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William Kentridge

Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2017

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2017 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, composed of Bárbara Allende Gil de Biedma, Juan Manuel Bonet Planes, José Luis Cienfuegos Marcello, Oliver Díaz Suárez, Josep María Flotats i Picas, Carmen Giménez Martín, Blanca Gutiérrez Ortiz, Catalina Luca de Tena y García-Conde, Joan Matabosch Grifoll, Elena Ochoa Foster, Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán y de la Serna, Sandra Rotondo Urcola, Emilio Sagi Álvarez-Rayón, Patricia Urquiola Hidalgo and Carlos Urroz Arancibia, chaired by José Lladó Fernández-Urrutia and with José Antonio Caicoya Cores acting as secretary, has agreed to grant the 2017 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts to William Kentridge, one of the most multifaceted innovative artists on the international scene.

In his work, this South African artist has expressed emotions and metaphors related to the history and reality of his country which nonetheless transcend the latter and raise essential questions regarding the human condition, combining subjects in which purely poetic and aesthetic investigation predominate alongside themes with socio-political content. He is, accordingly, an artist deeply committed to reality.

A meticulous and profound creator, he has used drawing, following the best tradition, as his main instrument of artistic expression, not only through works on paper, collage, engraving and sculpture, but also through video art, animated films, installations and scenography, in both theatre and opera. Over the past decade, he has received recognition from major museums such as the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which have hosted exhibitions covering the entire body of his work, which represents the most outstanding contribution of the African continent to contemporary artistic creation of international scope.

Oviedo, 4th May 2017

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