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William Kentridge, Born 1955, South Africa

Open, 2019

'Open' is situated between the undulating terrain of Donum Home and the Rose Garden. Its presence enriches the vantage point from Donum Home. Kentridge commented, “Drawing is the start - bridging the tactile reality of sculpture with the illusion of silhouette. ‘OPEN' is akin to a hieroglyph, in the form of a corkscrew. Like the other sculptures in this series, the hope is that it harmonizes recognizability with abstraction, whilst also oscillating between two and three-dimensional readings. At the same time, we cannot resist reading something like human form into the dual pillars, or legs. As it joins the Donum Collection's many fine monumental sculptures, the hope is to put ‘OPEN’ in conversation with those pieces - its dull, deep patinated surface contrasting with the Collection's reflective sculptures. A sculpture is in interaction with the elements, and its integration into the landscape and insertion into the conversation with other pieces in the collection invites exploration. 'OPEN’ finds its place in harmony with the hills, the estate, the vines.”


William Kentridge (b. Johannesburg, South Africa, 1955) is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions. While his practice, expressionist in nature, is entirely underpinned by drawing, his method combines studio-based and collaborative practices to create works of art that are grounded in politics, science, literature and history, and maintain a space for contradiction and uncertainty.

Kentridge’s work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Musée du Louvre in Paris, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen, the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Zeitz MOCAA, the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, MUDAM in Luxembourg and the Royal Academy of Arts in London. He has also participated in a number of Biennale’s including Documenta in Kassel (2012, 2002,1997) and the Venice Biennale (2015, 2013, 2005, 1999, 1993).

Opera productions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Shostakovich’s The Nose, and Alban Berg’s operas Lulu and Wozzeck, and have been seen at opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, English National Opera in London, Opera de Lyon, Amsterdam opera, the Sydney Opera House and the Salzburg Festival.

Kentridge’s theatrical productions, performed in theatres and at festivals across the globe include Refuse the Hour, Winterreise, Paper Music, The Head & the Load, Ursonate and Waiting for the Sibyl and in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company, Ubu & the Truth Commission, Faustus in Africa!, Il Ritorno d’Ulisse, and Woyzeck on the Highveld.

In 2016 Kentridge founded the Centre for Less Good Idea in Johannesburg: a space for responsive thinking and making through experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary arts practices. The centre hosts an ongoing program of workshops, public performances, and mentorship activities.