With the graphic punch of a relief print and the elaborate line game of engraving, Dan Halter’s meter-tall linocut of rocks was a strong presence at the E/AB Fair in November. It came by both qualities honestly: the image that Halter spent a month cutting out of linoleum flooring was an enlarged reiteration of an engraving that had adorned every iteration of the Zimbabwean dollar for the entirety of its hapless existence.
A Zimbabwean artist who lives in South Africa, Halter uses a variety of media, though most of his work takes the form of tightly woven digital prints. His primary subject is the complicated interplay of cultural, national and racial identities that circulate in southern Africa, and his references roam from Guy Fawkes to African basketry to failed Google-map searches. He has made a large number of works that play on the appearance of the cheap Chinese woven-plastic carryalls that are a badge of immigrants worldwide (in Nigeria they are known as “Ghana-must-goes”; in Germany they are Türkenkoffers [Turkish suitcases]).