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William Kentridge’s ‘Universal Archive’ on View at UW Art Museum

January 15, 2021
man leaning over table with prints on it
William Kentridge works on the “Universal Archive” series at David Krut Workshop. The first major exhibition of the “Universal Archive” series is on view through May 22 at the UW Art Museum. (Photo courtesy of the artist and David Krut Projects, New York)

The first major exhibition of William Kentridge’s “Universal Archive” series is on view through May 22 at the University of Wyoming Art Museum.

Kentridge, a renowned South African artist, shares new work inspired during the writing of his Norton Lectures delivered at Harvard in 2012. In this expanding series, he revisits a familiar personal iconography, including coffee pots, typewriters, cats, trees and nudes. These images are part of an intimate thematic repertoire appearing in art and stage productions throughout the artist’s career. More than 75 linocut prints -- meticulously based on ink sketches -- shift from identifiable subject matter to deconstructed images of abstract marks on dictionary and encyclopedia pages, forming juxtapositions that suggest skepticism about the creative process and knowledge construction.

“The UW Art Museum is thrilled to have the opportunity to present the artwork of such an important artist,” says Nicole Crawford, director and chief curator. “This series of Kentridge’s work is thought-provoking, engaging and beautiful on a variety of levels.”

The exhibition is organized with the cooperation of David Krut, in whose Johannesburg print studio Kentridge produced the series, and it is coordinated for tour by the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College. It is made possible, in part, by contributions from Alva Greenberg ’74, the Gund Gallery Board of Directors and the Ohio Arts Council.

For additional details about the exhibition, visit

For more information about the UW Art Museum, call (307) 766-6622; visit the website at; or follow the museum on Facebook and Instagram.

The UW Art Museum collects, exhibits and interprets art to inspire creativity and nurture lifelong learning for the people of Wyoming and beyond. The museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 E. Willett Drive in Laramie. Hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-noon are designated for at-risk visitors only. Admission is free.

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