Willem Boshoff possesses the instincts of the collector, the playfulness of the prankster, and the attention to detail of the scientist. His knowledge of wood and plant species (he is a self-taught and highly regarded dendrologist) is an extension of a long-held fascination with words and language, with encryption, secret writing, taxonomies, and codes. These interests and sources of inspiration have resulted in works of profound importance such as The Blind Alphabet, which was a highlight of the first Johannesburg Biennale. Other works, like 370-Day Project, Tafelboek, the Dictionary of Perplexing English, and his monumental pieces in stone such as Kring van Kennis and Windfall are remarkable as much for their complexity of structure as their exploration of ideas and their challenges to accepted notions of aesthetic possibility.
The book includes over 100 colour images of Boshoff’s work, from his earliest woodcarvings and concrete poems, to more recent works in stone, wood, and other media. An extensive and carefully researched essay by the award-winning writer Ivan Vladislavic´ places Boshoff’s art in context and offers insightful and sensitive analyses of several major works.
Willem Boshoff’s work has been exhibited internationally since the 1980s. He has completed several important commissions and his awards include the FNB Vita Award and the Helgard Steyn Award for Sculpture.