BEVERLY HILLS—Beverly Hills will add William Kentridge’s art piece “World on its Hind Legs” to the city’s sizable public art collection.
The City Council approved the purchase at the July 21 study session meeting.
The art piece itself will be purchased for approximately $475,000. Including fees for transportation, installation and construction of a pad and lighting, the total cost to acquire “World on its Hind Legs” is expected to be around $556,000.
The city’s Fine Art Fund, a restricted fund that can only be used for fine art related expenses, will cover the total cost of the purchase. As of May 21, the fund had a balance of $2,925,903.
Councilmember Lili Bosse, who served as a liaison between the City Council and the Fine Art Commission, praised the commission members present at the meeting for their work in bringing the piece to the city.
“I just wanted to thank you all for bringing such an important artist and important piece to Beverly Hills,” Bosse said. “I think it’s fantastic and will cause a lot of conversation which is what we want.”
Discussions between the artist’s representatives and members of the Fine Art Commission had been ongoing for the past few months.
The public art piece, which stands more than 13 feet tall and weighs 9,000 pounds, is expected to be placed on the Burton Way median, between Rexford Drive and Foothill Drive. City staff said they are “reviewing engineering plans to ensure that the piece is placed appropriately in relation to existing underground utilities.”
The sculpture can be viewed from all directions, but has two particular viewpoints. From one angle, the viewer sees a literal image of the world on its hind legs; from another, a red circle as a face. According to a representative of William Kentridge, “each angle is part of the visual mechanics of the piece, and the sculpture as a whole is a dynamic three dimensional work which is visually interesting from all sides and includes both moments of dynamic abstraction.”
At the moment, the piece is on display in Johannesburg, South Africa.
William Kentridge’s work is owned by a number of different museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.