William Kentridge. Learning the Flute. 2003

William Kentridge Learning the Flute 2003

  • Not on view

Composed of 110 individually printed sheets, this monumental work is a complex technical achievement. A drawing by Kentridge was divided up and transferred in pieces to 110 metal printing plates, then each plate was printed on unbound pages from a 1950 edition of Chambers’s Encyclopedia. Featuring an Egyptian temple, stage machinery, and a falcon, as well as familiar Kentridge motifs—including a lightbulb, megaphone, and camera—the composition resonates with Mozart’s opera _The Magic Flute (_1791), which Kentridge directed in 2005, and, given its grand scale, invokes the space of the theater.

Gallery label from William Kentridge: Five Themes, February 24–May 17, 2010.
Letterpress on encyclopedia pages mounted on 110 sheets of paper
each sheet: 10 1/4 x 14 3/8" (26 x 36.5 cm); overall (irreg.): 110 3/4 x 140 3/8 x 3/4" (281.3 x 356.6 x 1.9 cm)
Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, Johannesburg
The Artists' Press, White River, Mpumalanga, South Africa
18 (9 with encyclopedia pages)
Patricia P. Irgens Larsen Foundation Fund
Object number
© 2020 William Kentridge
Drawings and Prints

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