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

30 Nov — 13 Jan
The exhibition features new work by the artist, spanning two recent opera productions, “Lulu” and “Wozzeck”, and several projects in between. The show brings together drawings, prints, sculpture, tapestries, a kinetic...

William Kentridge: Basta y Sobra

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

01 Nov — 19 Mar
After completing his degree in African Policies and Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, William Kentridge (Johannesburg, 1955) moved for a year to Paris to study theater and mime. On his return to South...
01 Oct — 30 Dec
“Procession of reparationists” is a public and site-specific installation by one of the most representative artists of the contemporary art scene. In collaboration with Castello di Rivoli and Fondazione CRT, this...

Past Exhibitions

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

Summer Show

Goodman Gallery 15/12/2016 — 14/01/2017

William Kentridge: Thick Time

Whitechapel Gallery
21/09/2016 — 15/01/2017

Solo Shows

2017
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

2016
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

2015
I Am Not Me, Museum Haus Konstruktiv Zurich, Zurich.

2014
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.

2013
Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.
FORTUNA, Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
FORTUNA, Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paolo, Brazil.

2012
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

2017
Never Ending Stories , Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany Doublethink Double Vision_, Pera Museum,Istanbul, Turkey
The Power of the Avant-Garde ,Muzeum Narodowe, Krakow, Poland

2016
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

2015
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

2014
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

2013
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