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William Kentridge Tapestries

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William Kentridge Tapestries

Edited by Carlos Basualdo; With essays by Gabriele Guercio, Okwui Enwezor, and Ivan Vladislavić

2007
120 p., 11 1/2 x 10 1/2
23 b/w and 140 color illustrations
Hardcover ISBN: 9780300126860

South African artist William Kentridge (b. 1955) has produced an outstanding body of work in multiple mediums—drawings, animations, sculptures, theater and stage design—all of which trace the fraught political and cultural history of South Africa. This book is the first to explore Kentridge’s extraordinary new series of seventeen large-scale tapestries, created under his artistic direction by a team of South African weavers between 2001 and 2007. The tapestries depict shadowy figures that resonate with his collages of itinerant characters set against the weblike backgrounds of 19th-century maps.

A distinguished group of authors relate the tapestries to the rest of Kentridge’s multifaceted oeuvre, underline the centrality of drawing in his practice, and illuminate the connection between the tapestries and South African geography and history. Together they contribute to an understanding of Kentridge’s tapestries as a precise critical examination of issues surrounding memory and conflict in the context of societies that, while rife with violence, strive for peace and reconciliation.

Carlos Basualdo is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ivan Vladislavić has written and edited several nonfiction works on apartheid and art. Gabriele Guercio has written works on modern and contemporary art as well as the history of art theory. Okwui Enwezor is Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President at San Francisco Art Institute.

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