William Kentridge, ‘Porter Series: Man with Bed on Back’, 2000, Phillips

From the Catalogue:
"Mr. Kentridge’s 'Porter Series'... measuring as much as 11 feet high or wide, they show one or two figures carrying, or oddly fused with, objects. Of indefinite race, age and often gender, the porters have a Michelangelesque grandeur, even as their black-brown tonality suggests tar or earth. Contributing to their imposing stature are their backgrounds: maps from a world atlas published in 19th-century Europe, when its empires were the most expansive. True to their name, the porters are moving stuff. They are nomads, refugees, asylum seekers or maybe even adventurers. They seem more industrious than driven, but mostly they are on the move, set in motion by forces beyond their control." (Roberta Smith, "Shadowy Nomads, Writ in Warp and Woof; ART REVIEW | 'WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: TAPESTRIES," The New York Times, December 31, 2007)
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: signed, titled, numbered and dated “Porter with Bed, 1/3, 2000, William Kentridge” on a fabric label affixed to the reverse; further signed "KENTRIDGE" on the reverse

Philadelphia Museum of Art, William Kentridge: Tapestries, December 12, 2007 - April 6, 2008, pl. 23, p. 77 (illustrated)

Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner

About William Kentridge

In his drawings and animations, William Kentridge articulates the concerns of post-Apartheid South Africa with unparalleled nuance and lyricism. In the inventive process by which he created his best-known works, Kentridge draws and erases with charcoal, recording his compositions at each state. He then displays a video projection of the looped images alongside their highly worked and re-worked source drawings. In this way, his process and aesthetic concerns are inextricably linked with the narrative power of his work, as in his “Nine Drawings for Projection” series (1989-2003), which depicts two fictional white South Africans navigating the ambiguities of contemporary South Africa. With his highly personal and often quiet works in seeming tension with the brutality of his content, Kentridge expresses a profound ambivalence about his native country.

South African, b. 1955, Johannesburg, South Africa