Featured Artist: William Kentridge's Image & Opera

Sep 13, 2010


William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1955. He attended the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1973–76), Johannesburg Art Foundation (1976–78), and studied mime and theater at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris (1981–82). Having witnessed first-hand one of the twentieth century's most contentious struggles—the dissolution of apartheid, Kentridge brings the ambiguity and subtlety of personal experience to public subjects most often framed in narrowly defined terms.



Using film, drawing, sculpture, animation, and performance, he transmutes sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. In a now-signature technique, he photographs his charcoal drawings and paper collages over time, recording scenes as they evolve.

William Kentridge - Felix in Exile (1994)


Working without a script or storyboard, he plots out each animated film, preserving every addition and erasure. Aware of myriad ways in which we construct the world by looking, Kentridge uses stereoscopic viewers and creates optical illusions with anamorphic projection to extend his drawings-in-time into three dimensions.

William Kentridge: "Return" | Art21 "Exclusive"


Coming up in October, Art 21 will premiere it's documentary on Kentridge's work and artistic process. From their website:
William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible gives viewers an intimate look into the mind and creative process of William Kentridge, the South African artist whose acclaimed charcoal drawings, animations, video installations, shadow plays, mechanical puppets, tapestries, sculptures, live performance pieces, and operas have made him one of the most dynamic and exciting contemporary artists working today. With its rich historical references and undertones of political and social commentary, Kentridge's work has earned him inclusion in Time magazine's 2009 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Click here to visit the Art 21 site for more viewing information. If you are in the Los Angeles area, the Hammer Museum will present a screening of the film on September 14th


Tags: William Kentridge, opera, animation, South Africa, sculpture, film

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