William Kentridge

26.09.-07.11.1999 10:00-18:00

Opening: Saturday, 25 September 1999, 3pm


Curated by: Piet Coessens (B), Peter Weibel

Opening speech: Okwui Enwezor (NIG/USA), director of documenta XI, Kassel

The exhibition "William Kentridge", already conceived two years ago, was planned to be shown last year at the Neue Galerie Graz, but was not possible due to the delay in renovation work at the Neue Galerie. The works of William Kentridge were first shown in Austria in 1996 at "Inclusion:Exclusion", curated by Peter Weibel, during the avantgarde festival steirischer herbst. Kentridge has featured at numerous major exhibitions in recent years, the biennales of Sydney, Johannesburg, Istanbul and Havana, at documenta X, Kassel 1997, the biennale of Sao Paolo in 1998 and the biennale of Venice in 1999.

The current exhibition is the first major retrospective of this South African artist (born 1955 in Johannesburg) and provides a comprehensive synopsis of his œuvre from the early animation films from the "Drawings for Projection - Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris" series (1989) to "Weighing... and Wanting" (1998). With the aid of wall paintings created especially for each venue as a separate installation, film and laser projections, and a presentation of drawings that are used in a wide variety of ways in his film and theatre projects, the exhibition highlights the artist's specific mode of work, whose art is influenced by the history of his country and the confrontation with apartheid.

After guesting at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Kunstverein Munich, the Serpentine Gallery in London, the MACBA in Barcelona, and La Vieille Charité in Marseille the Neue Galerie Graz is now opening its renovated first-floor rooms with this international star of the art world who also featured in a personal exhibition at the Project Room of the MoMA in New York in 1999.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

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Museu d'Arte Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona (survey exhibition)
Museum of Modern Art (Project Room), New York: Projects 68
MIT List, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Serpentine Gallery, London (survey exhibition)
Centre de la Vielle Charite, Marseille (survey exhibition)
The Drawing Centre, New York
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (survey exhibition touring Kunstverein München, Munich; MACBA, Barcelona; Serpentine Gallery, London; Vielle Charite, Marseille; Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz)
Kunstverein Munchen, Munich (survey exhibition)
Applied Drawings, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
Eidophusikon, Annandale Galleries, Sydney
Felix in Exile, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
Ruth Bloom Gallery, Los Angeles
Drawings for Projection, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, travelling to Vanessa Devereux Gallery, London
Five Gouache Collage Heads, Newtown Galleries, Johannesburg
William Kentridge: Drawings and Graphics, Cassirer Fine Art and Gallery on the Market, Johannesburg
Responsible Hedonism, Vanessa Devereux Gallery, London
Cassirer Fine Art, Johannesburg
In the Heart of the Beast, Vanessa Devereux Gallery, London
Standard Bank Young Artist Award; associated exhibition in Grahamstown touring nationally
Market Theatre Award for New Visions exhibition
AA Vita Award for William Kentridge, at Cassirer Fine Art, 1985
Cassirer Fine Art, Johannesburg
South African Arts Association, Pretoria
Cassirer Fine Art, Johannesburg
Domestic Scenes, The Market Gallery, Johannesburg
Exhibition, The Market Gallery, Johannesburg

Selected Group Exhibitions

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La Memoire (1999 phase of La Ville, Le Jardin, La Memoire), Academie de France a Rome, Villa Medici, Rome
Act 1, (1999 phase of Act 1, Act 2, Act 3), Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen
48th International Venice Biennale: d'APERTutto, Giardini di Castello and the Arsenale, Venice
Unfinished History, MCA Chicago, Chicago
Vertical Time, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
Nominee for Hugo Boss Prize, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (Soho), New York
Shoot at the Chaos, SPIRAL / Wacoal Art Center, Tokyo
Breaking Ground, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
XXIV Bienal de São Paulo, Sao Paulo
Unfinished History, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Cinca Continentes y Una Cuidad, Museo de la Ciudad, Mexico City
Sexta Bienal de la Habana El Individuo y su Memoria
Città/Nattura: Mostra Internazionale di Arte Contemporanea, Villa Mazzante, Rome
Documenta X, Museum Fredericianum, Kassel
Truce: Echoes of Art in an Age of Endless Conclusions, Site Santa Fé, New Mexico
2nd Johannesburg Biennale Trade Routes: History and Geography
Les Arts de la Résistance: Fin de Siécle, Johannesburg, Galerie Michel Luneau, Nantes
Delta, ARC Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville Paris, Paris
UBU ±101, collaborative exhibition with Deborah Bell and Robert Hodgins, Standard Bank National Festival of the Arts, Grahamstown
Simunye: We Are One, Adelson Galleries, New York
Faultlines, The Castle, Cape Town
10th Sydney Biennale Jurassic Technologies Revenant
Ici et Ailleurs, film section within Inklusion-Exklusion, Graz
Don't Mess with Mr Inbetween, Culturgest, Lisbon
Campo 6: The Spiral Village, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin
Colours: Art from South Africa, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Africus 1st Johannesburg Biennale: Memory and Geography, collaboration with Doris Bloom
Memory and Geography, collaboration with Doris Bloom, Stefania Miscetti Gallery, Rome
Panoramas of Passage: Changing Landscapes of South Africa, touring USA and South Africa
Mayibuye iAfrika, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
On the Road, Delfina Studio Trust, London
4th Istanbul Biennale Kentridge exhibition Eidophusikon
Trackings: History as Memory, Document and Object, Art First, London
Displacements, Block Gallery, North Western University, Chicago
Spacex Gallery, University of Exeter, UK
Easing the Passing of the Hours, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
45th Venice Biennale South African group exhibition, In Croc Del Sud
Little Morals, collaboration with Deborah Bell and Robert Hodgins, Taking Liberties Gallery, Durban
Art from South Africa, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, touring UK
African Encounters, Dome Gallery, New York, touring to Washington DC
Hogarth in Johannesburg, collaboration with Deborah Bell and Robert Hodgins, Cassirer Fine Art, Johannesburg, touring nationally
Claes Eklundh, William Kentridge, Thomas Lawson, Simon/Neuman Galleries, New York
But this is the Reality, The Market Gallery, Johannesburg
Cape Town Triennal '85, South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Tributaries, Market Theatre precinct; touring Germany

Selected Theatre Projects

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Theatre productions have been created in association with Handspring Puppet Company, with animated film backdrops created by, and directed by William Kentridge.

Il Ritorno d'Ulisse multi-media opera
Performances in Brussels, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, Zurich
Ubu and the Truth Commission multi-media theatre production
Performances in Weimar, Grahamstown, Avignon, Johannesburg, Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Romainmotier, Hanover, Rungis, Ludwigsberg, Nantes, Kristiansand, Neuchatel, Dijon, Erlangen, Munich, New York Washington, Los Angeles
Faustus in Africa! multi-media theatre production
Performances in Weimar Berlin, Grahamstown, Johannesburg, Zurich, Ludwigsburger, Munich, Prague, Stuttgart, Hanover, Basel, London, Remscheid, Gutersloh, Erlangen, Lisbon, Adelaide, Brussels, Bochum, Hanover, Dijon, Jerusalem, Ellwangen, Hamburg, copenhagen, St Polten, Polverigi, Avignon, Seville, Marseille, Rome, Tarbes, toulouse, Strasbourg, Paris, Sochaux, Bourg en Bresse, Chambery
Woyzeck on the Highveld multi-media theatre production
Awards for production, set design and direction
Performances in Grahamstown, Munich, Antwerp, Toronto, Brussels, Stuttgart, Granada, Glasgow, Bochum, Braunshweig, Berlin, Goteborg, New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, Adelaide, Wellington, Bogota, Jerusalem, Avignon, and cities in Scandinavia, France, Belgium, Italy

Selected Bibliography

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Michael Godby, Robert Hodgins, William Kentridge and Deborah Bell: Hogarth in Johannesburg, Witwatersrand, University Press, Johannesburg, 1990
Michael Godby, 'William Kentridge: Four Animated Films', in William Kentridge: Drawings for Projection, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, 1992 (catalogue)
4th International Biennale of Istanbul, The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, 1995 (catalogue)
Sue Williamson, Ashraf Jamal, Art in South Africa: The Future Present, David Philip, Cape Town/Johannesburg, 1996
Delta, ARC Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1997 (catalogue)
Catherine David and Jean-François Chevrier, Politics -Poetics documenta X the book, Museum Fredericianum, Kassel, Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit, 1997 (catalogue)
Rory Doepel, Ubu ±101: William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Deborah Bell, Observatory Museum, Standard Bank National Festival of the Arts, Grahamstown, 1997 (catalogue)
Jurassic Technologies Revenant, 10th Sydney Biennale 1997, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, 1997 (catalogue)
Sexta Bienal de Habana: el individuo y su memoria, Centro Wilfredo Lam, Havana, 1997 (catalogue)
Truce: Echoes of Art in an Age of Endless Conclusions, Site Santa Fé, New Mexico, 1997 (catalogue)
Michael Godby, 'William Kentridge's History of the Main Complaint: Narrative, Memory, Truth', in Sarah Nuttal and Carli Coetzee, Negotiating the Past: the Making of Memory in South Africa, Oxford University Press, Cape Town, 1998
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, William Kentridge, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Brussels, 1998 (catalogue)

In cooperation with Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles and Kunstverein Munich 


William Kentridge, Societé des Expositions du Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles (ed.), texts by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, 192 p., engl., ISBN 90-74816-09-6.



William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in April 1955, where he continues to live today. In 1976 he graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with majors in Politics and African Studies. From 1976 to 1978 he was a student at the Johannesburg Art Foundation, where he taught etching for two years thereafter. During 1981 and 1982 he studied mime and theatre at the École Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Kentridge has worked extensively in theatre as an actor, designer, and director, and was a founding member of the Junction Avenue Theatre Company. In 1989 Kentridge created his first animated film in the Soho Eckstein, Felix Teitlebaum series, titled "Johannesburg 2nd Greatest City After Paris". In 1992 he staged his first theatre project in conjunction with Handspring Puppet Company, "Woyzeck on the Highveld".

Note: William Kentridge's work has been divided into the categories of solo and group exhibitions, theatre and film. Listings under 'film' refer only to the process of making animated films - films are frequently included in exhibitions, and have been screened at numerous film festivals not mentioned here. Theatre and multi-media, live events appear under 'theatre', which also includes animation created as part of theatre productions.

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