In early 2016 William Kentridge made a monumental frieze along the banks of Rome’s Tiber River. The 550 meter work (called “Triumphs and Laments”) was stenciled onto the wall of the river from Ponte Sisto to Ponte Mazzini. The frieze’s imagery consisted of scenes from the cultural and political history of Rome.
Also in 2016, Kentridge began a series of large woodcut prints using the same imagery. The work on view at Krakow Witkin Gallery is “The Flood”. The image of “The Flood” draws its inspiration from a photograph that Kentridge found of Romans seeking refuge from the devastating effects of the Tiber River flood that ravaged Rome in 1937. The work was made from multiple blocks of wood, prepared from multiple woodgrains, and printed on multiple sheets of paper that all fit together like a puzzle. Some sheets are cut at sharp angles, others torn. Pieces that the artist attached to the work in the last stages of production allow for overlaps of image and movement.