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David Krut Exhibition 2006


In a bold new move away from his earlier themes and concerns, Colbert Mashile has created several large, bright monotypes and a series of delicate, monochromatic linocuts at David Krut Print Workshop.

Mashile has produced several bodies of work at DKW but these latest monotypes feel altogether different in tone to the earlier work that came out of his collaborations with printer Jill Ross. When asked about the source for the series of faces in the monotypes, Mashile refers to an elderly woman named Josephine whom he has known for many years. She lives in the village near Mashile’s home in Bushbuckridge and he has always been struck by her stoicism, determination, and sense of humour in the face of extraordinary hardship. The monotypes, a series of large faces and figures do not represent Josephine but seem to be aspects of her character, and of a kind of female spirit to him. Monotype is a medium often suited to artists used to working in paint and Mashile, who himself is a painter, has made full use of the freedom allowed by the process, applying generous, bright swathes of colour to produce images that seem at once to convey strength and humour.

In sharp counterpoint to the monotypes, the small linocuts offer a glimpse of Mashile’s delicacy of touch and his ability to make full use of the contrasts permitted by the application black ink to the lino. The characters in J.M.Coetzee’s novel Life and Times of Michael K inspire the figures in this series and they convey something of the alienation and sadness expressed in the work.

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