Berliners Are in for a Treat with a Trio of Shows by William Kentridge

It's a rare chance to see the full scope of his work.

william_kentridge, Photo: Marc Shoul; courtesy of Berliner Festspiele
William Kentridge, Photo: Marc Shoul, courtesy of Berliner Festspiele

Starting today, Berliners will have the unique opportunity to delve into all aspects of the multi-faceted work of South-African artist William Kentridge.

The museum at Martin Gropius Bau is staging a comprehensive exhibition of Kentridge’s complete multidisciplinary oeuvre titled “No It Is!”, which also extends to a series of lecture-performances by the 61-year-old artist taking place from July 5 -17 as part of the Foreign Affairs festival this summer, at the West Berlin venue Berliner Festspiele.

Meanwhile in former East Berlin, the palatial ground-floor rooms of Kewenig Galerie will be dedicated to Kentridge’s print works from the past decade-and-a-half, with a show titled “Entirely Not So.”

William Kentridge Ubu and the truth commission. Photo: Luke Younge; courtesy of Berliner Festspiele

William Kentridge Ubu and the truth commission. Photo: Luke Younge, courtesy of Berliner Festspiele.

Kentridge’s visual work serves as the basis for the extensive museum survey, which includes drawings, his famous animated films, his monumental moving-image artwork More Sweetly Play the Dance (2015) and the spatial installation The Refusal of Time, which premiered at Documenta 13 in 2012.

In addition, the museum has built a so-called Wunderkammer filled with works from Kentridge’s own collection, with etchings by Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya, and Edward Hopper, among others, which serve as artistic and thematic references for the artist. (A recent show in Berlin titled “Double Vision” presented a dialogue between Kentridge and Dürer).

William Kentridge Entirely Not So, (2010). Courtesy of the artist, Kewenig, Berlin | Palma, and the Goodman Gallery

William Kentridge Entirely Not So, (2010). Courtesy of the artist, Kewenig, Berlin | Palma, and the Goodman Gallery.

Similarly, the exhibition of works on paper at the gallery offers insights into the scope of Kentridge’s works on paper, from his sketches for the stage settings he had designed for such productions as The Magic Flute, or the Metropolitan Opera’s staging of The Nose, through to works that reflect on the sociopolitical history of his native country.

William Kentridge, “NO IT IS!” is on view at Martin-Gropius-Bau from May 12 – August 21; Performances take place from July 5 – 17 at Foreign Affairs Festival. 

William Kentridge, “Entirely Not So” is on view at Kewenig Galerie from May 13 – July 30.


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