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A FOCUS ON

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE

SPRING AUCTION Cape Town 1 September at 6pm

Modern & Contemporary Art with a special focus on William Kentridge VENUE | Avenue, V&A Waterfront, 40 Dock Road, Cape Town TALK, SATURDAY 31 AUGUST AT 11AM William Kentridge: Seven Works by Professor Michael Godby

William Kentridge b.1955 South Africa

Set of 5 Polychrome Heads 2014 oil on bronze Foundry Proof 1/1, from an edition of 9 + 1 AP + 1 Painter’s Proof head 1: 30 x 21 x 8.5 cm; head 2: 27.5 x 15 x 11 cm; head 3: 31 x 17.5 x 10.5 cm; head 4: 30 x 17.5 x 10.5 cm; head 5: 31 x 20 x 11 cm

ENQUIRIES & SALE CONTACT

EMMA BEDFORD Senior Art Specialist | Director +27 83 391 7235 | emma@aspireart.net

www.aspireart.net

ZAR4 000 000 – 6 000 000 USD260 234 – 390 351 GBP214 920 – 322 380 EUR233 304 – 349 956 *exchange rates at 15 August 2019


WILLIAM KENTRIDGE Portage

William Kentridge b.1955 South Africa

Portage 2000 chine collé of figures from black Canson paper on multiple spreads from Le Nouveau Larousse Illustré Encyclopaedia (c.1906), on Vélin d’Arches créme paper, folded as a leporello signed, numbered 2/33 in pencil and stamped with The Artists’ Press chop mark on the colophon of the leporello sheet size (folded): 27.5 x 23.5 cm; sheet size (unfolded): 27.5 x 423 cm

ZAR600 000 – 900 000 USD39 237 – 58 855 GBP32 355 – 48 532 EUR35 220 – 52 829 *exchange rates at 15 August 2019

NOTES Published by William Kentridge in collaboration with The Artists’ Press, Johannesburg, 2000. Cloth casting made by Peter Castens. Printed by Mark Atwood, Paul Emmanuel and Joseph Legate, The Artists’ Press. 2

Other examples from the edition are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The New York Public Library; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Pierre Lombart; the artist. EXHIBITED Other examples from the edition exhibited at: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, William Kentridge, which travelled to Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; South National Gallery, Cape Town, 2001 to 2003; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection, 28 January to 21 April 2002; Herter Art Gallery, Massachusetts, Global Priority, 27 October to 23 November 2003; The College of Wooster Art Museum, Ebert Art Center, Ohio, William Kentridge Prints, 18 January to 6 March 2005; Miami Art Central, Miami, William Kentridge, 30 November 2005 to 5 March 2006; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California, William Kentridge:


Five Themes, which travelled to Modern Art Museum Forth Worth, Fort Worth; Norton Museum of Art, Florida; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris; Albertina Museum, Vienna; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2009 to 2011; Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, Double Vision: Albrecht Dürer & William Kentridge, 20 November 2015 to 6 March 2016; University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, Booknesses: Artists’ Books from the Jack Ginsberg Collection, 25 March to 5 May 2017 and The SintJanshospitaal, Bruges, Belgium, William Kentridge: Smoke, Ashes, Fable, 21 October 2017 to 25 February 2018. LITERATURE Koerner, Margaret K. (ed.). (2017). William Kentridge: Smoke, Ashes, Fable, New Haven: Yale University Press, another example from the edition illustrated, p.212, exhibition catalogue for William Kentridge: Smoke, Ashes, Fable, the SintJanshospitaal, Bruges, Belgium, 21 October 2017 to 25 February 2018. Tone, L. (ed.). (2013). William Kentridge Fortuna. London: Thames and Hudson, another example from the edition illustrated on pp.264–267.

Rosenthal, M. (ed.). (2009). William Kentridge: 5 Themes. London: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Norton Museum of Modern Art in association with Yale University Press, another example from the edition illustrated on pp.148–150. Basualdo, C. (ed.). (2008). William Kentridge: Tapestries. New Haven: Yale University Press, another example from the edition illustrated on pp.24–25. Law-Viljoen, B. (ed.). (2006). William Kentridge Prints. Johannesburg: David Krut publishing, another example from the edition illustrated on pp.90–95. The College of Wooster Art Museum. (2005). William Kentridge Prints, Ohio: The College of Wooster Art Museum, detail illustrated on the cover of the exhibition catalogue and p.3. Faulconer Gallery. (2004). William Kentridge Prints. Iowa: Grinnell College, another example from the edition illustrated on pp.92–95. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. (2001). William Kentridge. Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art in association with New Museum of Contemporary Art, another example from the edition illustrated on pp.i–1. 3


WILLIAM KENTRIDGE A rare, early drawing

William Kentridge b.1955 South Africa

Untitled (Witwatersrand landscape) 1988 charcoal and pastel on paper signed and dated bottom left 125 x 98 cm

ZAR2 200 000 – 3 200 000 USD143 780 – 209 134 GBP118 646 – 172 576 EUR129 076 – 187 747 *exchange rates at 15 August 2019

The 1980s were a significant time in William Kentridge’s career. At the beginning of the decade, he was uncertain whether his future lay in visual art or in the theatre; while by the end he had won both the Standard Bank Young Artist Award and the Cape Town Triennial and, with the film Johannesburg 2nd Greatest City after Paris (1989), was about to launch his international career. Thus the dispute over the date of this remarkable drawing – with experts reading the somewhat rubbed last digit in the bottom left hand corner as either a ‘2’ or an ‘8’ – was significant. As it stands, the date certainly looks like ‘1982’. But fortunately the artist himself has settled the matter, pronouncing that the drawing was certainly made in 1988. The later date obviously accommodates Kentridge’s absence at theatre school in Paris in 1981 and much of 1982, and his well-documented neglect of drawing until 1984. It also places both the style and the subject-matter of this drawing close to the several landscapes he made between the prize-winning Embarkation (1987) and the desolate peri-urban backgrounds to Johannesburg 2nd Greatest City after Paris. By around 1988, Kentridge had achieved a lightness and spaciousness in his rendering of landscape; and he had established his vocabulary of mine dumps, high-mast lighting, culverts, tyre tracks, etc., that feature prominently in this drawing and, in one way or another, many other works of this time. Moreover, in November 1988, Kentridge published his essay Landscape in a State of Siege that provides a theoretical platform for this and similar landscape drawings. The essay opens with the statement “For about a year I have been drawing landscapes” and goes on to expound his condemnation of traditional landscape painting in South Africa and explain his strategies for rendering his geographical environment meaningful. Thus, to escape what he called “the plague of the picturesque”, he would set his odometer at random distances, drive, and draw whatever he found there, generally, as he wrote, “a catalogue of civil engineering details”. For the artist, “the variety of the ephemera of human intervention on the landscape is far greater than anything the land itself has to offer” – and, one may add, more meaningful. Kentridge’s point in reproducing this “catalogue”, or, more often, constructing it from known parts, in the present drawing and all that he made around this time, is to insist on the historical dimension of landscape, a dimension that obviously privileges the economic and political aspects of the South African experience over any supposed beauty in nature. For Kentridge, evidently, the Witwatersrand of his landscape drawings is more truly real, more truly African, than any Tarzan movie or painting by Pierneef. Michael Godby Kentridge, W. (1988). Landscape in a State of Siege in Stet, volume 5, no.3, pp.15-18.

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LOTS BY WILLIAM KENTRIDGE

Head I (from the Four Paper Heads series) 2007 lithography, letterpress, book pages, chine collé, collage, watercolour and coloured pencil on a Perspex base signed and numbered PP 1/4 35.5 x 33 x 20 cm ZAR100 000 – 150 000

Summer Graffiti, eight

Four cats

five-colour lithographs on Vélin d’Arches crème 250 gsm paper, paper die-cut with round corners each signed and numbered 10/45 in red conté along the bottom margin sheet size: 18 x 23 cm each ZAR220 000 – 280 000

colour lithograph and collage signed and numbered 21/50 in pencil along the bottom margin sheet size: 66 x 50 cm ZAR40 000 – 60 000

Black Monkey Thorn lithograph and collage on de-acidified book pages signed and numbered 42/60 in pencil along the bottom margin; embossed with the David Krut Workshop chop mark bottom left sheet size: 39 x 45 cm ZAR25 000 – 40 000

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ASPIRE’S TOP KENTRIDGE PERFORMERS

Drawing from Stereoscope (Double Page Soho in Two Rooms) SOLD FOR ZAR6 600 400 | SPRING 18

Grande Jeté SOLD FOR ZAR2 273 600 | AUTUMN 17

Drawing from Mine (Soho with Coffee Plunger and Cup) SOLD FOR ZAR5 456 640 | SPRING 17

Untitled (Woman and Café) SOLD FOR ZAR3 186 400 | WINTER 19 Room Service SOLD FOR ZAR2 046 240 | AUTUMN 17

Victoria Falls (from the Colonial Landscapes series) SOLD FOR ZAR2 350 913 | AUTUMN 19

Untitled (Colonial Landscape) SOLD FOR ZAR2 046 240 | SPRING 16

Untitled (from the Deluge series) SOLD FOR ZAR1 818 880 | SPRING 16

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Set of 5 Polychrome Heads

Sculptural work by the ever-prolific William Kentridge is still relatively rare. Though a fairly regular feature of his oeuvre, it is often in conjunction with other bodies of work or a collaborative venture, such as the iconic Fire Walker public sculpture in downtown Johannesburg, created with fellow artist Gerhard Marx. The three dimensional medium also makes sense for the artist when seen as part of a multimedia, theatrical or music production, and often Kentridge’s planning for these live shows involves maquettes or modelling that can give rise to sculptural ideas. One of these, we might speculate, is the fascinating Set of 5 Polychrome Heads. First shown in a formal gallery setting, and as a full edition of five sculptures, at the Marian Goodman Gallery in London in 2015, the idea for the works, according to a contemporary review in Black Qube magazine, comes from Kentridge’s staging of Alban Berg’s opera Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in the same year: “(the) painted bronze heads…originated through research for Kentridge’s production of Alban Berg’s opera ‘Lulu’. He placed cardboard cylinders over the actors’ heads, painting them with rudimentary features and creating simple masks that served as devices halfway between them and the drawings projected around them. What began as a formal investigation into how little is needed to recognise a head became adroitly bricolaged sets of five ‘Polychrome Heads’.1 Far from being straightforward versions of these theatrical masks in the production, Kentridge brings his characteristic intellectual weight to realising the edition of five sculptures. They are cast in bronze, but painted, trompe l’oeil style, to resemble rough wooden stands on which are bricolaged, torn ledger pages, scribbled with obscure English names or Chinese characters. The heads hint at the Weimaresque, certainly Modernist, intellectual zeitgeist, a period in history in which post-colonial anxieties have provided Kentridge with much inspiration. James Sey William Kentridge at Marian Goodman Gallery London, in Black Qube Magazine for Art and Design. 30 September 2015. http://www.blackqube.de/ william-kentridge-at-marian-goodman-gallery/ Accessed 6th August 2019. 1

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Profile for Aspire Art Auctions

A Focus on William Kentridge | Spring 19 Auction  

View our Spring 19 William Kentridge highlights and past auction successes

A Focus on William Kentridge | Spring 19 Auction  

View our Spring 19 William Kentridge highlights and past auction successes