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William Kentridge Nose--Thirty Etchings

August 5 - October 8, 2010

Bekris Gallery
49 Geary Street, suite 235
San Francisco, CA 94108 1 415.513.5154
William Kentridge Nose—Thirty Etchings
Exhibition Dates :August 5, 2010 to October 8 2010
Opening Reception: August 5, 2010 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Gallery Hours : Tuesday to Friday 10:00 to 6:00; Saturday 11:00 to 5:00
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 1, 2010) San Francisco, California
Bekris Gallery is delighted to present William Kentridge Nose an exhibition of 30 prints created by internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge. The suite of 30 prints, each roughly 5 inches by 8 inches, is primarily wrought using strong drypoint marks softened with sugarlift aquatint. Several of the images are punctuated with exclamations of a strong red. The prints were pulled at David Krut Projects in Johannesburg, South Africa, whose collaboration has made this exhibition possible.

Groundwork was laid for the suite in 2005 when the Metropolitan Opera’s Peter Gelb commissioned Kentridge to direct and design an opera for the Met’s 2009-2010 season. Gelb had seen Kentridge’s 2005 production of The Magic Flute and is a collector of Kentridge prints. William Kentridge chose Dmitri Shostakovich’s satirical opera, The Nose, which is based upon Nikolai Gogol’s post modern Russian novel of the same name. Gogol’s novel follows the adventures of a pompous government official, Kovalyov, who finds one morning that his Nose has left his face for a walk about in St. Petersburg. Kovalyov tracks his Nose to the cathedral but the Nose refuses to return to its owner’s face. From the Nose’s natty attire, Kovalyov concludes he may not be able to force a return, for the Nose has acquired a higher social status than its owner. The novel goes on to comment on bureaucratic banality and the folly of ambition as it follows the exploits of Nose and owner.

While Gogol’s The Nose was written in 1836-37, Kentridge’s production presses it forward to the period of the Russian Revolution, then to Russia’s avante garde period and Stalin’s 1930 purges. William Kentridge’s Nose examines the political and cultural history of Russia in the 1920s and 1930s. His prints form a story board for the opera presenting the Nose taking a lover, donning a tutu, occupying the face of Stalin and riding a horse all the while contemplating the forces shaping art and politics and literature.

For further information please contact Cynthia Plevin at 415.513.5154 or