Tue, 30th Nov 2021 18:00

Modern & Contemporary Art | Johannesburg

 
  Lot 27
 
Lot 27 - William Kentridge (South Africa 1955-)

27

William Kentridge (South Africa 1955-)
If You Have No Eye

linocut printed on a selection of non-archival dictionary pages collaged and attached with archival tape to a backing sheet of Arches Cover White, 300gsm paper

Artwork date: 2014
Signature details: signed and numbered Trial Proof 1/2 in pencil in the margin
Edition: from an edition of 24

(Qty: 1)

sheet size: 190 x 108 cm; framed size: 217 x 124 x 6.5 cm

Provenance:

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Notes:

By 2014, William Kentridge had been drawing trees on dictionary sheets for some time. In 2012, he was invited to deliver the Norton Lectures at Harvard University. He began preparing these in 2011, and wrote the first four lectures quite quickly, but then found himself at a standstill. One morning , while pondering the fifth and sixth lectures, Kentridge began to draw with ink. A morning of “productive procrastination” turned into a series of over 70 linocuts – The Universal Archive – created with the David Krut Workshop from 2011 to 2015.

Using a good brush and another which was used, with splayed bristles which made less precise marks, Kentridge began the series by drawing figures, coffee pots, a large vase with flowers, and other recurrent images in his oeuvre, including trees. The marks of the bad brush suggested to Kentridge ‘the plethora and the ordered randomness of leaves, or the feathery twigs at the end of a branch,’ as he put it.The ink drawings were photocopy-transferred onto small linoleum plates, just the size of a single dictionary page, and a team of carvers was gathered with a view to re-creating the drawings through relief printing. Copper engraving tools were used to carve in minute detail. The images were printed onto pages from three different 1950s dictionaries, all chosen for their slight difference in color and the flatness of their surface. Some images were printed on a single dictionary page, some two pages, later fifteen and thirty pages.

In this climactic work of the series, If You Have No Eye, 67 linoleum plates were used to print onto 104 pages, which were then variously torn, cut and left whole. Each piece was then assembled and collaged, like a puzzle, onto another layer of dictionary sheets that serve as the background field. The dictionary paper and both glossy and matte inks helped the tree to find its form. The entire process - from preparing the linoleum, carving the plates, printing the pieces and assembly, to arriving at a final result; and then producing the full edition – took two years to complete.

Jillian Ross

Estimate
R300,000 - R500,000
 

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Viewing

Viewing will be open from Wednesday 24 to Tuesday 30 November from 9 am to 5 pm.

Address: 32 Bolton Road, Parkwood, Johannesburg, 2193

 

linocut printed on a selection of non-archival dictionary pages collaged and attached with archival tape to a backing sheet of Arches Cover White, 300gsm paper

Artwork date: 2014
Signature details: signed and numbered Trial Proof 1/2 in pencil in the margin
Edition: from an edition of 24

(Qty: 1)

sheet size: 190 x 108 cm; framed size: 217 x 124 x 6.5 cm

Provenance:

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Notes:

By 2014, William Kentridge had been drawing trees on dictionary sheets for some time. In 2012, he was invited to deliver the Norton Lectures at Harvard University. He began preparing these in 2011, and wrote the first four lectures quite quickly, but then found himself at a standstill. One morning , while pondering the fifth and sixth lectures, Kentridge began to draw with ink. A morning of “productive procrastination” turned into a series of over 70 linocuts – The Universal Archive – created with the David Krut Workshop from 2011 to 2015.

Using a good brush and another which was used, with splayed bristles which made less precise marks, Kentridge began the series by drawing figures, coffee pots, a large vase with flowers, and other recurrent images in his oeuvre, including trees. The marks of the bad brush suggested to Kentridge ‘the plethora and the ordered randomness of leaves, or the feathery twigs at the end of a branch,’ as he put it.The ink drawings were photocopy-transferred onto small linoleum plates, just the size of a single dictionary page, and a team of carvers was gathered with a view to re-creating the drawings through relief printing. Copper engraving tools were used to carve in minute detail. The images were printed onto pages from three different 1950s dictionaries, all chosen for their slight difference in color and the flatness of their surface. Some images were printed on a single dictionary page, some two pages, later fifteen and thirty pages.

In this climactic work of the series, If You Have No Eye, 67 linoleum plates were used to print onto 104 pages, which were then variously torn, cut and left whole. Each piece was then assembled and collaged, like a puzzle, onto another layer of dictionary sheets that serve as the background field. The dictionary paper and both glossy and matte inks helped the tree to find its form. The entire process - from preparing the linoleum, carving the plates, printing the pieces and assembly, to arriving at a final result; and then producing the full edition – took two years to complete.

Jillian Ross

The condition is mint.

Archivally framed and floated to the backing mount, not laid down.

Frame with minor abrasions along the edges.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.

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Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art | Johannesburg, Tue, 30th Nov 2021

 

A focused collection of top historical, modern and contemporary artworks, this boutique-style sale presents impressive examples of South Africa’s best-known artists at auction. Included is a wonderful oil on canvas still-life by Irma Stern painted in 1936, an exquisite equestrian painting by Tretchikoff, 4 early watercolours by George Pemba, a monumental Villa from 1976 and 6 superb lots by William Kentridge. Also on offer are impressive contemporary works by Kate Gottgens, Phillemon Hlungwani, Wim Botha and Banele Khoza, amongst others.

Notably, the sale also includes works from the collection of the world-renowned Handspring Puppet Company. This collection maps much of the company’s creative, personal and professional journey and includes works by Kentridge, Pemba, Simon Stone and Zanele Muholi, amongst others.

The Live Auction is the first to be held at Aspire’s new premises in Johannesburg, located in the heart of the city’s art district, in Bolton Road, Parkwood.

 

Viewing

Viewing will be open from Wednesday 24 to Tuesday 30 November from 9 am to 5 pm.

Address: 32 Bolton Road, Parkwood, Johannesburg, 2193

View all lots in this sale