William Kentridge

William Kentridge (born Johannesburg, South Africa, 1955) is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions.

His method combines drawing, writing, film, performance, music, theatre, and collaborative practices to create works of art that are grounded in politics, science, literature and history, yet maintaining a space for contradiction and uncertainty.

Kentridge’s work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Musée du Louvre in Paris, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen, the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, the Kunstmuseum in Basel and Zeitz MOCAA and the Norval Foundation in Cape Town. He has participated a number of times in Documenta in Kassel (2012, 2002,1997) and the Venice Biennale (2015, 2013, 2005, 1999 and 1993).

Opera productions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Shostakovich’s The Nose, and Alban Berg’s operas Lulu and Wozzeck, and have been seen at opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, English National Opera in London, Opera de Lyon, Amsterdam opera, the Sydney Opera House and the Salzburg Festival.

Kentridge’s theatrical productions, performed in theatres and at festivals across the globe include Refuse the Hour, Winterreise, Paper Music, The Head & the Load, Ursonate and Waiting for the Sibyl and in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company, Ubu & the Truth Commission, Faustus in Africa!, Il Ritorno d’Ulisse, and Woyzeck on the Highveld.

In 2016 Kentridge founded the Centre for the Less Good Idea in Johannesburg: a space for responsive thinking and making through experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary arts practices. The Centre hosts an ongoing programme of workshops, public performances and mentorship activities.

Kentridge is the recipient of honorary doctorates from several universities including Yale and the University of London. In 2010, he received the Kyoto Prize. In 2012 he presented the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University. In 2015 he was appointed an Honorary Academician of the Royal Academy in London. In 2017, he received the Princesa de Asturias Award for the arts, and in 2018, the Antonio Feltrinelli International Prize. In 2019 he received the Praemium Imperiale award in painting in Tokyo.

His work can be found in the collections of Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth), Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Museum of Art (New York), San Diego Museum of Art, Fondation Cartier (Paris), Zetiz MoCAA (Cape Town), Norval Foundation (Cape Town), LACMA (Los Angeles), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Sharjah Art Foundation, Mudam (Luxembourg), Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montreal, MoMA (New York), SF MoMA (San Francisco), Castello di Rivoli (Turin), Moderna Museet, Stockholm, MoCA (Los Angeles), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Johannesburg Art Gallery, MAXXI (Rome), Louisiana Museum (Humlebaek,Denmark), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto), Israel Museum (Jerusalem), Inhotim Museum (Brumadinho, Brazil), Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris), National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), Tate Modern (London), Sifang Art Museum (Nanjing), Kunsthalle Mannheim, Vehbi Koç Foundation (Istanbul), Luma Foundation (Arles), Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest), Fundaçion Sorigue (Lerida, Spain), Guggenheim (Abu Dhabi), Kunsthalle Praha (Prague) and Amorepacific Museum of Art (Seoul); as well as private collections worldwide.

Goodman Gallery
Carnets d'Egypte, 2010

Goodman Gallery

In a time of massive global environmental threats such as climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and global health threats, Goodman Gallery's South South presentation in Johannesburg considers the connection between planetary transformations and human agency in relation to our current geological epoch, known as the Anthropocene. Referred to by some as the Capitalocene, this epoch has been defined by the impact of industrial development on the climate. This exhibition considers from a Global South perspective the impact of these human activities, tracing the historic and current extraction and exploitation of human and natural resources. Goodman Gallery is an international contemporary art gallery with locations in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London. The gallery represents artists whose work confronts entrenched power structures and inspires social change. Goodman Gallery has held the reputation as a pre-eminent art gallery on the African continent since 1966. It has been pivotal in shaping contemporary South African art, bringing Lisa Brice, David Goldblatt, William Kentridge, David Koloane, Sam Nhlengethwa and Sue Williamson to the world’s attention for the first time during the apartheid era. Since Liza Essers became owner and director in 2008, the gallery roster has grown by more than 30 international artists, with a focus on women from the African Diaspora and beyond. Goodman Gallery has a global programme working with prominent and emerging international artists whose work engages in a dialogue with African and post-colonial contexts. Some of these artists include Ghada Amer, El Anatsui, Candice Breitz, Alfredo Jaar, Grada Kilomba, Kapwani Kiwanga, Shirin Neshat, Ernesto Neto, Tabita Rezaire, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Mikhael Subotzky and Hank Willis Thomas.
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