Modern and Contemporary Art

Live Virtual Auction, 21 September 2022

Evening Sale

Sold for

ZAR 432 440
Lot 263
  • William Kentridge; Hope in the Green Leaves
  • William Kentridge; Hope in the Green Leaves
  • William Kentridge; Hope in the Green Leaves


Lot Estimate
ZAR 250 000 - 350 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 432 440

About this Item

South African 1955-
Hope in the Green Leaves
2013

signed, numbered 19/40 and embossed with the Artist Proof Studio chopmark in the margin

linocut and ink wash on paper
image size: 166 by 87cm; sheet size: 185 by 102cm; 197 by 115 by 6cm including frame

Notes

From September through December, 2022, the Royal Academy of Arts in London is hosting a major exhibition devoted to William Kentridge, an Honorary Royal Academician. The exhibition includes an entire gallery devoted to his Indian ink drawings of trees. Reminiscent of J. H. Pierneef’s monochromatic linocuts portraying highveld trees, Kentridge’s silhouetted tree studies are, comparatively speaking, far more technically audacious. An indelible part of his late career, each large-scale work is executed across several panels on paper. The ongoing series traces its origins back to a 2012 series of tree drawings executed across multiple pages of an 1826 dictionary. One of these drawings, A Poem I Used to Know (2012), additionally included a floated fragment of text. A subsequent 2013 drawing, Remembering the Treason Trial, further extended this idea and featured various epigrammatic statements floated over the tree – a visual device duplicated in this work. The scrambled words and phrases are an allusion to the Cumaean Sibyl’s prophesies written on wind-scattered oak leaves. A tree pregnant with words also gestures to a personal memory. The artist’s father, Sir Sydney Kentridge, was a defence lawyer in the Treason Trial (1958–61). Kentridge was still a young boy at the time. He conflated this detail with a mosaic table at the forested family home in Houghton to sound out his father’s labour as involving work at the “Trees and Tile”. When his wife, Dr Anne Stanwix, saw that he was making trees out of different sheets of paper that go together, like tiles, she exclaimed, “Oh my god, you’re still painting the Treason Trial!”¹ This print edition was favourably reviewed when it was exhibited in New York in 2021.2

1. William Kentridge (2013) Thinking on One’s Feet: A Walking Tour of the Studio (speech), Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Contemporary Art, University of Oxford.
2. Daniel Larkin (2021) ‘The Starkly Poignant Prints of William Kentridge’, Hyperallergic, 8 April: https://hyperallergic.com/632428/william-kentridge-making-prints-marian-goodman/

Exhibited

Marian Goodman, New York, William Kentridge: Making Prints: Selected Editions 1998-2021, 16 March to 17 April 2021, another edition of the artwork exhibited.

View all William Kentridge lots for sale in this auction



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