William Joseph Kentridge (South African, born 1955) 'Drawing from Stereoscope - Man at switchboard 1999'
Lot 103*
William Joseph Kentridge
(South African, born 1955)
'Drawing from Stereoscope - Man at switchboard 1999'
Sold for £66,250 (US$ 103,895) inc. premium

Lot Details
William Joseph Kentridge (South African, born 1955)
'Drawing from Stereoscope - Man at switchboard 1999'
signed 'KENTRIDGE' (lower right); bears Stephen Friedman Gallery label with title (verso)
charcoal and pastel on paper
80 x 120cm (31 1/2 x 47 1/4in).

Footnotes

  • EXHIBITED
    London, Stephen Friedman Gallery, William Kentridge, 14 April - 20 May 2000

    LITERATURE
    D.Cameron, C.Christov-Bakargiev & J.M.Coetzee (eds), William Kentridge, (Hong Kong, 1999), illustrated p.28

    There are numerous themes that have engaged the distinguished South African artist, William Kentridge. The historically complex and problematic political milieu of South Africa is a prominent narrative according form and shape to his art. The internationally acclaimed artist has produced a searching body of work that explores themes of colonial oppression and social conflict, loss and reconciliation, and the ephemeral nature of both personal and cultural memory.

    Drawings for Projection Series (1989 - 2003), consists of nine, short, animated, charcoal, hand-drawn films - the fusion of drawing, film and theatre is a technique distinctive to the artist. These films were made by Kentridge during a particular cultural and historical period pertinent to the South African panorama. Beginning with Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris, made in 1989 at the height of apartheid, through to Tide Table made in 2003 at the beginning of post post-apartheid South Africa, these films themselves are acknowledged as an important source of reference of South African society.

    His charcoal drawings serve as the foundation for his "stone-age animation", as he calls it. Using a single drawing that he repeatedly erases and revises for any given scene in a film, Kentridge's films encompass trauma (personal and collective) and memory as their main themes. His art is particularly poignant in that his narratives include many viewpoints, finding new ways to look at historical or contemporary situations from a different angle. These films depict the traumatic events and shocking memories provoked by the harsh apartheid regime - Kentridge's own memories of these events and those of others. By linking memory and trauma and his representation of the horror of apartheid, the atrocities and their aftermath are portrayed in a surrealistically unique manner.

    Man at Switchboard - a Kentridge alter ego - kindred spirit to Rene Magritte's bowler - hatted man - is stuck in dull office work. An antique telephone, typewriter and adding machine clutter his desk, the viewer catches a glimpse of his reality as well as other realities, such as the power plant populated by ghostly switchboard operators punctuate the drawing, representing a space which is sometimes permeable and at other times completely impenetrable. The central story however is on the city in chaos - uprisings, violence, beatings, destruction of shops and city centre. The city is presented as bustling and alive, with telegraph wires and poles, power stations and a telegraph switchboard. These images of a city in chaos are juxtaposed with the work scenario, where Felix/Soho (the central figure in the films) is isolated and firmly entrenched in the drudgery of his work, oblivious to his city. Individually and collectively, these drawings compiled for the films, provide a feeling of wandering around. Playing with optical illusion, the drawing occupies strange practices and hybridizations.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    D. Cameron, C. Christov-Bakargiev & J.M. Coetzee (eds), William Kentridge, (Hong Kong, 1999), pp.22-28
    M. Rosenthal (ed), William Kentridge: Five Themes, (San Francisco, 2007), pp.67-85
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
* Import low rate

VAT on imported items at a preferential rate of 5% on Hammer Price and the prevailing rate on Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. Elizabeth Callinicos
    Auction Administration - South African Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8216
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5839
Similar Items