Born in 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa where he still lives and works, William Kentridge is known for his socially and politically involved work, and has gained international recognition for his distinctive animated short films and for the charcoal drawings on which they are based. His drawings, animated films and videos, and theater and opera productions focus on the intimate, personal narratives of daily existence, and provide both a view into and contrast to the greater political and historical context from which they are drawn.
Since participating in Dokumenta X in Kassel in 1997, solo shows of Kentridge's work have been hosted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and MCA San Diego. Moreover, throughout the years, Kentridge exhibited vastly worldwide. During 1998 and 1999, a survey exhibition of his work was seen in Brussels, Munich, Barcelona, London, Marseille and Graz. A survey show in 2001 in Washington, traveled to New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Cape Town. A shadow oratorio, Confessions of Zeno, was created for Documenta XI in 2002; A new survey exhibition, which travels to museums in Turin, Dusseldorf, Sydney, Montreal and Johannesburg, opened in 2004.
At the moment, Kentridge is directing a production of Mozart’s Magic Flute commissioned by La Monnaie in Brussels; also scheduled for 2005 is a commissioned project for the Guggenheim Museum in Berlin.
Kentridge was awarded in 1999 the Carnegie Medal at the Carnegie International 1999/2000, and in October 2003 Kentridge received the Goslar Kaisserring in recognition of his contribution to contemporary art.