press release

William Kentridge and Vivienne Koorland Conversations in letters and lines
Curated by Tamar Garb

This exhibition brings together the work of two of South Africa’s foremost visual artists, William Kentridge and Vivienne Koorland. Kentridge and Koorland come from the same generation of South African artists. Born in the 1950s, they first met as university students in the mid-1970s and have been talking about art ever since. This exhibition foregrounds a friendship of nearly forty years and a dialogue which has been mutually enriching as the practice of each has informed that of the other.

Kentridge is known for his animated films, complex narratives and beguiling imagery drawn and redrawn in charcoal, pastel and paint. Vivienne Koorland makes huge paintings that are palimpsests of found and original material, both text and imagery. The works of the two artists are very different, yet there is much they share. The selection of works for the exhibition highlights the formal and thematic links between the work of Kentridge and Koorland, mapping their artistic friendship through shared artistic strategies and a common sense of the urgency and agency of art.

We are very proud of the book we have produced to accompany this exhibition, co-published with Reaktion Press. An insightful essay from Tamar Garb sets out the rationale for bringing the work of Kentridge and Koorland together, while responses from Briony Fer, Joseph Leo Koerner, Ed Krcma and Griselda Pollock shed new light on the work of both artists. A newly recorded conversation between Garb, Kentridge and Koorland offers a fascinating insight into the way these two major artists think and work.