William Joseph Kentridge (South African, born 1955) Rand Mines after Volschenk
Lot 213*
William Joseph Kentridge (South African, born 1955) Rand Mines ('After Volschenk')
Sold for £15,000 (US$ 24,075) inc. premium

Lot Details
William Joseph Kentridge (South African, born 1955)
Rand Mines ('After Volschenk')
signed and dated 'KENTRIDGE '99' (lower right), inscribed 'After Volschenk' (lower centre)
charcoal and wash on inscribed ledger page
37.2 x 63cm (14 5/8 x 24 13/16in).

Footnotes

  • In discussing landscape traditions in South African art, Kentridge has referred to the works of prominent figures such as J.H. Pierneef and Jan Volschenk (to whom he refers in the present lot's inscription). In their artistic visions, Kentridge explains, "the landscape is arranged into a vision of pure nature, majestic primal forces of rock and sky... all idea of process or history is abandoned. These paintings, of landscape in a state of grace, are documents of disremembering".

    Refusing such idealised views, Kentridge pictures a landscape which lays bare its histories: the mining dumps of the East Rand. The scarred surface of the land, wrought by civil engineering, is sparsely punctuated by scrubby growth (little more can be sustained in this barren environment), and what appear to be hills are entirely artificial, merely the remains of earth excavated from the mines.

    The current lot – along with the Rand Mines print to which this original drawing is related – is executed on a unique page of the ledger book of an early Johannesburg mining company. In bringing together record and representation as both surface and ground, this work "directly [addresses] the process of stripping, depleting and commercialising the space of nature".

    BIBLIOGRAPHY:
    'Artist's Writings', in D. Cameron, C. Cristov-Bakergiev and J.M. Coetzee, William Kentridge, (London and New York, 2003), p.109
    S. Stewart, 'William Kentridge', in The Open Studio: Essays on Art and Aesthetics, (Chicago, 2005), pp. 51-66, p.62
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