2400 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Established in 1805, Freeman’s Auction House holds tradition close, with a progressive mind-set towards marketing and promotion, along with access to a team of top experts in the auction business. And now with offices in New England, the Southeast, and on the West Coast, it has never been easier to ...Read more
1997, pencil signed and numbered 29/50, the full sheet, David Krut Fine Art, London, publisher. Etching, aquatint and drypoint in colors on Vélin d'Arches Blanc.
[Krut, pp. 66, 68-69]
Born in 1955 in Johannesburg, William Kentridge was raised by parents who were both lawyers supporting black South African defendants, persecuted and marginalized by the apartheid regime. Still steeped in this socio-political reality, Kentridge uses his drawing, printmaking, theater production, and filmmaking as a means of expressing the complexity of emotion, morality, and consequences around the struggles during and after apartheid. The artist often employs his own physical form to embody the complicity and denial of white South Africans in the face of the atrocities and injustice around them.
For the 100th anniversary of Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Rois, Kentridge was invited to participate in an exhibition to reflect on the impact of the avant-garde and, by all accounts, revolutionary satire. Picking up on the themes of corruption, greed, and authoritarianism in Ubu Rois, the artist created a series of drawings, a portfolio of etchings Ubu Tells the Truth, a film Ubu and the Truth Commission, and finally a series of prints Sleeper Series of which Sleeper Red is one.
In the film, Kentridge animated his drawings using his typical process of drawing, erasing, and redrawing to create the effect of movement and narrative, but here for the first time, included documentary footage, original testimony from witnesses to the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as moving puppets and still photographs. The multi-media nature of the film allowed for its deep exploration of the theme of white South Africans’ desire to ignore, forget, or shield themselves from the reality of the abuses of black people and the surrounding landscape, in an explicit way. Kentridge uses sleep as a metaphor for the privileged behavior of looking inward, focusing on the intimate details of one’s own private life, rather than on national issues, as a “blissful ignorance.”
In Sleeper Red, Kentridge uses his own body to stand for the spiral-bellied king in Ubu Rois, as well as for the white male South African who benefits from the anti-democratic system, and is complicit in the suffering of black citizens in his failure to take a moral stand or effect any change. The powerful image of the stark white body floating against a blood red background, with its curvy, undulating lines, fosters a dream-like realm of the artist’s making, all the while foretelling the consequences of being awoken to harsh truths hitherto denied.
No lot may be removed from Freeman’s premises until the buyer has paid in full the purchase price therefor including Buyer’s Premium or has satisfied such terms that Freeman’s, in its sole discretion, shall require. Subject to the foregoing, all Property shall be paid for and removed by the buyer at his/ her expense within ten (10) days of sale and, if not so removed, may be sold by Freeman’s, or sent by Freeman’s to a third-party storage facility, at the sole risk and charge of the buyer(s), and Freeman’s may prohibit the buyer from participating, directly or indirectly, as a bidder or buyer in any future sale or sales. In addition to other remedies available to Freeman’s by law, Freeman’s reserves the right to impose a late charge of 1.5% per month of the total purchase price on any balance remaining ten (10) days after the day of sale. If Property is not removed by the buyer within ten (10) days, a handling charge of 2% of the total purchase price per month from the tenth day after the sale until removal by the buyer shall be payable to Freeman’s by the buyer. Freeman’s will not be responsible for any loss, damage, theft, or otherwise responsible for any goods left in Freeman’s possession after ten (10) days. If the foregoing conditions or any applicable provisions of law are not complied with, in addition to other remedies available to Freeman’s and the Consignor (including without limitation the right to hold the buyer(s) liable for the bid price) Freeman’s, at its option, may either cancel the sale, retaining as liquidated damages all payments made by the buyer(s), or resell the property. In such event, the buyer(s) shall remain liable for any deficiency in the original purchase price and will also be responsible for all costs, including warehousing, the expense of the ultimate sale, and Freeman’s commission at its regular rates together with all related and incidental charges, including legal fees. Payment is a precondition to removal. Payment shall be by cash, certified check or similar bank draft, or any other method approved by Freeman’s. Checks will not be deemed to constitute payment until cleared. Any exceptions must be made upon Freeman’s written approval of credit prior to sale. In addition, a defaulting buyer will be deemed to have granted and assigned to Freeman’s, a continuing security interest of first priority in any property or money of, or owing to such buyer in Freeman’s possession, and Freeman’s may retain and apply such property or money as collateral security for the obligations due to Freeman’s. Freeman’s shall have all of the rights accorded a secured party under the Pennsylvania Uniform Commercial Code.
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