The Information on William Kentridge

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The Independent Culture
Who Is He?

William Kentridge is a white South African artist, a former actor, designer and theatre director based in Johannesburg. He specialises in figurative charcoal drawings that form the basis of animated films dealing with the troubled history of South Africa.

Where's He Coming From?

He creates the illusion of movement by shooting a single drawing at different stages of development. While his innovative technique has been praised, some critics have been unimpressed by his failure to utilise it in any other way than in straightforward depictions of the atrocities that have occurred in South Africa.

What They Say About Him

"Technique-wise, the work is grave, melancholy and captivating to watch... I wish I could feel so well about their [the short films] subjects and stories," Tom Lubbock, The Independent.

"...there is nothing subtle about Kentridge's work... There is a certain wit, but absolutely no humour or irony - nothing in fact to distance the artist from his work, which maintains the same tone of relentless indignation from first to last," Richard Dorment, The Daily Telegraph.

"Visually, the show is, in bursts, a thrilling experience... But for me there are two important difficulties with it. The first is its over- reliance on heavy symbolic cliches... An even greater problem is the worrying way in which Kentridge's own neuroses begin inexorably to take precedence over the tragedy of his country." Waldemar Januszczak.

Where You Can See It

Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 (0171-402 6075) to 30 May