William Kentridge at Museum of Modern Art, New York

MoMA devotes a one-man show to the South-African artist William Kentridge. It is a very exciting show between his graphic works and his well-known animated short-films.   I like both very much. His drawings on sheets of old books and collages are excellent graphic works. In this show there are about 130 pieces of them

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. However, the most impressive images for me were the moving pictures of his video-installations.  
William Kentridge: ‘Still from Invisible Mending from 7 Fragments for Georges Méliès’. 2003; 35mm and 16mm animated film transferred to video, 1:20 min; The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis, and David Rockefeller in memory of Peter Haas; © 2010 William Kentridge. Photo: John Hodgkiss, courtesy the artist

In the large scale video installation ‘7 Fragments for Georges Méliès’ for instants, it is impressive how he combines classic charcoal hand drawing and acting within an animated film about the creative process of an artist.

 

William Kentridge: ‘Drawing from Stereoscop’ 1998–99; Charcoal, pastel, and colored pencil on paper, 47 1/4 x 63” (120 x 160 cm); The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, with special contributions from Anonymous, Scott J. Lorinsky, Yasufumi Nakamura, and The Wider Foundation; © 2010 William Kentridge courtesy MoMA

William Kentridge gained his fame in the art world of the 1990s:

 

 

He is a trained visual artist, but has also a background of acting and film making: At the beginning of the 1980s, he was in a creative crisis and gave up drawing because he did not have an idea how to match with his idols Bacon and Giacometti.

 

He went from South Africa to Paris to study acting, but was not satisfied by his acting either. In the second half of the 1980s, he started to draw with charcoal and combined his drawing with animated film making.

 

William Kentridge: ‘Untitled (Man with Megaphone)’ 1998; Etching, aquatint, drypoint, and engraving with roulette and crayon additions, plate: 9 13/16 x 14 15/16" (24.9 x 37.9 cm), sheet: 13 11/16 x 19 9/16" (34.7 x 49.7 cm); The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mary Ellen Meehan Fund; © 2010 William Kentridge courtesy MoMA

Mr. Kentridge always has been a very political artist: Since 1989 many of his short-films were directed against the South African system of apartheid. He shows us the development before and after apartheid through the eyes of his two main characters Felix Teitelbaum, the sensitive dreamer, and Soho Eckstein, the reckless industrialist.

 

In 1994, the apartheid ended officially and the cultural sanctions on South Africa ended as well. International curators came in the country and discovered William Kentridge’s art.

 

William Kentridge: ‘Drawing for II Sole 24 Ore (World Walking)’ 2007; Charcoal, gouache, pastel, and colored pencil on paper, 84 x 59” (213.5 x 150 cm); Collection of Doris and Donald Fisher; © 2010 William Kentridge. Photo: courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Mr. Kentridge’s acting school, however, was not useless: In 2005, he produced in Bruxelles, Belgium, the ‘Magic Flute’ opera by W. A. Mozart. At the MoMA show, there is a one of his typical automated puppet-theatre installations with music and film from this production. I liked it a lot - it is very poetic.

 

A section of the show is dedicated to his current Met production of the opera ‘The Nose’ by Shostakovich. It is after an absurdist short story by Gogol. If you have the chance to see this opera, I do strongly recommend to do so.

 

For me, this was the best show during the Armory week 2010!

 

by U.G.

 

 

William Kentridge: ‘Five Themes’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

Trough 17 May 2010

 

Marianne Goodman Gallery devoted their entire booth at the AADA show at Armory hall to William Kentridge. The large drawings were priced $ 250,000 each.

 

 

(c) George Condo: 'Integrated Forms (Birnam Wood)' 2009 Oil and pastel on linen 80 x 60 inches 203.2 x 152.4 cm

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