“As Erik Denker has articulated, what makes Kentridge’s prints unique is that “great variety occurs in what would normally be uniform editions. In a medium known for its often virtually identical multiple originals, he constantly experiments during the printing with changing the marks on the surface, the inking, and the addition of wash and hand-colouring.

The Head series depicts a disassociated male head; his head tilts back and his eyes are closed. Sight and insight, or the lack thereof, is a central theme in Kentridge’s work. The subject’s upwardly tilting chin exposes the carotid artery in his extended neck in what can be read as a gesture of either submission or strength: it is unclear whether these are eyes closed in defiance, dreaming, or death. In many ways, the Head works read as a formal elaboration of the artist’s well-known 1989 drypoint Casspirs Full of Love, though the individual head offers a more elegiac composition and ambivalent message.”

This text appeared in the Bonham’s catalogue, A Focus on William Kentridge, 20 Mar 2013. Denker’s original commentary can be found in ‘William Kentridge: Metamorphosis and Memory’, in William Kentridge/Oleg Kudryashov: Against the Grain, (Washington D.C., 2009), exhibition catalogue, p. 9



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