South Africa’s long tradition of printmaking as an art form and as a form of social critique is one that commands international respect. This was certainly underscored by the exhibition, Impressions from South Africa 1965 to Now: Prints from the Museum of Modern Art curated by Judith B Hecker and mounted in New York from March to August 2011. Such international interest in South African prints has followed in the wake of the phenomenal success of William Kentridge for whom printmaking is a major vehicle of expression.
The fact that William Kentridge’s Head was selected for the cover of Contemporary South African Art: The Gencor Collection, published in Johannesburg in 1997, indicates that key decision-makers considered this important enough to represent the company and its collection. With an upturned face and eyes closed as if dreaming or longing for something ahead, this is an aspirational image symbolic of that time of hope and change which South Africa experienced in 1993.
William Kentridge Prints, David Krut, Johannesburg, 2006, page 46, illustrated
cf Contemporary South African Art: The Gencor Collection, Kendell Geers (ed), Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg, 1997, illustrated on the front cover