“William Kentridge: See for Yourself” at The Warehouse Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Jeff Bentoff, Bentoff Communications | jeff@bentoff.com | 414-791-1215

The Warehouse Art Museum
1635 W St Paul Avenue | Milwaukee, WI 53233

Hours Monday – Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

414-252-0677 Extension 110 

info@thewarehousemke.org

thewarehousemke.org

Exhibition dates: July 8 – December 16, 2022

William Kentridge
Studio Life: Blackboard, 2021
Photogravure
Photographed by Robb Quinn
Courtesy of The Warehouse Art Museum

The exhibit includes work in a variety of media spanning his career and emphasizes his interactive art & practice

Milwaukee (June 1, 2022) – The Warehouse Art Museum presents “William Kentridge: See for Yourself,” a comprehensive exhibition of work by the internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge, emphasizing his interactive work. The exhibition includes some works that have never before been publicly displayed. The show opens July 8 and continues through December 16, 2022.

During its run, The Warehouse Art Museum has organized theatrical and musical performances and lectures, many with international presenters.

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1955. Kentridge is best known for his animated films, the earliest was completed in 1989 and the most recent premiered this year.

The exhibition begins with early work from when Kentridge was in his 20’s, including his first linocuts, etchings, monotypes, and screen-printed theater posters. There are also masterful charcoal drawings, etchings and lithographs, and sculptural objects, spanning the 1970’s up through 2022. This will be the first exhibition of his work in Milwaukee since the 2018 presentation of “More Sweetly Play the Dance,” at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Kentridge’s interactive art invites viewers to be involved with the work. This begins when visitors “enter” his studio, where they will see and touch hands-on art. Examples of this include books in which he drew multiple images; when the pages are “flipped” the drawings become an animation, literally “motion pictures.” He also created side-by-side images that, when inserted in a stereo-viewer, are seen in three dimensions. Additionally, Kentridge created watermarks in sheets of handmade paper; when first seen, the paper looks entirely blank, but when lit from behind, the watermark figures emerge.

Another type of interactive art is more conceptual. A series of eight etchings called Little Morals (1993) are seen separately but understood all together. Another work, Widow of Lampedusa (2017), is a woodcut printed from 13 woodblocks onto 28 sheets of paper. The work is completed by pinning the prints together on a wall, following assembly instructions. It is a physical and mental construct. Other work includes sculptures, anamorphic puzzles using optical illusions, and multi-media productions.

“My work,“ Kentridge says, “is a process of drawing that tries to find a way through the space between what we know and what we see.”

Photographed by Norbert Miguletz

“While much of Kentridge’s art is deeply personal and evocative, the outside world also inflects and is reflected in his work,” writes Melanie Herzog, Guest Curator for the exhibition. Through allegory and metaphor, he responds to the legacies of colonialism and apartheid, remembered and forgotten histories, and the passage of time. The absurdity, tragedy, and hope impelled by the events and conditions of our modern existence are the backdrop for Kentridge’s ongoing investigation of the limits of reason, the elusiveness of language, the porous boundary between truth and fiction, and the frailty of memory. His work invites viewers to make meaning through looking and seeing, while recognizing that meaning is conditional, ambiguous, and sometimes contradictory.”

Kentridge enjoys a worldwide audience because he addresses our common histories or, as he says, our triumphs and laments. “Be prepared,” said John Shannon, Warehouse Art Museum Director, “be prepared for challenging experiences and ideas.”

His passion for the theater led him to work as creative director on several acclaimed opera productions including Mozart’s Magic Flute (2005)The Nose by Shostakovich (2010), and recently two operas by Alban Berg, Lulu (2015) and Wozzeck (2017). Kentridge has also created a number of original performance pieces including Refuse the Hour (2012), Triumphs & Laments (2017) on the Tiber River in Rome, The Head & the Load (2018) and the chamber opera Waiting for the Sibyl (2019).

Kentridge’s work has been shown in major museums and biennales around the world. These include Documenta in Kassel, Germany (1997, 2003, 2012), the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1998, 2010), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2012), Musée du Louvre in Paris (2010), FORTUNA in Brazil (2013), Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in China (2015), Whitechapel Gallery in London (2016), Louisiana Museum in Denmark (2017), Reina Sofia Museum in Spain (2017), Liebieghaus Museum in Germany (2018), Milwaukee Art Museum (2018), Kunstmuseum Basel (2019), Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town (2019), and most recently MUDAM in Luxembourg (2021).

Kentridge is currently working toward major survey exhibitions at The Royal Academy in London and The Broad Museum in Los Angeles, both 2022.

Kentridge has received honorary doctorates from several universities including Yale and the University of London. He presented the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard University (2012) and the Neubauer Lectures for Culture and Art at the University of Chicago (2013). In 2013 he served as Humanitas Visiting Professor in Contemporary Art at Oxford University, and in 2015 he was appointed an Honorary Academician of the Royal Academy in London. In 2017 he received the Princesa de Asturias Award for the Arts, Spain, and in 2018, the Antonio Feltrinelli International Prize, Italy. Previous awards include the Kyoto Prize, Japan (2010), the Oskar Kokoschka Award, Vienna (2008), the Kaiserring Prize (2003), and the Sharjah Biennial 6 Prize (2003), among many others.

Events

In addition to the exhibition, The Warehouse Art Museum will host and collaborate on an international series of performances, events, and discussions about Kentridge and his work.

  • “Interplay: Kentridge & Miller,” presented in partnership with Present Music at the Milwaukee Art Museum, November 16, 2022. The concert features music written by Philip Miller for Kentridge’s iconic animated films. The Warehouse has commissioned new work by Miller, which will be included in the concert. Miller lives and works in South Africa. For more information visit presentmusic.org.
  • For details and updates on all events please visit thewarehousemke.org.
1635 W St. Paul Avenue
The Warehouse Art Museum building exterior
Courtesy of The Warehouse Art Museum

Guest Curator – Melanie Herzog

Melanie Herzog is the Guest Curator of this exhibition. She is a senior lecturer in Afro- American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and professor emerita of art history at Edgewood College. She holds an MFA in ceramics and a PhD in art history from UW-Madison. Her publications include Elizabeth Catlett: An American Artist in Mexico (2000) and Milton Rogovin: The Making of a Social Documentary Photographer (2006), as well as essays on various twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists. Recently she contributed to A Creative Place: The History of Wisconsin Art (2021).

Museum Director of Exhibitions and Collections – Danielle L. Paswaters

Danielle L. Paswaters holds a BA in Art History with a Business minor and an MA in Art History with a concentration in interdisciplinary art and DEAI in Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has curated exhibitions at American’s Black Holocaust Museum, The Milwaukee Artists Resource Network (MARN), the UW- Milwaukee Union Art Gallery and the UW-Milwaukee Mathis Art History Gallery. Additionally, Paswaters has worked at the Milwaukee Art Museum in various capacities.

The Warehouse Art Museum

The Warehouse is a private art museum and research center specializing in modern and contemporary art that opened to the public in 2018. As Milwaukee’s first and only modern and contemporary art museum, the permanent collection of 3,600 works is international in scope but at the same time personal, reflecting the interests of collectors Jan Serr and John Shannon. Scholars, students, and art enthusiasts can study the permanent collection, and works are available for institutional loan. The Warehouse is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.


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