Chazen Museum of Art


Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art

Posted January 26, 2018 by Chazen Education

Collection Connections

(South African, b. 1955)
Il Communicato N. 81
India ink on book pages
63 x 47 1/2 in.
Joyce and William Wartmann Fund purchase

The son of two anti-apartheid lawyers, South African artist William Kentridge has been engaged in the defense of anti-apartheid activists from a young age. In the 1980s, his animated films created from “erasure” drawings gained international recognition. Deeply personal and complex, his narratives reflect his own journey through the aftermath of Apartheid and Colonialism and document a legacy of abuse and injustice in his homeland. The rhinoceros is a recurring motif for Kentridge who uses the rhino as a symbol of an exploitative colonialist view of Africa representing the subjugation of a continent whose resources were stripped away by European colonizers. 

William Kentridge has said “forgetting is natural, remember is the effort one makes”. What techniques do Aboriginal artists employ to make outsiders “remember” their legacy?

 Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection

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