William Kentridge

© Stella Olivier

Biography

William Kentridge, born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1955, is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions.
His practice is born out of a cross-fertilisation between mediums and genres. His work responds to the legacies of colonialism and apartheid, within the context of South Africa's socio-political landscape. His aesthetics are drawn from the medium of film’s own history, from stop-motion animation to early special effects. Kentridge’s drawing, specifically the dynamism of an erased and redrawn mark, is an integral part of his expanded animation and filmmaking practice, where the meanings of his films are developed during the process of their making. Kentridge’s practice also incorporates his theatre training.
His work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s, including the documenta in Kassel, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Albertina in Vienna, Musée du Louvre in Paris, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.
His opera productions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Shostakovich’s The Nose, and Alban Berg’s Lulu, and have been seen at opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, English National Opera in London, Opera de Lyon, Amsterdam Opera, and others. Together with Matthias Goerne and Markus Hinterhäuser, he presented Schubert’s Winterreise at the Wiener Festwochen 2014. In 2017, Kentridge’s production of Berg’s Wozzeck premiered at the Salzburg Festival.
William Kentridge is the recipient of honorary doctorates from several universities including Yale and the University of London and was appointed Honorary Academician of the Royal Academy in London in 2015. In 2010, he was awarded the Kyoto Prize and in 2017, he received the Princesa de Asturias Award for the arts.

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