Wooden box incised and painted black on the interior of the lid with a design of fish surrounding an electricity pylon. Containing pen and wash drawings folded into 28 panels of 11.5cm each, folded accordion style and extending to 312cm in length.
Box: 195 x 145 x 100mm [catalogue states: 20 x 15 x 10cm], made of Agathis wood hand-crafted by Willie Volbrecht.
Illustrated, as item 59, on page 15 of 'Art of the Box' , Fine Art Contributions by Contemporary SA Artists to be auctioned by Stephan Welz & Co in association with Sotheby's on 11/3/1991.
The book was untitled until a visit from the artist on 19/7/2005 when he asked whether I considered it an artist's book and I was hesitant because it was untitled. He immediately titled it with his fountain pen on the back page! Thus the lack of title prior to this date.
Bookseller's comment: William Kentridge very seldom works in watercolour and the few that I have seen all date from the mid 1980s and early 1990s. This unusual concertina work consisting of 28 folded panels was created for a charity auction held at the Cape Town City Hall in March 1991 to raise funds for Operation Hunger. Each artist was given a small wooden box with which to creat a work. Kentridge was the only artist who left the box unworked and without decoration. Instead he chose to carve and incise the inside of the wooden lid of the box. He then placed he concertina watercolour inside the box. Each panel is just over 10cm in width giving the watercolour a total length of almost 3 metres. The work is only 8cn in height. 14 panels are painted in black and white and 14 in colour. The blakc and white panels represent themes linked to scinece and technology whilst the colour panels represent themes linked to man and nature. The narrative contained within the panels of this work is similar to the themes and images which permeate Kentridge's forth animated film titled Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old. This film was incidentally completed the following year in 1991. the concertina format re-emerged ten years later when Kentridge created the Portage artist book in collaboration with The Artists' Press in 2000.