cover of book

William Kentridge: Being Led by the Nose
by Jane Taylor
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Cloth: 978-0-226-79120-3 | eISBN: 978-0-226-44404-8
Library of Congress Classification N7396.K45T39 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 700.92

South African artist William Kentridge’s drawings, films, books, installations, and collaborations with opera and theater companies have established him as a world-class star in contemporary art, media, and theater. In 2010, and again in 2013, he staged Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera; after the premiere, the New York Times noted that “Kentridge, who directed this production, helped design the sets and created the videos that animate the staging, received the heartiest bravos.” In this book, Jane Taylor, Kentridge’s friend and frequent collaborator, invites us to take an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at his work for the show.

Kentridge has long been admired for his unconventional use of conventional media to produce art that is stunning, evocative, and narratively powerful—and how he works is as important as what he creates. This book is more than just a simple record of The Nose. The opera serves as a springboard into a bracing conversation about how Kentridge’s methods serve his unique mode of expression as a narrative and political artist. Taylor draws on his etchings, sculptures, and drawings to render visible the communication that occurs between his mind and hand as he thinks through the activity of making. Beautifully illustrated in color, William Kentridge offers striking insights about one of the most innovative artists of our present moment.

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