Colbert Mashile, Amos Letsoalo and Sandile Goje at David Krut Fine Art
by Michelle Matthews
It seems more and more artists are responding to the lure of printmaking. And they're getting a good push from the newly established David Krut workshop in Parkwood. Neither Colbert Mashile, a watercolourist, nor Amos Letsoalo, a painter and multimediaist, have worked in printmaking since their training. They were approached and encouraged by the workshop to play with the medium. Sandile Goje is an established lithographer, but in this show he works with a technique he's never used before, polymer prints.
So are artists getting excited about the possibilities of printmaking? 'Oh yes,' says Bettina Schultz, of the David Krut workshop. 'But it's wonderful for us too, to get excited by the medium all over again.' Judging by the works on show and in progress in the workshop, art viewers and buyers are going to be just as thrilled.
Working with printmakers Kerry-Lyn Potgieter, from the Eastern Cape, and Timothy Foulds, Krut's master printmaker, Colbert Mashile has created works with depth beyond his paintings. Mafuri is in a typical style of his recent paintings, divided into two horizontals and obviously exploring circumcision rites. Through the layers of blood red ink, Mashile has been able to introduce shadowy figures. In another work, Seratabola II, the penis is portrayed as a clown. This is a 'ghost' monotype, the colours washed out, which adds poignancy to a work that would otherwise be grotesquely comical.
Mashile has a very intuitive style, which has helped him to adjust well to working with the time-sensitive monograph method. Working in the studio, he has also been introduced to etching, which has resulted in the work Untitled (head), a very atypical piece from him. The detail in the ravaged face, which has been hand coloured in two tones, is quite a surprise when compared to his better-known work.
Amos Letsaolo has also been working with Potgieter and Foulds. Potgieter's work with students, says Bettina, has opened her up to some quite unusual techniques, and one of Letsaolo's most striking works is an inked lithograph based on a charcoal self-portrait. The work maintains the feel of a charcoal drawing in a print - something to see. Another great, untitled work is a dynamic portrait-cum-still life: a jumping man juxtaposed with Letsaolo's typical containers. It's been delicately executed in a brown-black ink. The content is obtuse and the form is subtle. Also on show are some fairly na�ve monograph still lives, which show Letsaolo coming to grips with the medium and gaining confidence in it.
Sandile Goje shows four small works. The new polymer prints he's been working with (with printmaker Heminghaus) work like rubber stamps. They're softer than traditional lithograph materials, so allow for more fluidity. And, in fact, two of the works - The Fountain and Splash! Ooh! What a Feeling - deal with water. It's obvious that Goje is enjoying experimenting with the new materials.
This opening show, of what is bound to be an influential print gallery, has been extended. And while at David Krut, stock up on your art books - they have the Taxi series, the SANG's Fresh series and other great books in supply.
Closes March 27
David Krut Fine Art
140 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood
Tel: (011) 880 4242
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am - 4pm