South African
Works On Paper
linocut on mulberry paper
Sheet: 99 1/8 × 39 7/8 in. (251.78 × 101.28 cm)
Image: 95 3/4 × 39 1/2 in. (243.21 × 100.33 cm)
Framed: 104 1/4 × 47 in. (264.8 × 119.38 cm)
Not on view

I have never tried to make illustrations of apartheid, but the drawings and the films are certainly spawned by, and feed off, the brutalized society left in its wake. I am interested in a political art . . . an art of ambiguity, contradiction, uncompleted gestures and uncertain endings . . . in which optimism is kept in check and nihilism kept at bay. —William Kentridge

Kentridge is known internationally for handmade animated films based on his charcoal drawings. Kentridge has also made prints since the beginning of his career. The stark contrast and strong cuts and gouges of Walking Man, a linocut, recall Northern Renaissance and German Expressionist woodcut prints.

Kentridge sets the striding figure in a barren industrial landscape that suggests the outskirts of his native Johannesburg. He offers few clues about the figure’s race or social status, although the branches sprouting from the man’s head and hands suggest transformation, perhaps reflecting the transitional state of South African society.

number 13 in an edition of 25
Signed in graphite lower right: W Kentridge
Inscribed in graphite beneath image, lower left: 13/25
Kathleen Boone Samuels Memorial Fund
The New VMFA: Collecting for the Future, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, October 15, 2003 - January 4, 2004

William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, May 30 - July 14, 2000

(Marian Goodman Gallery, New York) by 2000; Purchased by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in November of 2000. [1]; November 2000- Present, VMFA Collection.

[1] Accessioned November 16, 2000.
© William J. Kentridge

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.