Artist of the Month: William Kentridge

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, the son of anti-apartheid lawyers, he learned at an early age to question structural impositions. He attained a degree in Politics and African Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand after which he studied art at the Johannesburg Art Foundation. Here he met Dumile Feni and was greatly influenced by his drawings. He also worked as a set designer for film productions and taught design printing until he moved to Paris to study drama at the École Jacques LeCoq. During the 80’s, Kentridge was art director for television series and feature films.

William Kentridge in copy-01

Ellerman House has a number of Kenridge’s works that form part of the owner, Paul Harris’ private collection. A particular piece that stands out is Iris. Iris originated in 1992 and reveals a rare symphony of colour in Kentridge’s largely monochromatic oeuvre. Drawing on the rich blues and purples of Van Gogh’s iris paintings, Kentridge created seventeen plates, each with an array of complex markings that allowed for the layering of inks and an edition of luscious vibrancy. Each plate was so brilliant and contained such variety that each print was subsequently editioned. Be sure to grab an iPad on your next visit to Ellerman House and take the iPad Art Tour to learn more about the entire collection including works by William Kentridge.

William Kentridge Iris

William Kentridge in copy-02