William Kentridge & Vivienne Koorland: Conversations in Letters and Lines
The Fruitmarket Gallery brings two of South Africa's most highly regarded artists together in new show
While much can be revealed by an exhibition which looks, in-depth, at the career of a single artist, new aspects can shine out when that artist's work is placed next to another. Never is that more the case than when the artists are contemporaries and friends, and have been engaged in a conversation about art going back at least 40 years.
William Kentridge and Vivienne Koorland met as students in South Africa the 1970s: he was studying political sciences, she fine art. She became a painter, he studied performance, directed operas, made films. He now lives in Johannesburg, she in New York, but the conversation between them continues, about critical theory and politics and history, about what art does, what it can do.
Curator Tamar Garb, a friend of both artists, brings their recent work together in this inspired show, which provides a rare chance to see the work of two of South Africa's top artists in dialogue. Though the contrasts are obvious - Kentridge making films using new, fast-paced technologies, Koorland painting on burlap sacks and stitching linen - the common ground is evident too: the combining of images and words; the concern with history, time and place; the desire to engage with the complexities and contradictions of the country in which they grew up.
The Fruitmarket Gallery, Sat 19 Nov – Sun 19 Feb 2017