William Kentridge, ‘Blue Head’, 1993, Joanna Bryant & Julian Page
William Kentridge, ‘Blue Head’, 1993, Joanna Bryant & Julian Page

Printed by Master Printer Jack Shirreff.
An edition of Kentridge's Head (Blue) is in the Smithsonian collection in Washington D.C., amongst other significant private and public collections.

Like the “Sleeper” prints, the large print titled, The Blue Head, 1993-8 was made at 107 Workshop, Wiltshire, with master printer, Jack Shirreff. The Blue Head introduces islands of colour created from an assembly of torn sheets of paper into a hand-painted ultramarine blue template, printed over the drypoint marks. Between the slabs of colour, the grey plate tone of the paper jumps out, creating the sense of an immense sculpted head breaking apart – an image of rift and schism sometimes interpreted as a symbol for the African continent. This print was also editioned separately with some trial plates hand-painted in Hooker’s green and burnt orange in place of the blue.

Publisher: David Krut

About William Kentridge

In his drawings and animations, William Kentridge articulates the concerns of post-Apartheid South Africa with unparalleled nuance and lyricism. In the inventive process by which he created his best-known works, Kentridge draws and erases with charcoal, recording his compositions at each state. He then displays a video projection of the looped images alongside their highly worked and re-worked source drawings. In this way, his process and aesthetic concerns are inextricably linked with the narrative power of his work, as in his “Nine Drawings for Projection” series (1989-2003), which depicts two fictional white South Africans navigating the ambiguities of contemporary South Africa. With his highly personal and often quiet works in seeming tension with the brutality of his content, Kentridge expresses a profound ambivalence about his native country.

South African, b. 1955, Johannesburg, South Africa