Artists in Depth: William Kentridge


William Kentridge, Drawing for the film History of the Main Complaint, 1995–96, Gouache and charcoal on paper, 48 x 63 in. (121.9 x 160 cm), Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Susan and Lewis Manilow, 2001.34 Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago © 1995–96 William Kentridge


During its 40-year history, the MCA has distinguished itself with groundbreaking exhibitions that have contributed substantially to the evolving history of contemporary art. These exhibitions have, in turn, stimulated the museum and its supporters to acquire important and often numerous pieces by these artists. A resulting hallmark of the MCA’s collection is the presence of significant, in-depth bodies of work by artists.

Artists in Depth presents concentrations of work by artists whom the MCA has collected in depth, or whose pieces in the collection are definitive examples of their singular aesthetic. This installment showcases the work of artist William Kentridge and features his film History of the Main Complaint along with a group of drawings used to create the film. These works are drawn from the well-received retrospective of his work at the MCA in 2001–02.

Showcasing key artists of the last 40 years whose work has been and continues to define international contemporary art underscores the MCA’s role as a leader in and incubator of artistic innovation. The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Smith, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the MCA.