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Staging a moment in art - William Kentridge and Opera

  30 October 2013     Archived

At a recent Strauss & Company auction in Cape Town, an original drawing from the opera The Magic Flute sold for R1 591 520.

This astounding result coupled with recent reports of a new opera currently in development for the New York Metropolitan Opera, confirm that Kentridge has joined the likes of Picasso and David Hockney who too developed work for theatre and successfully exhibited using work and ideas from these productions. On Strauss & Co’s 11 November auction a print portfolio from Preparing the Flute is due to be auctioned.

Learning the Flute (Reverse) is worked white on black and has the feel of a photographic negative. The image itself is crammed with ideas generated from Kentridge’s involvement and preliminary work that he did for the opera, The Magic Flute. The final image is in a sense a pinboard of ideas and themes all of which are repeated throughout the set designs.

“William Kentridge remains one of the most dynamic and fearless printmakers in South Africa. While favouring intaglio print methods, he is constantly experimenting with the medium. Aided by some of the best master printers in South Africa it is not unheard of for Kentridge to “roll a bicycle” across a plate in order to score the exact marks he desires in the final image”, Phillippa Duncan, Senior Painting Specialist, Strauss & Co, Johannesburg.

The auction is scheduled for 11 November at the Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg. For further enquiries please contact 011-728-8246.


Media enquiries
Bina Genovese (083 680 9944/

Important South African and International Art

Monday 11 November 2013
4 pm Day Sale 8 pm Evening Sale

Venue The Wanderers Club Ballroom, 21 North Street, Illovo, Johannesburg

Preview Friday 8 November to Sunday 10 November from 10 am to 5 pm

Walkabout Sunday 10 November at 11 am

Enquiries and catalogues office: +27 (0) 11 728 8246 Fax: +27 (0) 11 728 8247

Contact numbers during viewing and auction
Mobile +27 (0) 79 407 5140 and +27 (0) 79 367 0637 Fax: +27 (0) 11 728 8247

Illustrated catalogue R150.00


2013 Press Archive

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