commonalities in their themes and techniques. At David Krut Projects New York, we are genuinely excited about this new dimension to our gallery and eagerly anticipate the new friends and connections this change may bring.

Eddie Martinez, "Against the Wind" (Suite of 7), 2009, Drypoint on Hahnemühle Copper Etch paper

As a symbol of our determination and new aspirations, a printing press now stands prominently in the center of our gallery space, ready for print demonstrations. This press, generously gifted by Phil Sanders, a master printer from Asheville, NC, signifies our commitment to innovation and collaboration with local artists. 

Phil, a long-time collaborator, also curated our current exhibition, “Printer’s Picks: A Look at Priorities and Processes,” and graciously shared his memories and insights about the works of both South African and American artists featured in the show, offering invaluable context into their artistic endeavors. It was a great pleasure to see works by contemporary American artists such as Eddie Martinez, Dread Scott, Alex Dodge, and Tomory Dodge hanging next to works by William Kentridge, Diane Victor, Sam Nhlengethwa, Deborah Bell, among others. Together, they presented a wide variety of concepts and styles, enriching the exhibition with diverse perspectives and artistic expressions. Before our opening reception on February 14, Phil conducted a monotype demonstration, printing off plates of Glen Baldridge and Sara Sanders, whose works are also a part of “Printer’s Picks”. This demonstration served as a tribute to the art of printmaking and addressed questions such as “Why should we collect works on paper?” and “What is the role of a printer in a printing project?” among others. 

Phil Sanders leading a monotype print demonstration at David Krut Projects as a part of IFPDA Programming
New addition to David Krut Project, New York space

The following day, we participated in the IFPDA Art Fair at Park Avenue Armory. We always enjoy attending IFPDA to connect with fellow print enthusiasts, including printers, gallerists, collectors, and print students. This time, however, we were fortunate to not only attend as visitors but to exhibit two large-scale works by William Kentridge created in collaboration with David Krut Workshop (DKW) and Jillian Ross Print (JRP): “The Old Gods Have Retired” and “The Flood”. We were also pleased to have present, Jillian Ross, former master printer at DKW (now having founded JRP), and a long-time William Kentridge collaborator.  

During the two days of installing the works, which consisted of multi-panelled overlapping sheets of paper attached by signature William Kentridge push pins, I gained valuable insights into the work process behind these pieces from Jillian and Phil. I learned that printmaking can be as simple or as complicated as collaborative printers and artists decide it to be. 

To further explore this notion, Jillian, Phil, and Judy Hecker, a long-time William Kentridge supporter and current Executive Director of Print Center New York, held a discussion as part of IFPDA lecture Programming. They delved into Kentridge’s evolution as an artist, his relationship to collaborative printmaking, and much more.  

"The Old Gods Have Retired" and "The Flood" at the IFPDA fair Spotlight Section
Master Printer Jill Ross, responsible for implementing the two works on view, helping to install the works before the fair
Up Towards the Daylight: A Conversation on the work of William Kentridge with Judy Hecker, Jillian Ross, and Phil Sanders

As someone who works in a gallery representing William Kentridge, one might assume they know every detail about the artist and his works. However, discussions like this underscore the reality that there is always more to learn—it’s just a matter of asking the right questions. Reflecting on our journey, it is evident that there is always more to discover within the realm of printmaking. As both a gallery and a publisher, we cherish the privilege of unraveling the intricacies of the creative process and recognize the importance of sharing our discoveries with the wider community. 

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