Oak Leaf

William Kentridge
Oak Leaf, 2021
Work: 88 x 110 x 30 cm

Oak Leaf forms part of an accumulation of elemental symbols within Kentridge’s broader practice. This series of bronze sculptures functions as a form of visual dictionary. The sculptures are symbols and ‘glyphs’, a repertoire of everyday objects or suggested words and icons, many of which have been used repeatedly across previous projects. The glyphs can be arranged to construct sculptural sentences and rearranged to deny meaning. “The glyphs started as a collection of ink drawings and paper cut-outs, each on a single page from a dictionary. Previously I had taken a drawing or silhouette and given it just enough body to stand on its own feet - paper, added to cardboard and put on a stand. With the glyphs, I wanted a silhouette with the weight that the shape suggested. A shape not just balancing in space, but filling space. Something to hold in your hand, with both shape and heft.” - William Kentridge