William Kentridge: Universal Archive

Since this past weekend was Family Weekend, my parents drove down to spend a day in Philly visiting a few museums around campus. One of the museums that they took interest in was the Arthur Ross Gallery in the Fisher Fine Arts Library. Even though I’ve been in the library countless times to study, I actually never knew where this gallery was… and as it turns out, it’s right by the entrance to the library…

The works on display are linocut images printed onto pages from dictionaries and encyclopedias — meant as a metaphor for the contradiction between rational thought and abstract processses. William Kentridge, the artist behind these works, uses this pairing of medium and material often. The works are displayed in a way such that illustrations of the same subject become increasingly abstracted.

As I walked around with my parents in the Ross gallery (and at the Institute of Contemporary Art), I could only hear them murmuring about their confusion. I’m glad I got to spend the day with them though — especially being able to see some things that were perhaps out of all of our typical comfort zones.

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