The Queen Sonja Print Award is the world’s leading award for graphic art, and a means to celebrate the art of printmaking, by honouring artists and supporting great talent.
William Kentridge, That Which I Do Not Remember, 2017. Woodcut, relief, printed from 13 woodblocks on Somerset Velvet, Soft White, 300 gsm, Final work comprised of 29 individual sheets adhered by 56 aluminium pins, 210 x 200mm. Courtesy of the artist & The Queen Sonja Print Award.
William Kentridge (b. 1955) – a student of political science as well as fine art in the 1970s – started in the field of printmaking by creating screen-printed posters for trade unions, student protests and theatre companies. The artist has since continued to investigate notions of politics and philosophy, with a wide spectre of printmaking techniques where he displays a mastery of the craft and outstanding draughtsmanship.
In his works he plays with multiple lines and sequential progressions, juxtaposing text and image, working with contrasts of black ink against white paper. Questions of identity, dislocation, memory, and perception, are often set against the social and political landscape of South Africa’s past and present. His prints are filled with ambiguities and contradictions, exploring what is purportedly civilised and rational.
The award is presented every other year by the HM Queen Sonja Art Foundation, which was established in 2011 to generate interest in and promote the development of graphic art. With its focus on fine art printmaking in all its expressions and techniques, the Queen Sonja Print Award is set to become not only the largest, but also the most prestigious prize within this field of contemporary art.
QSPA is not only about handing out prestigious prizes to talented artists. It is also essential in making graphic art more available to the public. Our ambition is to create a meeting place where people can enjoy unique, premium quality prints and printmaking – and be impressed by it– no matter their level of interest in art. The opening of QSPA Bispevika in 2021 is an important step towards raising general interest in graphic art and making it more accessible to people.
For more information, please visit The Queen Sonja Lifetime Achievement Award.