When a journalist once asked William Kentridge why he prefers drawing as the main medium of his artistic process, he replied: ‘Speed’. The artist added that he preferred drawing because painting comes to be about colour or about paint, which are not his main interests in art. ‘I can think with charcoal’ he said.1 Drawing is thinking, in other words.
Kentridge’s favourite Russian writer seems to be Gogol, whose short story, The Nose (1928), he has used as inspiration for many works, including the Shostakovich opera he directed for the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. In the seven drawings of the present Lot, Kentridge is thinking about other Russian writers apart from Gogol. These drawings subsequently formed the basis for the screenprint edition the artist published in 1989 (Lot 149).
1. Leora Maltz-Leca (2018) William Kentridge: Process as Metaphor and other Doubtful Enterprises. Oakland: University of California Press, page 200.