William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows


by Ed Schad (Editor), William Kentridge (Artist), Joanne Heyler (Foreword), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Contributor), Zakes Mda (Contributor), Walter Murch (Contributor), Claudia Rankine (Contributor)

Thirty-five years of South African artist William Kentridge’s dynamic, cross-genre art, with new essays by Zakes Mda, Claudia Rankine and Ed Schad, and conversations between the artist, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Walter Murch.

This far-reaching book presents Kentridge’s dynamic art practice, which originates in charcoal drawing and expands into intersections with film, sculpture, opera and theater performances, printmaking and many other mediums. The volume is organized chronologically and thematically, emphasizing Kentridge’s destabilizing of South African and global narratives through openness to uncertainty, the generative power of the artist’s studio and perpetual change, all as conditions for illuminating repressed and silenced voices in historical records.

An essay by curator Ed Schad is presented along with studio photography, archival material and illuminating illustrations of Kentridge’s work, joining essays by globally recognized literary figures and thinkers Zakes Mda and Claudia Rankine. Notably, the volume features a series of conversations between Kentridge and several cultural leaders including famous film and sound editor Walter Murch.

The work of 
William Kentridge (born 1955) has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Musée du Louvre in Paris, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen, the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, the Kunstmuseum in Basel and Zeitz MOCAA and the Norval Foundation in Cape Town. Opera productions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Shostakovich’s The Nose and Alban Berg’s operas Lulu and Wozzeck. In 2016 Kentridge founded the Centre for Less Good Idea in Johannesburg, a space for responsive thinking and making through experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary art practices. The center hosts an ongoing program of workshops, public performances and mentorship activities.

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