William Kentridge

Eight Vessels, 2021

Photogravure with handpainting, 4 sheets, edition of 20

39.25 × 28.75 in

 28.75 x


 73 x


This print is priced at approximately $17,000 – $18,000 USD. Please enquire for availability and shipping.

plus shipping & taxes

About the work

Eight Vessels is a new photogravure by William Kentridge, produced in collaboration with Master Printer Jillian Ross. The work consists of four plates, each printed onto single sheets, which have been arranged, overlapping, to form a single image and then hand-painted. Kentridge created enlarged objects in his home studio made from foam core & paper, and began arranging them on a table as subjects to be drawn as a still life. Inspired by the everyday objects around him and historical master painter Giorgio Morandi, Kentridge’s still life includes water jugs, vases, an ink tin and a bottle of whiskey (note: an alcohol ban was being enforced during the South African lockdown).

The project originated during lockdown in March 2020, when Kentridge was in the unusual situation of being alone in his studio. This allowed for a sustained investigation into the significance of the studio in meaning-making. Emerging from this is a new series of films, Studio Life, and the image contained in Eight Vessels plays an important role, appearing a number of times in the first film, Studio Life: A Natural History of the Studio.

(This excerpt is taken from Jillian Ross Print: https://www.jillianrossprint.com/eight-vessels)

Medium Prints
Signature Signed
Frame Unframed
Condition excellent
Seller Artist
Location South Africa
Provenance The Artist

William Kentridge

South African

William Kentridge is a South African artist best known for his prints, drawings, and films that engage with complicated historical legacies of violence and oppression. In particular, his work is strongly informed by growing up under the apartheid regime in Johannesburg, South Africa. His work serves as allegories of the human condition and our relationship to the world at large.

Active since the 1970s, Kentridge’s practice is rooted in avant-garde theatre and politically-engaged modernist art from the early twentieth century. He became known for a sequence of hand-drawn animated films during the 1990s which were constructed by filming a drawing in process, making erasures and changes, and then re-filming it. Through this meticulous process, drawing becomes a field for transformation.

Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1955 to a Jewish family of lawyers and activists who were well-known critics of the apartheid system. He held a unique position as a third-party observer to the politics and culture of South Africa that would later directly inform his artistic practice. Kentridge earned a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and African Studies at the University of Witwatersrand and a diploma in Fine Arts from the Johannesburg Art Foundation. In the early 1980s, he studied mime and theatre at the L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

Kentridge has received numerous awards for his contributions to the arts, including the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy, the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, and the Carnegie Medal.

Notable exhibitions include: The Broad, Los Angeles (2023), Royal Academy, London (2022),  Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) (2020-2021), Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CaSa), Oaxaca (2018-2019), Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (2017), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2017), EYE Film institute Netherlands, Amsterdam (2015), Royal Academy (2015), Whitechapel Gallery, Documenta (13) Kassel, Germany (2012), Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, MOMA, NYC, Israel Museum, Jerusalem all 2011, Louvre, Paris in 2010, HIroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008), Metropolitan Museum of Art (2004), Musée d’art Contemporain, Montreal (2005), Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany 2002, Venice Biennial 1999, and Documenta X 1997.

Kentridge’s works are included in the following permanent collections: Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii, the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts in Michigan.  An edition of the five-channel video installation The Refusal of Time (2012), which debuted at Documenta 13, was jointly acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 2015, Kentridge gave the definitive collection of his archive and art – films, videos and digital works – to the George Eastman Museum, one of the world’s largest and oldest photography and film collections. Kentridge’s artworks are among the most sought-after works in South Africa.

Kentridge currently resides in Johannesburg and serves as the director of the Centre for the Less Good Idea, an interdisciplinary arts incubator. Kentridge is represented by Hauser & Wirth, Lia Rumma in Italy, and Goodman Gallery in South Africa.


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