William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1955. He attended the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1973–76), Johannesburg Art Foundation (1976–78), and studied mime and theater at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris (1981–82). Having witnessed first-hand one of the twentieth century’s most contentious struggles—the dissolution of apartheid—Kentridge brings the ambiguity and subtlety of personal experience to public subjects that are most often framed in narrowly defined terms. Using film, drawing, sculpture, animation, and performance, he transmutes sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. In a now-signature technique, Kentridge photographs his charcoal drawings and paper collages over time, recording scenes as they evolve. Working without a script or storyboard, he plots out each animated film, preserving every addition and erasure. Aware of myriad ways in which we construct the world by looking, Kentridge uses stereoscopic viewers and creates optical illusions with anamorphic projection, to extend his drawings-in-time into three dimensions. Kentridge has had major exhibitions at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, (2007); and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2004); among others. He has also participated in Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008); the Sydney Biennale (1996, 2008); and Documenta (1997, 2002). His opera and theater works, often produced in collaboration with Handspring Puppet Company, have appeared at Brooklyn Academy of Music (2007); Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa (1992, 1996, 1998); and Festival d’Avignon, France (1995, 1996). His production of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, The Nose, premiered in 2010 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in conjunction with a retrospective organized by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. William Kentridge lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.

William Kentridge
William Kentridge
Johannesburg, 1955
South Africa

Current Exhibitions

William Kentridge: More Sweetly Play the Dance

Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design – MDC

19 May — 20 Jan
More Sweetly Play the Dance is an 8-channel video installation by the contemporary artist William Kentridge, projected on the walls of the Freedom Tower, at the MDC Museum of Art and Design....

The World on Paper


27 Sep — 07 Jan
The World on Paper is the opening collective exhibition of PalaisPopulaire, which features works from the Deutsche Bank Collection. The selection explores the special fascination exerted by paper on artists since post-war modernism...
01 Oct — 30 Dec
“Procession of Reparationists” is a public and site-specific installation, in collaboration with Castello di Rivoli and Fondazione CRT, this is the first of a series of commissions for the public spaces at OGR. The artwork...

Past Exhibitions

Cahiers d’Art: From Calder to Sugimoto

21/02/2018 — 05/05/2018

William Kentridge: That Which We Do Not Remember

Goodman Gallery 30/11/2017 — 13/01/2018

William Kentridge: Basta y Sobra

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
01/11/2017 — 19/03/2018

William Kentridge: O Sentimental Machine

Marian Goodman Paris
15/03/2017 — 20/05/2017

The White Hunter. African Memories and representation

FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea
31/03/2017 — 03/06/2017

Solo Shows

Smoke, Ashes, Fable: William Kentridge, St John’s Hospital Museum, Bruges, Belgium
Basta y Sobra, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain
Thick Time: Installations and Stagings, Museum der Moderne , Salzburg, Austria Thick Time, Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark

Thick Time, Whitechapel Gallery, London, U.K.
NO IT IS!, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Triumphs and Laments , Piazza Tevere, Rome, Italy
Notes Towards a Model Opera , Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

I Am Not Me, Museum Haus Konstruktiv Zurich, Zurich.

Drawings: East Rand Proprietary Mines Cash Book, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.
A cineconcert of projections by William Kentridge and music by Philip Miller, Florence Contemporary Sounds, National Museum of the Bargello.
Fortuna, Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro.
The Refusal of Time and Other Faces, Philip Miller (composer), Catherine Meyburgh (video editor) and Peter Galison (dramaturg), Espoo Museum of Modern Art, The Weegee Exhibition Centre, Ahertajantie, Tapiola.
The Refusal of Time, Philip Miller (composer), Catherine Meyburgh (video editor) and Peter Galison (dramaturg), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
Fortuna, Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica, Bogota.
Fortuna, Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellin.

Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.
FORTUNA, Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
FORTUNA, Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paolo, Brazil.

William Kentridge: ¿No se unirá usted al baile? , CAC, Malaga.
William Kentridge: Universal Archive (parts 7–23) , Annandale Galleries, Sydney.
MCA DNA: William Kentridge , Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago.
William Kentridge: Fortuna, Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro.
William Kentridge: I am not me, the horse is not mine, Tate Modern, London.
William Kentridge: Vertical Thinking , MAXXI – Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Milan.
William Kentridge as Printmaker , The Blue Coat, Liverpool.
William Kentridge: No, It Is , Goodman Gallery, Cape Town.

Group Shows

Never Ending Stories , Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany Doublethink Double Vision_, Pera Museum,Istanbul, Turkey
The Power of the Avant-Garde ,Muzeum Narodowe, Krakow, Poland

The Power of the Avant-Garde , BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium
Moving Tales: Video from the La Gaia Collection , Chiesa di San Francesco, Cuneo, Italy
New Revolutions: Goodman Gallery at 50 , Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
New Revolutions: Goodman Gallery at 50 , Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Refuse The Hour at Perth International Arts Festival, Perth, Australia

Edge of Silence , Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Other People’s Memories , Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Poetry In Between: South-South , Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa Double Vision , Kulturforum, Potsdamer Platz, Germany
Saltwater: a Theory of Thought Forms , 14th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey  TWENTY: Art in the Time of Democracy, Beijing Biennial, China

From Sitting to Selfie , Standard Bank Gallery, South Africa
Contemporary Art / South Africa , Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Rise and Fall of Apartheid , Museum Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa Surfacing , Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

My Joburg , La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
Editions/Artists’ Book Fair, New York, USA
Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life , Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life , Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Johannesburg Country of birth: South Africa Date of birth: 1955 Lives in: Johannesburg, South Africa