William Kentridge: Fortuna

William Kentridge


  1. Edited by Lilian Tone
  2. With commentaries by William Kentridge
  • ISBN 9780500093764
  • 30.00 x 25.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 320pp
  • 2009 Illustrations, 1558 in colour
  • First published 2013

William Kentridge: Fortuna is a compelling survey of one of the most significant artists at work today

‘The most complete monograph yet published on William Kentridge and is a comprehensive observation of his dynamic, performative methodology and working practice’ – Aesthetica

William Kentridge: Fortuna

South African artist William Kentridge (b. 1955) is internationally acclaimed for his innovative and poetic work in drawing, sculpture, film and printmaking.

This monograph is the most complete yet published on Kentridge’s expansive body of work and brings together nearly two hundred of his artworks made since 1989. Exploring his diverse expressions across a wide range of media, the book is lavishly illustrated with more than 2000 images. It reveals Kentridge’s love of contradiction and uncertainty, showing how his work moves between the personal and political, the static and temporal, the humorous and profound, the real and metaphorical, and between acts of making and of disassembling or erasure.

William Kentridge: Fortuna also reveals Kentridge’s dynamic way of working in his Johannesburg studio, a creative process that can be described as an act of performance during which he searches for ways to express his powerful ideas. This process follows the principle of ‘fortuna’, a principle not subject to rational control but, in the words of the artist himself, one in which there is ‘neither programme nor chance in the making of images’.

Kentridge’s own lively commentaries accompany his works, offering indispensable insights into his working methods and creative thinking. Essays by curator Lilian Tone and artist and writer Kate McCrickard put his practice into a wider context, investigating the conceptual and visual tendencies in Kentridge’s work, and the relationship between his art and his native South Africa.

The book is supplemented by a bibliography and a chronology, which includes the artist’s key solo and group exhibitions as well as his film and theatrical performances.

Lilian Tone is a writer and curator at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where she has organized exhibitions of the work of William Kentridge, Lee Bontecou, Jasper Johns and Wolfgang Laib. Her writings on contemporary artists include essays on Fred Sandback and Cai Guo-Qiang.
Kate McCrickard is a British artist and writer based in Paris. A leading Kentridge expert, she has contributed essays to Print Quarterly and Art South Africa magazines. She is the author of William Kentridge (2012).