William Kentridge Departs Marian Goodman Gallery, Joins Hauser & Wirth

The artist's debut New York show with the gallery will take place in 2025.

William Kentridge. Photo: Norbert Miguletz, © William Kentridge. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2024, courtesy the artist, Goodman Gallery and Hauser & Wirth.

The South African artist William Kentridge has left Marian Goodman Gallery to join the roster of mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth. He will continue to show with Goodman Gallery in his home city of Johannesburg and London, and with Galleria Lia Rumma in Naples.

Kentridge is renowned for monochromatic drawings, animations, and operas that reflect on the history of political, cultural, and more recent societal change in his home country, often with a humorous or theatrical flair. Hauser & Wirth will open a solo show of his work in New York next year, following two earlier exhibitions at the gallery’s Gstaad location in late 2022, and in Hong Kong earlier that year.

“William’s virtuosity as an artist, thinker, polymath, and mentor of others sets him apart as a creative luminary of our time,” said Iwan Wirth. “He interweaves themes that are both universal and personal to lead us through the mazes of politics, mythology, literature and art history.”

Marian Goodman was one of the very first generation of blue-chip dealers, paving the way with her eponymous gallery, which she founded in Manhattan in 1977. She spotted Kentridge in the 1990s, when he was showing with Goodman Gallery in South Africa but only slowly starting to build a presence on the international scene. He first exhibited with her in New York in 2000, and almost immediately began showing at major U.S. museums like the Hirshhorn in 2001, LACMA in 2002, and the Met in 2004. In 2022, he had a landmark retrospective at the Royal Academy in London.

William Kentridge, Carte Hypsométrique de l’Empire Russe (2022). Photo: © William Kentridge. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2024, courtesy the artist, Goodman Gallery and Hauser & Wirth.

“There’s a kind of toughness that always operates on behalf of the artists,” he told Artnet News in 2017, reflecting on fond memories of being represented by Marian Goodman. “Curators and directors take her so seriously and understand that if she intervenes, it is for the artist’s and not the gallery’s sake.”

Now aged 95, Goodman announced plans to step back from day-to-day operations in 2021, with these responsibilities transferring to a robust new team of five partners working under the direction of president Philipp Kaiser. Kentridge’s final show at Marian Goodman Gallery took place last fall.

“Marian Goodman Gallery’s 25-year representation of William exemplifies our commitment and skills in advancing the creative visions of our artists, who at a certain juncture become extremely attractive to the mega-gallery sector,” said managing partner Emily-Jane Kirwan in a statement. “Change is intrinsic to the art world. Artists need different partners and advocates for them at different moments in their trajectories.”

“We provide a different kind of support than the mega-galleries, and stand behind our artists, never in front of them,” she added, mentioning that institutional partnerships are a key priority.

Founded in Zurich in 1992 by Ursula Hauser and Iwan and Manuela Wirth, Hauser & Wirth current has locations in London, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Somerset, St. Moritz, Gstaad, Menorca, Paris, and Monaco.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics