The studio is the physical site of the artist’s production; in practice, however, it can play a far more important role. For artists William Kentridge and Mateo López, the studio is analogous to the mind, a metaphor for thinking itself. It is also a stage of sorts, evoking imagery, history, and action.
William Kentridge and Mateo López are iconic cases of artists for whom the studio is also a methodology. Many of Kentridge's most well-known works, such as Black Box/Chambre Noire and Shadow Procession, draw inspiration from mundane objects found in the studio space: coffeepots, typewriters, and trails of ants, among others. López physically displaces or re-contextualizes the studio into new conceptual spaces, generating works like Motorcycle Diaries and Portable Workshop No.25.
In 2012, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, a program that pairs emerging talents with successful masters in a wide range of fields, brought these two artists together due to their shared relationship with the studio. For this talk, UCCA invites Kentridge and López to discuss the connection between their artworks and their studio-centric practice, touching on questions of draftsmanship, sketching, and hand-made objects. They will also share their experience working together and the mentor/protégé relationship fostered by the Rolex Initiative.
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William Kentridge (b. 1955, Johannesburg) is a world-renowned contemporary artist working in a wide range of media, including theater, painting, film, and animation, among others. His art touches upon issues of South African apartheid as well as this era’s history, philosophy, literature, theater, as well as early film and theater. He is the winner of the 2010 Kyoto Prize, and he received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2010 and Yale University in 2013. His work has been shown in numerous museums and galleries around the world, including the Tate Modern (London, 2012), the Louvre (Paris, 2010), and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010).
Colombian artist Mateo López (b. 1978) has caught the attention of leading curators in the Americas and Europe with his innovative drawings and installations. Interested in expanding the scope of art on paper, López draws upon his early studies of architecture, considering the medium as a it relates to time and space, and in three dimensions rather than in two. Many of his installations reflect his itinerant lifestyle and his peculiar way of incorporating these experiences into his works. His exhibition "Topografía anecdótica" (2008) was a narrative built on drawings, objects, and photographs from a 2,153 km motorcycle trip through Colombia. The installation Viaje sin movimiento [Travelling without movement] (2008-2010) was acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art. In 2010, the project "Ping Pong, a visual dialogue – 31 topics through 62 images – with artist José Antonio Suárez" was presented at Art Basel.