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Master stroke

Aug 26, 2019 | REAL|People

A two-pronged exhibition of William Kentridge works is the largest on the continent in a decade

The largest showing of renowned artist William Kentridge’s works on the African continent in over a decade, the dual exhibitions taking place at Norval Foundation and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), will offer a huge scope for art lovers to enjoy, and will run until March 2020.

The body of work, which spans decades, takes place in two parts at two of the country’s leading art institutions – with Why Should I Hesitate? Sculpture on view at Norval Foundation and Why Should I Hesitate? Putting Drawings To Work on display at Zeitz MOCAA.

Why Should I Hesitate? Sculpture will present three-dimensional works by Kentridge created over the last 19 years and will be the first exhibition internationally to focus on the artist as a sculptor. With works that include those that originate from his operatic work, as well as the debut of new works commissioned especially for this exhibition, viewers will be able to experience the artist’s prowess in a different medium.

“Kentridges’ sculptures embrace a spontaneous approach and have recently evolved towards the massive and the monumental. Simultaneously, and in tension to the monumental aspects of his practice, he is revealed to be a choreographer as much as a sculptor,” says Karel Nel, Senior Advising Curator at Norval Foundation. “A key aspect of the Norval Foundation is our commitment to exhibiting the sculptural and installation based practices of a variety of artists, which is facilitated by our purpose-designed building. In particular, we invite artists and curators to respond to gallery eight, our largest gallery, with William Kentridge’s exhibition exemplifying this,” says Elana Brundyn, CEO, Norval Foundation.

Why Should I Hesitate? Putting Drawings To Work, will be staged at Zeitz MOCAA and will offer a wide survey of Kentridge’s work, including early works, as well as newer pieces on view for the first time in South Africa and will cover over 40 years of artistic production (1976 to 2019) and encompass drawing, stop-frame animation, video, prints, sculpture, tapestry, video and large-scale installation.

“This large scale survey exhibition prompts us to consider how various artistic media, initiated from two-dimensional works on paper, can be seeds through which Kentridge has developed his concerns for history, particularly in relation to his home continent, Africa and its historical ties further afield,” says Azu Nwagbogu, curator of the exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA.

The exhibitions will also be accompanied by a series of talks and performances with the artist, and leading voices in the cultural sector.

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