An exhibition of recent work by William Kentridge opens on November 10th 2007, at the Goodman Gallery. This exhibition, entitled What Will Come takes its title from the Ghanaian proverb ‘What will come has already come’.
Kentridge is renowned for his animated films, drawn and animated using trademark multiple erasure technique, in which he explores the nature of human emotion and memories, and deals with the quest for cultural identity, ingrained history and politics of South Africa, intensely dedicating himself to issues of sight in his work*. Through a series of new drawings, prints, and stereoscopic images that form the basis of What Will Come, Kentridge continues to explore the medium of sight, reflecting his continued concern with optics and the construction of seeing. The exhibition is centered around an eight minute anamorphic film, entitled What will come.
This filmic anamorphosis in which images, drawn and animated by Kentridge, assume their proper form only when reflected in a mirrored cylinder positioned at the projection’s centre. This film draws on the idea of the picture puzzle that originated in the sixteenth century. Kentridge translates this play with perception that operates distorted images that can only be deciphered from a certain angle in his film. The technique of cylindrical mirror anamorphosis Kentridge employs is based on a further level of perception. It is not enough to change one’s point of view but a cylindrical mirror is essential to decode the picture, with a certain radius that reflects the distorted image, causing it to ‘straighten’ optically. The production of these images relies on Kentridge’s profound knowledge of mathematical rules and optical foundations*.
A number of anamorphic drawings from the film will also be shown, mirrored in cylinders. Other work concerned with optics and the construction of seeing, includes series of stereoscopic photogravures that take on three dimensions as one looks through large stereoscopic viewers. Outsized stereoscopic drawings likewise gain unexpected depth when viewed stereoscopically. In addition to this work which deconstructs the mechanics of seeing, 40 to 50 graphics from the past year will be shown. These relate to the opera The Magic Flute, the mini-theatre installation Black Box, the film What Will Come, and to Shostakovich’s opera The Nose. Finally, a series of table-top equestrian sculptures muse on ‘the Nose on horseback’, as Kentridge begins work towards a production of Shostakovich’s opera The Nose, to open in New York in 2010.
This exhibition will open on Saturday 10th November at noon, and closes on the 14th December 2007.
William Kentridge’s work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s, including Documenta in Kassel, Germany (1997, 2003, 2012), the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1998, 2010), the Albertina Museum in Vienna (2010), Jeu de Paume in Paris (2010), and the Musée du Louvre in Paris (2010), where he presented Carnets d’Egypte, a project conceived especially for the Egyptian Room. Kentridge’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute was presented at Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Festival d’Aix, and in 2011 at La Scala in Milan, and his production of Shostakovich’s The Nose was seen at The New York Metropolitan Opera in 2010 and again in 2013, travelling to Festival d’Aix and to Lyon in 2011. The five-channel video and sound installation The Refusal of Time was made for Documenta (13) in Kassel, Germany, in 2012; since then it has been seen at MAXXI in Rome, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and other cities including Boston, Perth, Kyoto, Helsinki and Wellington. A substantial survey exhibition of Kentridge’s work opened in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, going on in following years to Porto Alegre, São Paulo, Bogota, Medellin, and Mexico City. In the summer of 2014 Kentridge’s production of Schubert’s Winterreise opened at the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Aix, and Holland Festival. In the fall it opened at the Lincoln Center in New York. Paper Music, a concert of projections with live music by Philip Miller, opened in Florence in September 2014, and was presented at Carnegie Hall in New York in late October 2014. Both the installation The Refusal of Time and its companion performance piece Refuse the Hour were presented in Cape Town in February 2015. More recently, Kentridge’s production of the Alban Berg opera Wozzeck premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 2017, and last year his acclaimed performance project The Head & The Load opened at Tate Modern in London, and travelled to Park Avenue Armory in December 2018. In June 2019, A Poem That I Used To Know opened at Kunstmuseum, Basel in Switzerland. This comprehensive survey show includes early drawings, major film installations, sculpture and two new pieces, an installation and a film, produced by Kentridge in response to works in the museum’s permanent collection.
In 2010, Kentridge received the prestigious Kyoto Prize in recognition of his contributions in the field of arts and philosophy. In 2011, he was elected as an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and received the degree of Doctor of Literature honoris causa from the University of London. In 2012, Kentridge presented the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University and was elected member of the American Philosophical Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Also in that year, he was awarded the Dan David Prize by Tel Aviv University, and was named as Commandeur des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. In 2013, William Kentridge was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts by Yale University and in 2014 received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cape Town.
Why Should I Hesitate, a major survey show, divided across the Norval Foundation and Zetiz MOCAA, opened in late August 2019 and will run until March 2020. In addition, Kentridge’s new opera project, Waiting for the Sibyl, premiered at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in September 2019. Waiting for the Sibyl was created in response to Alexander Calder’s Work in Progress. Most recently, Kentridge’s production of Alban Berg opera Wozzeck ran at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.