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William Kentridge


William Kentridge, Drawing for the film History of the Main Complaint, 1995–96. Charcoal and pastel on paper; 31 1/2 x 47 1/2 in. (80 x 120.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Susan and Lewis Manilow, 2001.28. © 1995–96 William Kentridge

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago


Co-organized by the MCA, William Kentridge is the South African artist's first survey exhibition in the United States. Kentridge is internationally renowned for his animated films, drawings, and theater productions that focus on the complex and often violent history of his native South Africa and consider the effect its past will have on its future. This major exhibition presents 11 of Kentridge's powerful, short animated films or “drawings for projection,” the majority of which chronicle the ongoing narrative of two characters struggling within the apartheid and post-apartheid landscapes. The exhibition also features the premiere of a new film. Approximately 50 large-scale charcoal drawings utilized in the making of the films are shown alongside the projections in addition to a selection of related earlier graphic works.

William Kentridge is cocurated by MCA Associate Curator Staci Boris.


William Kentridge was co-organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. The national and international tour of William Kentridge is sponsored by Philip Morris Companies, Inc. Additional support for this exhibition has been generously provided by National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Rockefeller Foundation; and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Support for the Chicago presentation has been generously provided by Donna and Howard Stone, Andrea and James Gordon, Kenneth C. Griffin, Sara Albrecht Nygren and Bill Nygren, Susan and Lewis Manilow, and the Chicago Community Trust.