In my continuing saga of missing fantastic artists who are visiting Moscow, I failed to notice that William Kentridge was giving a performance at Garage yesterday. But never mind, because the exhibition - Five Themes - which is a traveling show from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art*, presents a truly breath-taking and brilliant selection of his work to date; covering sketches, animations, made objects, films, 3D projections and multi-screen installations, all showing his obsessive versatility, fantastical imagination and - often clownish - humour. He should be as famous as, I don't know, artists like Gerhard Richter and Jake/Dinos Chapman (or maybe he is and I was just foolish to only discover him accidentally a few years ago).
And somehow his work seems particularly relevant right here, right now. Both because it sits outside much western contemporary art, being not conceptual, intellectual and self-referential but graphic, metaphorical and narrative-based (that is, much more like contemporary Russian art) and because it has a way of incorporating politics that is very engaged and explicit without being didactic - something other (rather more inward and personal) artists here could learn from.
So - a must see if you happen to be in Moscow before 4th December 2011.
* To be properly accurate, from the San Francisco Museum, together with the Norton Museum of Art. Show curated by Mark Rosenthal.