William Kentridge awarded the "Goslarer Kaiserring"
William Kentridge, © Goodman Gallery
became known through his artistic films: distorted, hand-drawn works
that examined South Africa's devastated mining landscape, for instance,
the country he was born in and that forms the background of his refined
political art. Now,
William Kentridge, who has been commissioned to create a work for the
Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin in 2005, has been awarded the
Goslarer Kaiserring, an art award given by the city of Goslar and one of
the most important art prizes worldwide.
"Drawing and erasing, marking contours and then blurring
them, accumulating blacks and tearing light areas into them: a constant
process of change takes place on the paper, recorded by a camera…" –
This is how the art critic Katrin Bettina Müller
characterizes Kentridge"s working process.
Kentridge himself has
said that he's made the theme of apartheid the central leitmotif of his
work. "I have been unable to escape Johannesburg. And in the end all my
work is rooted in this rather desperate provincial city. I have never
tried to make illustrations of apartheid, but the drawings and films are
certainly spawned by and feed off the brutalised society left in its
William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1955. In 1976, he completed
his studies at the University of Witwatersrand in political science and
African studies. He experimented with theater for four years. Since
1992, he has been working together with the famous
Handspring Puppet Company. His main focus, however, is on drawing and
film; his works were introduced to an international public in 1997 at
In receiving the Kaiserring, Kentridge is joining a
highly illustrious circle of artists – the first award winner was Henry
Moore in 1975. Since then, Joseph Beuys, Max Ernst, Cindy Sherman, Jenny
Holzer, and Sigmar Polke have received the award, among others. Gerhard
Eight Grey was the last work commissioned by the Deutsche Guggenheim.