WILLIAM KENTRIDGE “PORTABLE MONUMENTS” 2010
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 are instantly recognizable throughout his oeuvre.
Click here to learn more about Kentridge’s artist process from inside his Johannesburg studio.
"Portable Monuments" 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, five individuals cross the page single file in front of harsh lighting that projects their shadows onto the newspaper covered wall behind them. Their procession fills the perimeters of the work, making it unclear whether they are alone or part of a larger group. As the title would suggest, the procession appears to be transporting large monuments to an unclear destination. While their reason for assembling is equivocal, the image is full of clues left to dissect the obscurity of their 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.
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South Africa, 2010
Photogravure, sugarlift, drypoint scraping and burnishing
Signed, numbered, and dated by the artist
From an edition of 30
10.5"H 16.75"W (image)
17"H 23"W (sheet)
22"H 28"W (framed)
Very good condition
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