Largest William Kentridge exhibition in Africa due to open in Cape Town

The largest exhibition to be held in Africa in over a decade by internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge is set to open in Cape Town ON 24 August, running through to March 2020. The major exhibition of his work will be hosted simultaneously in two parts by the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) and Norval Foundation.

Johannesburg. August 2014

Why Should I Hesitate? Putting Drawings To Work, will be staged at Zeitz MOCAA and will offer a wide survey of Kentridge’s work, including early works, as well as newer pieces on view for the first time in South Africa. It will cover over 40 years of artistic production (1976 – 2019) in drawing, stop-frame animation, video, prints, sculpture, tapestry, and large-scale installation. The title references Kentridge’s primary practice of drawing, and how this core activity informs and enables his studio practice. It also references the impact of individual action on history and the reverse – how history shapes the contemporary and the future – and works as a commentary on various shifting hegemonies of power politics, economies, language and the authority to narrate history.

Why Should I Hesitate? Sculpture, will be on view at Norval Foundation, and will present three-dimensional work of William Kentridge from the past 19 years. This will be the first exhibition internationally to address Kentridge’s output as a sculptor. Covering several bodies of work, and testifying to his longstanding and spontaneous improvisation when handling three-dimensional form, Why Should I Hesitate? Sculpture sees the origins of these works in props from his operas and images from his animations stepping off the stage and out of the screen, confronting us directly at ground level. Why Should I Hesitate? Sculpture will also premiere new works commissioned for the occasion of this special exhibition.

Sentimental Machine

Both exhibitions will include major works from Kentridge’s extensive oeuvre, and will be accompanied by two new publications, conceived in collaboration between Zeitz MOCAA, Norval Foundation and the artist. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of talks and performances with the artist, and leading voices in the cultural sector.


A series of member events and public programmes will be held across both venues over the opening weekend, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August 2019.

Exhibition title: Why Should I Hesitate? Putting Drawings To Work

Venue: Level 3 Galleries and throughout, Zeitz MOCAA; Silo District, V&A Waterfront

Run dates: 25 August 2019 – 23 March 2020

Exhibition curators: Azu Nwagbogu, assisted by Tammy Langtry

Exhibition title: Why Should I Hesitate? Sculpture

Venue: Atrium and Galleries 2-8, Norval Foundation, 4 Steenberg Road, Tokai

Run dates: 24 August 2019 – 23 March 2020

Exhibition curators: Karel Nel, Owen Martin, Talia Naicker, Vicky Lekone

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