In 2016, Goodman Gallery celebrates 50 years of shaping contemporary art, presenting African perspectives and facilitating geopolitical exchange. In celebration of half a century of advancing artistic achievement we begin our celebration with an exhibition of important recent work by William Kentridge, an artist who has been represented by Goodman Gallery since 1991.
Kentridge’s most recent film Notes Towards a Model Opera has been the centrepiece of his retrospective at the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, in Beijing, his first solo exhibition in China. And this month it will be exhibited at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg. (The exhibition is currently showing at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul where it will run until 27 March 2016).
The titular piece Notes Towards a Model Opera is rooted in extensive research into the intellectual, political, and social history of modern China, from Lu Xun to revolutionary theatre, that Kentridge undertook in preparation for his Asian exhibitions. This three-channel projection explores dynamics of cultural diffusion and metamorphosis through the formal prism of the eight model operas of the Cultural Revolution.
The work considers these didactic ballets both as a cultural phenomenon unto itself and as part of a history of dance that spans continents and centuries. Starting from its origins in Paris, Kentridge playfully overlays the aesthetic and ideological transformations of ballet as it is transplanted across the globe, an arch of influence juxtaposing contexts as disparate as Moscow, Shanghai, and the artist’s native Johannesburg.
In addition to the main film installation, the exhibition at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg will include two large flower drawings in Indian ink on pages; four large ink portraits on pages, as well as other new works: five cut-out silhouettes in steel and a series of new cut-out silhouettes in cardboard and paper.
For Notes Towards a Model Opera: choreography and dance by Dada Masilo; composition and soundtrack design by Philip Miller.
OPENING AT GOODMAN GALLERY JOHANNESBURG
THURSDAY 21 JANUARY AT 18H00
21 JANUARY – 12 FEBRUARY 2016
163 JAN SMUTS AVE, PARKWOOD JOHANNESBURG
P. +27 (0)11 788 1113
F. +27 (0)11 788 9887