South African Artist Wins Spain's Asturias Art Prize

William Kentridge at the Israeli museum in Jerusalem, Israel, on March 6, 2011.

Photographer: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Madrid (AP) -- South African artist William Kentridge has been awarded one of the annual Princess of Asturias prizes, with organizers describing his work as Africa's most outstanding contribution to international contemporary art.

Kentridge, 62, was born in Johannesburg. His cartoons, or "hand-drawn films," engravings and sculptures have been recognized internationally with exhibitions in the Louvre in Paris and the MOMA in New York.

Describing him as "a meticulous and profound creator," prize organizers said Thursday that Kentridge used drawings to express "emotions and metaphors related to South African history and its socio-political reality."

The 50,000-euro ($54,600) award is one of eight Asturias prizes handed out yearly by a foundation named for Crown Princess Leonor. Others categories include social sciences, sport and scientific research. They are presented each fall.

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