David Krut Projects Cape Town presents ‘MATRIX’, an exhibition of editioned works from the David Krut Print Workshop (DKW) that sheds light on the processes of printmaking. The selection of works present a range of different intaglio and relief printing techniques and are exhibited alongside the plates that were used to make them and, in some cases, the trial proofs that show the development of the work.
Prints, unlike paintings or drawings, generally exist in multiple examples. They are created by drawing a composition not directly on paper but on another surface, called a matrix, and then, by various techniques, printing that image on paper. The matrix (from the Latin word mater, meaning mother) can be made out of a number of things – a woodblock, a metal plate, a lithographic stone or a mesh screen for example. At DKW, etching (on copper plates) and relief printing (on woodblock and linoleum plates) are used most frequently. Artists in studio have the opportunity to work with a master printer, who helps to achieve the marks the artists want by guiding the artists in the manipulation of the matrix. The job of the collaborating printer, ultimately, is to build the confidence in artists that allows the way they see the world to come through their hands, even in a medium using techniques they may be unfamiliar with and taking the transformative nature of the press into account. Printmaking is the only medium in which the process of artists’ image creation is revealed, also to themselves – when a proof is pulled off the press, the artist is also seeing the result for the first time, along with everyone else. Consequently, the print workshop is a supportive environment that embraces technical and aesthetic exploration, innovation and collaboration.
Included in ‘MATRIX’ are works by Deborah Bell, Stephen Hobbs, William Kentridge, Maja Maljevic, Senzo Shabangu, Diane Victor and Mary Wafer that offer viewers insight into techniques from linocut to aquatint. As well as plates and proofs, the installation includes explanatory text for each technique used.