This visually compelling publication highlights The Museum of Modern Arts unparalleled collection of prints and books by William Kentridge nearly fifty works spanning the past three decades. The book also features a succession of artistic interventions made by Kentridge especially for the occasion. Kentridges practice brings together drawing, film animation, books, sculpture and performance. Too little known is the extent to which the artist applies his astonishing draftsmanship to the techniques of printmaking, including etching, screenprinting, lithography and linoleum cut. In fact printmaking has always been essential to his work, from his first forays into visual art in the 1970s to his recent large-scale operas. Kentridges love of the printed image extends to an embrace of books. He often draws and prints on unbound pages from encyclopaedias, ledgers and the like, the readymade support adding nuance and complexity to his work. He has extended these practices in William Kentridge: Trace, using translucent pages interspersed throughout the book to respond to his prints reproduced between them in a visual dialogue between the past and the present.
The book also includes an essay, an annotated checklist, a chronology and the text of a lecture by Kentridge on printmaking, illuminating its relevance to his broader practice. The publication coincides with the Museums presentation of the touring exhibition William Kentridge: Five Themes. MoMAs presentation will be unique in its addition to the numerous collection works, including most of the prints reproduced in this volume.