27 Facts About William Kentridge


William Kentridge was born on 28 April 1955 and is a South African artist best known for his prints, drawings, and animated films, especially noted for a sequence of hand-drawn animated films he produced during the 1990s.


William Kentridge continues this process meticulously, giving each change to the drawing a quarter of a second to two seconds' screen time.


William Kentridge has served as art director and overall director of numerous productions, collaborating with other artists, puppeteers and others in creating productions that combine drawings and multi-media combinations.


William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1955 to Sydney William Kentridge and Felicia Geffen, a Jewish family.


William Kentridge was educated at King Edward VII School in Houghton, Johannesburg.


William Kentridge showed great artistic promise from an early age, and began taking classes with charcoal at age eight.


William Kentridge believed that being ethnically Jewish gave him a unique position as a third-party observer in South Africa.

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William Kentridge's parents were lawyers, well-known for their defence of victims of apartheid.


William Kentridge developed an ability to remove himself somewhat from the atrocities committed under the later regimes.


William Kentridge has practiced expressionist art: form often alludes to content and vice versa.


The purpose of a machine such as this is to instil "peace" by force, but William Kentridge noted that it was used as a tool to keep lower-class natives from taking colonial power and money.


Between 1989 and 2003 William Kentridge made a series of nine short films, which he eventually gathered under the title 9 Drawings for Projection.


The political content and unique techniques of William Kentridge's work have propelled him into the realm of South Africa's top artists.


William Kentridge conveys it through his erasure technique, which contrasts with conventional cel-shaded animation, whose seamlessness de-emphasizes the fact that it is actually a succession of hand-drawn images.


William Kentridge is able in this way to create as many frames as he wants based on the original key frame simply by erasing small sections.


William Kentridge's technique grapples with what is not said, what remains suppressed or forgotten but can easily be felt.


William Kentridge has been commissioned to create stage design and act as a theatre director in opera.


William Kentridge has staged Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, Die Zauberflote and The Nose.


On 8 August 2017, William Kentridge's Wozzeck premiered at the Salzburg Festival and received enthusiastic reactions.


In 2023, William Kentridge received the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for the production of 'Sybil' at the Barbican Theatre, London.


In 2016, the anniversary of Rome's legendary founding in 753BC, William Kentridge unveiled Triumphs and Laments, a monumental mural along the right bank of the river Tiber.


William Kentridge is married to Anne Stanwix, a rheumatologist, and they have three children.


William Kentridge's films were shown at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.


William Kentridge's works are included in the following permanent collections: Honolulu Museum of Art, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern.


In 2012, William Kentridge was in residence at Harvard University invited to deliver the distinguished Charles Eliot Norton lectures in early 2012.

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William Kentridge is represented by Goodman Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery in New York and Lia Rumma Gallery in Italy.


The South African record for William Kentridge is R6.6 million, set at Aspire Art Auctions in Johannesburg in 2018.