30th Nov, 2022 18:00

20th Century & Contemporary Art

  Lot 72
Lot 72 - William Kentridge (South Africa 1955-)


William Kentridge (South Africa 1955-)
9 Films

colour photolithograph

Artwork date: 2004
Signature details: signed and numbered 7/10 in red conté top left
Location: Johannesburg


colour photolithograph

Artwork date: 2004
Signature details: signed and numbered 7/10 in red conté top left
Location: Johannesburg


image size: 214 x 150 cm; framed size: 240 x 170 x 6.5 cm


Private collection, Cape Town.


The iconic lithograph 9 Films was created for the landmark first South African showing of all of Kentridge's animated films, 9 Drawings for Projection. A monumental example of the image, this particular reproduction measures an astounding 2.14 x 1.5 meters, over two separate sheets.

Set in Johannesburg and created over a period of 14 years the films show the changing socio-political landscape of the city, from Johannesburg: Second Greatest City after Paris (1989) to Tide Table (2003). Kentridge chronicles the rise and fall of his fictional antihero, Soho Ecksteen – a character represents wealthy landowners of Johannesburg empires. The artist uses imagery of Ecksteen’s wife’s passionate affair with his nemesis and alter ego Felix Teitlebaum, against the backdrop of the changing political circumstances – showing the upheaval of a South African uprising against the apartheid regime from which Soho benefits.

The original screening of 9 Films for Projection took place in the poignant setting of The Old Fold, Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Once the site of a prison which held political prisoners including Nelson Mandela, it is today the home of the Constitutional Court. The screening took place over three sittings and featured music by the artist's long-term collaborator, composer Philip Miller, performed by the Sontonga Quartet and pianist Jill Richards.

The original drawing from which the lithograph was created is included on Kentridge’s prolific retrospective at Zeitz MOCAA, Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawings to Work, (August 2019 to July 2020) and illustrated in colour in the exhibition catalogue.[1]

[1] See, Christian, S. & McIlleron, A. (2019). William Kentridge: Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawings to Work, London: Koenig Books, p. 271.


The artist is represented in numerous local and international collections, notably, the Museum of Modern Art, New York.; Tate Modern, London.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California and The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago.

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Auction: 20th Century & Contemporary Art, 30th Nov, 2022


The focused sale brings to market 84 highly collectable lots, with the diverse collection showcasing highlights by modern masters including magnificent still-life compositions and a Zanzibari boat scene by Irma Stern, an Alexis Preller abstract and an early JH Pierneef landscape. Also included is a significant collection of celebrated contemporary artists: Mustafa Maluka, David Koloane, Walter Oltmann, Norman Catherine, Willem Boshoff, a rare self-portrait oil by Robert Hodgins as well as a large bronze sculpture by Zanele Muholi, the first of this new body of work to be offered on auction.
The sale features a special selection of artworks by William Kentridge. One of the most celebrated and influential living artists today, his major retrospective exhibition is currently on show at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. This is one of the most unique and high-quality Kentridge collections to come to market. Spanning his career and showcasing the many mediums in which he works, the sale features signature charcoal drawings alongside collages, tapestry, prints and sculptures.

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