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South African Kentridge 2017 Prince of Asturias Award

South African creator William Kentridge (Johannesburg, 1955) has been honored today in Oviedo with the 2017 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts for being “one of the most complete and innovative artists on the international scene” and “deeply committed to reality.”


A unnusual white exponent of South African art, Kentridge focuses his work on the horrors of racial segregation, with an especially embarrassed look at the apartheid regime.

He is a versatile creator known for his simple drawings, paintings, engravings, “collages”, tapestries, sculptures and photographs, but also for his forays into the theater, opera and music.

Born in South Africa 62 years ago and marked by a family of lawyers specializing in the defense of victims of apartheid, including Nelson Mandela, Kentridge has touched various techniques and disciplines throughout his career, although he has been the drawing the tecnique more used by him.

The jury of the awards emphasizes how through his work he poses “essential issues of the human condition, combining subjects in which combining themes in which purely poetic and aesthetic research and socio-political content predominate. ”

Considered to be a meticulous and profound creator, Kentridge became known outside his country in the late nineties of the last century and his creations have toured the most prestigious art centers such as the MOMA in New York or the Louvre in Paris.

At the end of the this year, it will be able to see a large sample of his work at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, according to a great expert on his work and member of the jury who has failed the award in Oviedo, Elena Ochoa.

For the director of the Instituto Cervantes, Juan Manuel Bonet, who, like Elena Ochoa, was one of the jurors who more firmly defended this candidacy, has been awarded a “man very consolidated in the art of the XXI century” and the most important creative in Africa.

The candidacy won among the 43 coming from 19 countries and was proposed by the lawyer and former director of Fine Arts, Beningno Pendás García, and the manager of the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies, Raquel García.

In the end he won at majority of creators in different disciplines such as David Hockney, Bill Viola, Martin Scorsese or Ennio Morricone.

Oviedo, 4 May 2017, EFE / PracticaEspañol

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