William Kentridge’s “Six Drawing Lessons” as part of the Norton Lectures

While São Paulo beckons with “The Imminence of Poetics,” Harvard University takes an even more courageous stance of “poetry,” with the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship in Poetry, a position originally founded in 1925, which charges its recipients to deliver a series of public lectures. Past honorees have included TS Eliot, e.e. cummings, Igor Stravinsky, Italo Calvino, John Cage and Orhan Panuk.

This year, the jury (which includes among its esteemed members Maria Gough and Homa K Bhabha) selected William Kentridge, the Johannesburg-born artist who is best known for his hand-drawn animations, although to call him an “animator” would be a misnomer. As Calvin Tomkins wrote in a profile for the New Yorker in 2010, “It’s hard to remember when a visual artist has cut such a wide swath in the city’s cultural life, or spanned so many disciplines with such aplomb.”

An image from William Kentridge's first lecture, March 20, 2012

The artist divided his lectures up into Six Drawing Lessons. Today marks the last of these lessons, but they are available online. You can watch the first three by following the links below. Video for the remaining three will be posted soon:

SIX DRAWING LESSONS

Drawing Lesson One
IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS
Tuesday, March 20

Drawing Lesson Two
A BRIEF HISTORY OF COLONIAL REVOLTS
Tuesday, March 27

Drawing Lesson Three
VERTICAL THINKING: A JOHANNESBURG BIOGRAPHY
Tuesday, April 3

Drawing Lesson Four
PRACTICAL EPISTEMOLOGY: LIFE IN THE STUDIO
Tuesday, April 10

Drawing Lesson Five
IN PRAISE OF MISTRANSLATION
Monday, April 16

Drawing Lesson Six
ANTI-ENTROPY
Tuesday, April 24

Check here to access the remaining videos as they become available. For more on William Kentridge, check out the Art 21 profile.

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One Response to William Kentridge’s “Six Drawing Lessons” as part of the Norton Lectures

  1. Judy Mo says:

    We were, at these “Drawing Lessons”, in a bright, nay, brilliant light. I learned, laughed and wept with recognition. The lecture form will never be the same! Thank you William Kentridge for this piece of work.

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