In fact, I am ashamed to admit, that I didn't even realize that Kentridge's work would be in attendance until I was literally standing in front of his most famous drawing saying to John, "there is a Kentridge exhibit tonight?" I know, I'm ashamed of me too.
William Kentridge is one of the very first contemporary artists that I fell in love with. Well, more accurately, that I was made aware of. My art history knowledge has a jagged past, and at the age of 18 I still hadn't been to a contemporary exhibit, I kid you not. But senior year in college, the great John S----r introduced my printmaking class to a few artists a week, drilling the need to read/see/think/study CONTEMPORARY work. Contemporary work would make us better artists, he said. It would make us better thinkers. And he was right.
If you've never seen Felix in Exhile, Kentridge's most famous piece, stop reading this silly blog and watch it on you tube. Here. I remember John explaining his work a bit, but more importantly, he let us watch it. He let us take it in, breathe it, consider it. We did very little discussing afterward, but I was left with this huge swelling of realization upon its completion: there was an entire world in which I wasn't aware. Art exists outside of Picasso and Warhol and Botticelli. It is being made today and being made in ways I never imagined. Video art? Give me more.
The show itself is expansive. The videos stretch well up those mezzanine gallery walls as you walk up the front stairs into the atrium. It's all blue and dusty and calm-- you can almost smell the chalk he rubs so heavily across paper. I dragged John (John Morrow, not John my professor, or John-the-editor-of-a-very-relevant-New-York-website that I also met that evening) by the arm from room to room, gasping at all that existed before us.
I need to go back, to be honest. Parties aren't as conducive to looking at art as one might expect. It was fun, though. And John will tell you that it was epic.
Now, onto three more fairs before I can sleep. Hello, art week. Loving every second.