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Today the St. Louis Art Museum opens a show of recent works by William Kentridge, a South African artist whose work has been exhibited internationally, including a recent retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Eric Lutz, associate curator for prints, drawings and photographs, talked to us about the artist.

Is this show in conjunction with Kentridge's "Two Films" — also showing at the museum? Yes. And the reason that we're doing this show is that he's coming to town. Washington University wanted to give him a medal in conjunction with the Southern Graphics Conference. We didn't actually have anything by him in the collection, so I went to his print publisher. I'm borrowing everything.

How did you choose the "Thinking Aloud" (2004) and "Nose" (2007—2009) series? I chose two relatively recent bodies of work. It's better when displaying Kentridge to show a series. He works through themes and motifs.

What is the relevance of the "Nose" series? It's based on a short story by a Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol called "The Nose." It's an absurdist short story about how he wakes up with his nose missing. 


What "Visual Musing: Prints by William Kentridge" • When Today-May 22 • Where Gallery 337 at the St. Louis Art Museum, One Fine Arts Drive • How much Free • More info slam.org

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Editor's note: Story has been updated to correct the spelling of Gogol.