William Kentridge



William Kentridge (b. 1955) is an internationally acclaimed South African artist renowned for his dynamic prints, drawings, large-scale installations, and animated films. Kentridge balances universal experiences with the complexity of South African political history and society. 

Born in Johannesburg to two prominent lawyers active in anti-apartheid efforts, Kentridge’s proximity to the dissolution of apartheid gave him a unique social sensitivity. His upbringing would shape the socio-political lens that informed his work as an artist. 

Kentridge is somewhat of a polymath. Having pursued formal education across politics, fine art, miming, and theater, it comes as no surprise that his work cannot be contained to the bounds of a single medium. Charcoal and ink are often his first tools for creation. The density, darkness and texture of the medium is instantly recognizable throughout his oeuvre.. 

Click here to learn more about Kentridge’s artist process from inside his Johannesburg studio

"Eight Figures" is an exceptional example of Kentridge's signature aesthetic and subject matter. Processions are a recurring motif throughout his oeuvre, appearing in various forms including sculpture, installation, video and prints. 

Kentridge's processions depict diverse characters in mysterious environments, marching for ambiguous reasons. 

Here, eight individuals (a miner, farmer, nurse or doctor, architect, and porters) cross the page single file along a boardwalk under harsh, industrial lighting. Their procession fills the perimeters of the work, making it unclear whether they're alone or part of a larger group. While their reason for assembling is equivocal, the image is full of clues left to dissect the obscurity of their (perhaps existential) journey.

The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa) recently presented an elaborate 8-channel video installation by Kentridge. Click here to learn more about this essential motif in his oeuvre. 

Questions about this artwork? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

“Eight Figures” 

South Africa, 2010

Linocut with hand-painting in Indian ink on Hahnemühle paper

Signed, numbered, and dated by the artist

From an edition of 40 

42”H 81”W (work)

44"H 81.75"W (framed)

Very good condition

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