This large-scale exhibition surveys nearly three decades of work by William Kentridge (b. 1955, South Africa), a remarkably versatile artist whose work combines the political with the poetic. Dealing with subjects as sobering as apartheid, colonialism, and totalitarianism, his work is often imbued with dreamy, lyrical undertones or comedic bits of self-deprecation that render his powerful messages both alluring and ambivalent. Best known for animated films based on charcoal drawings, he also works in prints, books, collage, sculpture, and the performing arts. This exhibition explores five primary themes in Kentridge’s art from the 1980s to the present, and underscores the interrelatedness of his mediums and disciplines, particularly through a selection of works from the Museum’s collection. Included are works related to the artist’s staging and design of Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Nose, which premieres at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in March 2010.
Accompanied by the performance program Performance 8: William Kentridge
The exhibition was originally organized for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Norton Museum of Art by Mark Rosenthal. At The Museum of Modern Art the exhibition is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large, MoMA, and Director, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; Judith B. Hecker, Assistant Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books; and Cara Starke, Assistant Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art.