March 4, 2010

William Kentridge at Dieu Donné

The garment district/midtown is a bit of a desert for galleries, but I am 2 avenue blocks from Dieu Donné, and since finding it, I try to visit each show they offer. From their website: "Founded in 1976, Dieu Donné Papermill is a non-profit artist workspace dedicated to the creation, promotion, and preservation of contemporary art in the hand papermaking process. In support of this mission, Dieu Donné collaborates with artists and partners with the professional visual arts community."

The first time I went, I was lucky enough to be in the gallery with a very talkative visitor- she spoke with the gallery attendant so long that she finally asked if the woman wanted a tour of the place. I tagged along. She showed us all of its huge screens for pulling paper, their hollander beater, the drying racks, and the studio spaces. There was an artist in residence working and we were able to watch for a moment.

William Kentridge: Sheets of Evidence is open until March 27th. It is beautifully presented- the gallery is small but they use their space well. The long wall held a line of watermarked paper in front of light panels on a wooden ledge. The short wall had two framed light panels with work inside along with a light table that held four watermarked works. The woman I spoke with there told me that Kentridge had made sketches and then Dieu Donné had sent them off to be made into latex laser cutouts that were then attached to the screened deckles. The best part was that they had a deckle there with one of his latex sketches- I love seeing process! The tools to make something can be just as interesting as the work itself.
Click here to see more of the works.

I suspect that this show was smartly timed to coincide with the MoMa's exhibition of William Kentridge: Five Themes. That show is on my list- it is up until May 17th, so there is a bit of time. There is so much to see in this city- one of my New Year's resolutions was to see as much art as possible, so I keep chugging along, writing gallery guides for myself every month: two others on the list are Kiki Smith at the Brooklyn Museum (closes 9/12) and El Anatsui at Jack Shainman Gallery (closes 3/13).

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