Ordinarily, encountering the work of a famous contemporary artist, my contrarian and anti-establishment tendencies come out. I look for reasons to dislike what I see, to distrust the art market consensus around the artist in question. But when it comes to William Kentridge, I find it difficult to be cynical.

This is partly because the Kentridge aesthetic has become so iconic that its familiarity brings a kind of comfort. There is pleasure in recognising a Kentridgean coffee pot, cat, nose, megaphone, bird, typewriter or horse. The headgear of a mineshaft, a lone tree, a Cossack dancer, a female nude — all these subjects have a very specific incarnation in the minds of Kentridge fans around the world...

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