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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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William Kentridge

b. 1955, South Africa

William Kentridge is a South African artist and draughtsman of Jewish and Lithuanian descent who presents the struggles and emotions of post­-Apartheid South Africa through a multitude of forms, notably  his animated films of charcoal drawings, as well as sculpture, tapestry, opera, and various other media. Through the 1970s, Kentridge studied politics and African studies, as well as fine arts in Johannesburg, and was also heavily involved in theatre. This laid a solid foundation for the structure of his work, informing the dramatic and rather jarring subject and narrative, and also influencing the means of approach and production.

There is an emphasis on process in his work. Kentridge points out that the viewer can pick up on the labour that has gone into his creative work, which adds  a sense of value and honesty to the piece, as they can 'sympathise' with an object or artwork. Kentridge’s painstaking approach to making his films is a visceral part of the work, as the series of drawings used are put on display alongside the film. This ‘process’ helps to give grounding and added weight to his expressionist style, which often deals with tragedy and graphic, uncomfortable subject matter. An example of this is History of the Main Complaint (1996), which shows a figure being violently beaten and the resulting injuries in an x-ray.

As a member of the South African Resistance Art movement of the 1980s, Kentridge’s work was virtually unknown outside his country, but he has since established an international reputation, exhibiting his drawings and films at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008), and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004). He has also taken part in the Sydney Biennale on two occasions, 1996 and 2008, and also the documenta, in 1997 and 2002.

William Kentridge resides and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Featured Artworks

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Drawing for 'The Head and the Load' by William Kentridge contemporary artwork William KentridgeDrawing for 'The Head and the Load', 2018 Charcoal, pastel and red pencil on paper
39.38 x 63 inches
Marian Goodman Gallery
That Which I Do Not Remember from Triumphs and Laments by William Kentridge contemporary artwork William KentridgeThat Which I Do Not Remember from Triumphs and Laments, 2017 Arrangement of 13 woodcuts onto 26 sheets of Somerset Velvet, Soft White paper, each with relief printing, assembled with 56 aluminium pins
82.5 x 78.5 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Art in the State of Grace by William Kentridge contemporary artwork William KentridgeArt in the State of Grace, 1988 Silkscreen on Velin Arches and brown paper
63 x 39.38 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Notes Towards a Model Opera by William Kentridge contemporary artwork William KentridgeNotes Towards a Model Opera, 2015 3 channel video installation in 1.45 aspect ration (non-standard), 4 channels of audio, 11 min 22 sec
Marian Goodman Gallery
Unremember Me by William Kentridge contemporary artwork William KentridgeUnremember Me, 2015 Lithograph on Japanese paper
38 x 48 cm
Cahiers d'Art
Cicero by William Kentridge contemporary artwork William KentridgeCicero, 2014 Mohair tapestry (woven by the Stephens Tapestry Studio, Johannesburg)
180 x 195 cm
KEWENIG
Untitled (mask and Large Glove) by William Kentridge contemporary artwork William KentridgeUntitled (mask and Large Glove), 2016 Etching, paper: Hannemuhle 300 gsm
59.3 x 42.8 cm
KEWENIG
El Lissitzky by William Kentridge contemporary artwork William KentridgeEl Lissitzky, 2010 Sugarlift aquatint, drypoint, etching and burnishing on Somerset Velvet, Soft White, 300gsm
40 x 30 cm
KEWENIG

Current & Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, William Kentridge, Let us Try for Once at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Open Now
1 March–20 April 2019 William Kentridge Let us Try for Once Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, That Which is Not Drawn at Marian Goodman Gallery, London
Closed
25 January–23 February 2019 Group Exhibition That Which is Not Drawn Marian Goodman Gallery, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

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Armory Week Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Armory Week Lowdown: Shows to See 2 Mar 2019 : Sharmistha Ray for Ocula

The Armory Show opens to the public on 7 March (running to 10 March 2019)—just about a week after the fair relocated a portion of its 194 exhibitors due to structural issues found in Pier 92, forcing its sister fair Volta to cancel its 2019 show so that Armory could occupy its Pier 90 venue. Despite the upheaval, New York's art week is going...

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William Kentridge Ocula Conversation William Kentridge Artist

For over 20 years, the legacies of colonialism have been recurring themes in William Kentridge's work. In 2018, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in recognition of a practice that has consistently charted 'a universal history of war and revolution, evoking the complexities and tensions of...

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Golden Jubilee: Art Brussels Ocula Report Golden Jubilee: Art Brussels 27 Apr 2018 : Denis Maksimov for Ocula

At the entrance of the fiftieth anniversary edition of Art Brussels (19–22 April 2018), Iván Navarro's Sediments (2017) at Galerie Templon's booth offered an appropriate 'welcome' into the bottomless world of an art fair—a world map rendered in lights that infinitely stretch into a void by way of an illusion created with mirrors. At La...

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A blended mass: A report from Art Basel 2016 Ocula Report A blended mass: A report from Art Basel 2016 24 Jun 2016 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

It was both a conservative and global year for the 47th Art Basel, as Scott Reyburn reported for The New York Times. Volatile markets—and politics—explained the wealth of historical pieces featured amongst more contemporary installations in Gianni Jetzer’s Unlimited section, this year with a record number of 88 works in total...

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In Related Press

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William Kentridge’s Real and Metaphorical Cages Illuminate a Protest on Deportation Related Press William Kentridge’s Real and Metaphorical Cages Illuminate a Protest on Deportation Hyperallergic : 16 August 2018

MILWAUKEE—The current William Kentridge exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum, More Sweetly Play the Dance, is an immersive 2015 installation: a 14-minute video loop projected on a series of eight screens, 130 feet long in total. The screens unfold like an accordion book, not quite aligning, leaving small gaps that create page breaks in the...

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William Kentridge and the forgotten victims of Africa’s Great War Related Press William Kentridge and the forgotten victims of Africa’s Great War Financial Times : 6 July 2018

Does art have the power to affect people’s view of war and politics? In the years during and following the first world war, art did its best to reflect the desolation and sense of waste prompted by the monstrous number of lives lost between 1914 and 1918. Art and literature portrayed a world that had fallen apart and lost its moorings to meaning:...

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Artists Launch Global Art Project to Confront the Rise of Right-Wing Populism Related Press Artists Launch Global Art Project to Confront the Rise of Right-Wing Populism Art Forum : 27 February 2017

More than two hundred artists, musicians, writers, and arts professionals from forty countries have pledged to take part in Hands Off Our Revolution, a global art project that will organize a series of exhibitions and other programming to confront the rise of right-wing populism around the world.

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An unassuming storefront. A major museum. A collaboration that takes museum art to the people of L.A. Related Press An unassuming storefront. A major museum. A collaboration that takes museum art to the people of L.A. LA Times : 30 July 2015

Watching William Kentridge's video installation 7 Fragments for George Méliès is like watching a bunch of ghosts play with the materials of art. In this suite of seven videos, ink flows backward. Torn scraps of paper levitate and reassemble themselves. Drawings come magically to life.Kentridge is a highly regarded South African artist...

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