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Willem Boshoff

South African, b. 1951

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Willem Boshoff

South African, b. 1951

150
Followers
Biography

Conceptual installation artist Willem Boshoff is preoccupied with languages and words—old and new, dominant and subordinate. Boshoff’s works are the manifestation of his exhaustive efforts to uncover obscure words, document dying tongues, or examine the interplay of newly recognized South African languages with their European-tinged counterparts. In Writing in the Sand (2000), the artist used black sand to write words from indigenous languages on a vast field of white sand. His works often mimic the form and function of dictionaries, as in Blind Alphabet ABC (1991-96), a collection of 338 sculptural units, each representing a word in physical form, hidden in boxes and thus only readable by touch. “I work with the idea of knowledge in a package,” Boshoff explains. “How we keep knowledge, package it, store it […] how we process it and manipulate it through art and how we can share it, or publish it.”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

Conceptual installation artist Willem Boshoff is preoccupied with languages and words—old and new, dominant and subordinate. Boshoff’s works are the manifestation of his exhaustive efforts to uncover obscure words, document dying tongues, or examine the interplay of newly recognized South African languages with their European-tinged counterparts. In Writing in the Sand (2000), the artist used black sand to write words from indigenous languages on a vast field of white sand. His works often mimic the form and function of dictionaries, as in Blind Alphabet ABC (1991-96), a collection of 338 sculptural units, each representing a word in physical form, hidden in boxes and thus only readable by touch. “I work with the idea of knowledge in a package,” Boshoff explains. “How we keep knowledge, package it, store it […] how we process it and manipulate it through art and how we can share it, or publish it.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Articles Featuring Willem Boshoff
Behind the Scenes at Frieze with Goodman Gallery
Oct 17th, 2013
Behind the Scenes at Frieze with Goodman Gallery
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