William Kentridge







South Africa











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onepeople met with William Kentridge on the eve of our journey's end. After hearing so much about his work from his South African peers, and seeing examples of his work at the Biennale, we were eager to spend time with him, recording his thoughts. Following our return to the United States, Kentridge was one of three finalists for the 1998 Hugo Boss award.

A rather stoic individual, Kentridge greeted us warmly at his studio where we had a chance to see some works-in-progress. Tracing the evolution of his work, one can easily appreciate the growing magnitude of his creative projects. Beginning with two-dimensional charcoal drawing on paper, Kentridge soon included the element of time to his drawings through the medium of film. Returning to the drawing board after a few years, he then incorporated the element of space to his work with the addition of the Handspring Puppet Company. Ubu and the Truth Commission, an internationally heralded piece of theater, has in turn led Kentridge to the addition of audio dynamics -- in the name of opera.

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1955. In 1976 he graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with majors in Politics and African Studies. From 1976 to 1978 he was a student at the Johannesburg Art Foundation, where he taught etching for two years thereafter. William Kentridge has gained international recognition for his distinctive animated short films, and for the charcoal drawings he makes in producing them. But Kentridge has worked in theatre for many years, initially as a designer and actor, and more recently as a director. Since 1992 his theatre involvement has been in collaboration with Handspring Puppet Company - creating multi-media pieces using puppets, live actors and animation. Whilst he has throughout his career moved between film, drawing and theatre, his primary activity remains drawing - and he sometimes conceives his theatre and film work as an expanded form of drawing. Since participating in Dokumenta X in Kassel in 1997, solo shows of Kentridge's work have been hosted by note William Kentridge’s work has been divided into the categories of solo and group exhibitions, theatre and film. Listings under 'film' refer only to the process of making animated films - films are frequently included in exhibitions, and have been screened at numerous film festivals not mentioned here. Theatre and multi-media, live events appear under 'theatre', which also includes animation created as part of theatre productions.

United States Itinerary 2001

Following it's premier at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, February 28 - May 13, 2001, William Kentridge will be on view at the New Museum of Contemporary Art June 2 - September 16, 2001.
The exhibition then travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (October
14, 2001-January 2, 2002), the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (March 1-May 4, 2002), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (July 21-October
6, 2002), and finally to the South African National Gallery, Cape Town (December 7, 2002-March 23, 2003).