The exhibition William Kentridge: Five Themes is the first full-scale Kentridge survey to tour the United States and Europe. Featuring more than 120 animated films, drawings, prints, theater models, and books, it began in March 2009 and ends at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in October 2011. More than any other artist, Kentridge has shaped international perceptions of apartheid in South Africa. This exhibition pays due homage to that achievement but also insists on recognizing the artist’s prodigious visual inventiveness, the worldwide relevance of his work. Recently he has been revisiting the modernist avant-garde and the early years of cinema. These interests are brought together in his designs for Shostakovich’s opera The Nose, at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Kentridge began in the theater and is now returning to it more often; how is theatricalization changing the nature and impact of his art?

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