20 h C &C A E i S l N Y k N b 8 N Y0107 18 NY_TCA_EVE_NOV18_COVER_BL.indd 4
4. Joan Mirรณ
12. Jean-Michel Basquiat
6. Alberto Burri
3. George Condo
20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York, 15 November 2018, 5pm
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Lots 1â€“41 Thursday, 15 November 2018 5pm, sharp
13. Andy Warhol
1. Christina Quarles
Pull on Thru Tha Nite signed, titled and dated “Christina Quarles 2017 “PULL ON THRU THA NITE”” on the reverse. acrylic on canvas. 60 x 56 in. (152.4 x 142.2 cm.). Painted in 2017. Estimate $30,000-50,000
Provenance David Castillo Gallery, Miami Private Collection Exhibited Miami, David Castillo Gallery, Baby, I Want Yew To Know All Tha Folks I Am, December 4, 2017 – January 31, 2018 Literature Sarah Burke, “Two Artists on Creating Outside of the Art World’s White, Patriarchal Rules”, Broadly, February 21, 2018, online (illustrated) Wendy Vogel, “Christina Quarles”, Art in America, March 1, 2018, online (illustrated)
Bodies are in states of fux in Christina Quarles’ captivating paintings, twisting and turning across the canvas in a kaleidoscopic array of color. Epitomizing Quarles’ painterly upending of fxed notions of race, gender and space, Pull on Thru Tha Nite is a vivid example of the breakthrough body of work that catapulted the Los Angeles-based artist to widespread acclaim. Within the course of just 19 months following
Agnolo Bronzino, Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time, 1540–1550. National Gallery, London, Image Art Resource, NY
her frst ever solo gallery exhibition in 2017, Quarles’ work has been included in Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon at the New Museum, New York, Fictions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and in the biennial Made in L.A. 2018 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, where she was lauded “as perhaps the biennial’s most exciting discovery” (Christopher Knight, “Made in L.A. 2018”, Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2018, online). Quarles is widely celebrated as one of the most unique voices of her generation, a reputation solidifed by her frst museum solo exhibition currently on view at the Berkeley Art Museum. Engaging with and subverting the trope of the female nude in art history, Quarles constructs fgures whose bodies are as malleable as notions of gender, race, and sexuality. While working within a lineage of fgurative painters as diverse as Egon Schiele, Francis Bacon, Leon Golub, David Hockney and Marlene Dumas, Quarles deliberately channels her lived experiences as a “queer, cis woman who is black but is ofen mistaken as white” into pictorial worlds of painterly excess and ambiguity (Christina Quarles, quoted in Christina Quarles, Matrix 271, exh. brochure, University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, 2018, online). Many of Quarles’ paintings depict predominantly female fgures in embrace, and in the present work too, she has depicted three ambiguously intertwined bodies, with the seated woman at the lower lef supporting the weight of two elongated fgures bent at the waist. Quarles deliberately allows the bodies to progressively move towards the brink of dissolution, only vaguely rendering the right fgure with the trace of a paint brush, yet characteristically articulates the hands with remarkable fnesse, while the face lingers only as a ghostly trace. It is this formal distinction that conveys Quarles’ conception of these works as portraits of living within a body: whereas we only occasionally catch glimpses of our faces, hands are the most fully realized extensions of ourselves that we see interact with the world around us. It is telling that these fgures are not based on specifc subjects, but spring from the artist’s own experiences and inimitable memory of the human body, the result of many years attending life drawing classes, something the artist continues to do to this
Francis Bacon, Triptych (detail), 1967. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Artwork © 2018 Estate of Francis Bacon/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ DACS, London
which Quarles jumps from one painterly technique to the other: she variously thins paint into translucent washes, lays it down with thick impasto, or draws with it to precisely render the fgures’ hands and feet. Trompe l’oeil efects mingle with areas of raw canvas, while gestural marks border against crisply defned lines and edges.
day. Moving beyond conventional fesh tones, Quarles constructs otherworldly vignettes that teeter between fguration and abstraction. Figures are caught in states of painterly metamorphosis as they inhabit worlds defned by multiple positions and shifing perspectives, in many ways refective of Quarles’ subjective experience of displacement. Exemplary of the artist’s strategy of employing planar shapes as compositional devices to intersect the canvas, the present work features a dotted picture plane that foats across the white canvas. While the resulting negative space suggests a hilly landscape with a starry sky in the distance, it also draws attention to the way in which the fgures are confned by the edges of the canvas and the compositional elements used to frame them – alluding to the Foucauldian notion of the culturally determined body, whereby sexuality is viewed as an efect of specifc power relations within a given environment. Quarles sees “these fgures existing solely within the materiality and limitations of the painting itself” (Christina Quarles, quoted in Tyler Green, “Christina Quarles and Peter Hujar”, The Modern Arts Podcast, no. 352, August 2, 2018, online). Indeed, the fuidity with which these bodies traverse the picture plane is in many ways paralleled by the apparent ease with
While Quarles’ body of work extends the fgurative investigations of such painters as Sue Williams, Nicole Eisenman, and Cecily Brown, her painterly practice appears to more specifcally conjure the ghosts of such abstract painters as Helen Frankenthaler and Willem de Kooning. Engaging with the rich history of painting, Quarles adeptly constructs a hybrid universe where the human body is untethered from fxed notions of identity and representation. It is this fresh take on art history that prompted art critic Peter Schjeldahl to highlight Quarles’ contribution to the New Museum’s Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon exhibition. “The happiest surprise in Trigger is a trend in painting that takes inspiration from ideas of indeterminate sexuality for revived formal invention,” he wrote, adding that Quarles can efectively be seen to “return to an old well that suddenly yields fresh water. Styles fade into history when they use up their originating impulses. New motives may snap them back to vitality…” (Peter Schjeldahl, “The Art World as Safe Space”, The New Yorker, October 9, 2017, online). Multiplicity, ambiguity and fantasy reign in Pull on Thru Tha Nite — encouraging the viewer to question the subjectivity and ambiguities of their own existence.
Cecily Brown, Trouble in Paradise, 1999. Tate Gallery, London, Artwork © Cecily Brown
UNTITLED (FATAL GROUP) signed and dated “KAWS..04” on the reverse. acrylic on canvas. 68 1/8 x 68 1/8 in. (173 x 173 cm.). Painted in 2004. Estimate $700,000-900,000
Provenance Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist) Acquired from the above by the present owner Literature Brian Donnelly, et. al., KAWS: 1993-2010, New York, 2010, p. 204 (illustrated, p. 205; dated 2005)
Painted in 2004, KAWS’s playfully irreverent UNTITLED (FATAL GROUP) is exemplary of the artist’s unique visual lexicon that deconstructs the division between popular culture and fne art. Composed on an immersive scale akin to the grand tradition of history or myth painting, this enigmatic work evinces KAWS at his most technically accomplished and conceptually resolute. Painted with such perfected clarity that there is no trace of the artist’s hand, the careful balance of block colors and monotone shadows harnesses an emotive nostalgia that supports KAWS’s longstanding project of appropriating children’s cartoon characters. The present work refgures the cast of the animated series The Fat Albert Show with their heads composed in the artist’s trademark cross-eyed skulls. Reading like a movie poster without text, this image provides an entrancing scene that challenges the artifce of familiar mass media images and a saturated contemporary visual culture.
Frans Hals, Banquet of the Ofcers of the St. Hadrian Civic Guard Company, 1627. Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Image Universal Images Group/Art Resource, NY
Andy Warhol, Last Supper, 1986. Private Collection, Artwork © 2018 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
With UNTITLED (FATAL GROUP), KAWS alludes to the historic genre of the group portrait that was popularized in 16th and 17th century Europe, but, rather than depicting nobility, he selects a familiar image from children’s entertainment. Running from 1972 to 1985, The Fat Albert Show was a popular animated television show for children. Inspired by cartoon imagery, KAWS essentially inserts himself into a long tradition of appropriation within a fne art context: from Marcel Duchamp’s infamous “R. Mutt” signature on his 1917 rendition of Fountain, through to Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and the photographic appropriation of The Pictures Generation. Yet, rather than re-contextualizing faithful copies of an original, KAWS interprets the Fat Albert cast in his own, highly distinct visual language that echoes Michael Auping’s observation that “KAWS is not just referring to pop culture, he is making it” (Michael Auping, “America’s Cartoon Mind”, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 63). KAWS, who like Warhol began his career as an illustrator, takes appropriation and reworks it into a mutable or evolutionary form of art. This impulse stems from his early career as a grafti artist when he would intervene on billboards, fashion ads and photo booth advertisements, modifying photographic images so skillfully that his brushstroke-free additions would
appear as if they were part of the original imagery. This seamless intrusion of his own aesthetic continues in the present work, where the distinction between original source and the artist’s additions are completely dissolved in a unifed surface. KAWS has remarked that he “…wanted to work within the language of the ad, to form a dialogue” (KAWS, quoted in KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 27). As in his earlier grafti days, he has painted X’s into the eyes of these fgures, giving them an empty appearance but also marking them with the moniker of his Generation X. KAWS’s frequent crossover to cartoons positions him as the most recent epitome within a lineage of American artists engaging with graphic art and cartoon illustrations. Cartoons served as an important platform for artists such as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Ad Reinhardt, and Philip Guston to hone their drafsmanship and compositional skills, but also served as a source of inspiration for Pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to launch their careers. This decade-long
Fat Albert and His Friends: Fat Albert’s Halloween Special, 1977. Image AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo
Roy Lichtenstein, Look Mickey, 1961. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
development, as poet Robert Duncan has suggested, is “the evolution of the Jungian cartoon mind… The cartoon is our [Americans’] subconsciousness acted out in the public” (Rubert Duncan, quoted in Michael Auping, “America’s Cartoon Mind”, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 65). KAWS seems to echo this sentiment, choosing cartoons because they inherently act out human emotions, distilled and ofen simplifed to their partly abstracted forms and tropes. As Michael Auping observed of KAWS’s paintings: “this is existentialism absorbed in a cartoon world” (Michael Auping, “America’s Cartoon Mind”, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 68). This description appears particularly apt when considering the double-entendre of the work’s parenthetical title “FATAL GROUP”, which strongly opposes the optimism and moralizing didacticism of the Fat Albert series. Here, KAWS strikes a profound discord between the jubilant poses and saccharine composition of the TV show’s characters and the dark allusions to death and danger. He ofers not only a recognition of mortality within an otherwise timeless realm of fantasy, but the realization that not all is what it seems, and that the real world lying behind this cute cartoon curtain is far less utopian, far less easily redeemed by quick moral lessons. Fostering a unique sense of the uncanny, in UNTITLED (FATAL GROUP) KAWS presents the ultimate cultural hybrid and a historic addition to the canon of visual appropriation.
3. George Condo
Dreaming Nude signed and dated “Condo 06” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 72 x 60 in. (182.9 x 152.4 cm.). Painted in 2006. Estimate $600,000-800,000
Provenance Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist) Private Collection, United States Edward Tyler Nahem, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner
A quintessential example of George Condo’s singular and iconic approach to portraiture, Dreaming Nude, 2006, belongs to the handful of paintings from the artist’s seminal Existential Portraits series that tackle the grand tradition of the reclining nude. Painting entirely from his imagination and art historical memory, Condo synthesizes infuences ranging from Old Master painting to Cubism with a sensibility informed by popular culture, to construct a surreal scene. It is almost as if the languorous nude depicted in the drawing at center has jumped out of its frame to materialize into an otherworldly, distinctly Condoesque creature. Echoing the reclining pose of the drawing, the fgure seductively raises one arm behind her head and holds a glass of red wine in the other. True to Condo’s penchant for exaggeration and distortion, however, the woman’s face has been transformed into a twisted mask of bulbous cheeks, menacing fangs and bulging eyes that meets our scrutiny with a confrontational gaze. Showcasing both Condo’s remarkable draughtsmanship and virtuoso handling of paint, Dreaming Nude set the foundation for the artist’s celebrated Drawing Paintings from 2011 and 2012. The theme of the reclining nude represents a key recurring motif in Condo’s oeuvre since the artist’s emergence as a fgurative painter on the New York art scene nearly four decades ago. Having explored the subject matter in the late 1980s and early 1990s vis-à-vis Picasso’s nudes, in the mid-2000s Condo revisited the genre with a handful of paintings that took as their point of departure Francisco Goya’s La Maja Desnuda, 1795-1800, and Édouard Manet’s Olympia, 1863. Both paintings radically subverted the conventions of a genre that advocated classical ideals of nudity – La Maja Desnuda notably representing the frst work of Western art to display pubic hair and Olympia arguably depicting a visibly nude woman within a contemporary setting whose straightforward gaze confronted the viewer.
Condo takes these trailblazing works as a point of departure, loosely echoing compositional elements as he constructs a woman who similarly confronts us with a defant stare that implicates the viewer with an attitude that, as Ralph Rugof observed, “defates the voyeuristic impulse in our looking, as well as our tendency to project ourselves into an image. Instead it seems to lay the ground for some kind of exchange in a way that goes back to Manet’s Olympia, and the efect of her confrontational gaze” (Ralph Rugof, George Condo, Existential Portraits, exh. cat., Luhring Augustine, New York, 2006, p. 9). Dreaming Nude is exceptional in Condo’s oeuvre for the way in which it explicitly addresses the loaded history of the gaze through the multiple depictions of reclining nudes: as seen in the foreground; in the framed drawing at center that also features a nude man reminiscent of Condo’s recurring character, the “disapproving butler” named Rodrigo; and yet another picture depicted in the background of that very drawing itself. Ultimately, however, the female nude appears to reclaim her agency.
Top: Francisco Goya, La Maja Desnuda, 1795-1800. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Image Bridgeman Lef: Édouard Manet, Olympia, 1863. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Image Scala/Art Resource, NY Opposite: René Magritte, La condition humaine, 1935. Private Collection, Image Banque d’Images, ADAGP/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 C. Herscovici, Brussels/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Demonstrating Condo’s penchant for exaggeration and distortion, the fgure’s physiognomy confronts us with a threatening gaze reminiscent of Willem de Kooning’s women or the screaming heads in Picasso’s Guernica, 1937 – one that does not merely challenge the male gaze of art history, but in fact attacks it with a jarring, animallike snarl. In its palpable psychological intensity, Dreaming Nude is exemplary of Condo’s approach to portraiture as a type of “Psychological Cubism”. Just like Picasso embraced multiple viewpoints in his cubist portraits of his muses – which Condo slyly mimics in the drawing at center – Condo incorporates a multitude of extreme mental vicissitudes. Dreaming Nude is one of the most conceptually arresting paintings in Condo’s oeuvre for the way in which it speaks to its own condition of being a painted representation. Echoing René Magritte’s surrealist strategies, Condo achieves this not only by the mise-en-abyme of multiple pictures of reclining nudes, but also through the confetti of white dots which create the trompe-l’œil efect of a starry sky when they hover in front of the blue wall, yet simultaneously appear like snowfakes when they accumulate into little mounds on the woman’s body. Destabilizing notions of illusion and reality, Dreaming Nude masterfully fuses a century-old subject with the distorted geometric perspectives of Cubism and the trompe-l’œil of Surrealism to delve into the existential depths of the human psyche.
The Legacy of Joan Miró Few artists have shaped the scope of art in the 20th century more than Joan Miró. Born in Barcelona in 1893, Miró emerged as an artist in interwar Paris, forging a unique and uninhibited path. His dream-like worlds, composed of whimsical lines and biomorphic shapes foating against indeterminate, monochromatic grounds, represented a wholly new pictorial space borne from the depths of the unconscious. Though Miró was embraced by Dada and the Surrealist avantgarde, he rejected afliation with any one movement in his relentless pursuit of pushing the frontiers of abstraction into unexpected poetic new pastures. In this, Miró was joined by another titan of modern art—Alexander Calder, the American-born artist who was forging ahead with his revolutionary sculpture at the same time in 1920s Paris. Their frst meeting in 1928 was the beginning of an intense and lasting friendship, one that also fostered cross-fertilization of artistic ideas. As Calder noted, “Well the archaeologist will tell you there’s a little bit of Miró in Calder and a little bit of Calder in Miró” (Alexander Calder, quoted in Calder/Miró, exh. cat., Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/ Basel, 2004, p. 28). Sharing a similar vision and fascination with cosmological relationships, the two artists purged the last remnants of illusionism from their respective mediums through their rhythmic evocations of line and color. Even afer Calder returned
to the United States in 1933 and World War II splintered their communication, the two artists remained deeply engaged with each other’s artistic developments. Miró’s far-reaching infuence is undeniable in the annals of post-war art; beyond his impact on contemporaneous artists such as Calder, his insistence on automatism, painterly materiality as well as his attack on convention provided fertile ground for a new generation of artists seeking a ground zero in art in the immediate wake of World War II. For the Abstract Expressionist painter Robert Motherwell, Miró’s emphasis on automatism and painterly materiality provided important cues in his development of an abstract art ftting for the concerns of the age. Born in Washington in 1915, Motherwell held a deep admiration for Miró from early on, likely learning of the Catalan artist during his study abroad in France in 1938 and 1939. Fully devoting himself to art in 1940 under the mentorship of Meyer Shapiro at Columbia University in New York, who notably introduced him to artists such as Alexander Calder, Motherwell pursued an in-depth study of Miró’s work. Motherwell’s encounter with Miró’s art at The Museum of Modern Art’s 1941 retrospective and at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1945 was incredibly formative, his
Above: Joan Miró in his Barcelona studio, 1931. Image © 2018 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris Lef: Portrait of Robert Motherwell by Ugo Mulas, 1967. Image © Ugo Mulas Heirs
Right: Alexander Calder in his studio, 1968. Image © Horst TAPPE Fondation/Bridgeman
in early 1948. Towards the end of that year, he made his frst trip to Paris where he would visit Miró in his studio. Seeing Miró’s work in person, particularly his collages, had an incredible impact on Burri. Fascinated by the older artist’s use of unconventional materials such as burlap, sand and tar paper, fabric and nails, among others, Burri embarked upon the development of his unprecedented material realism inspired by the realities of his post-war, industrial context.
Below: Alberto Burri in his studio, Grottarossa, Rome, 1956. Image by Tony Vaccaro/ Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Miró died on December 25, 1983, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. And yet his singular legacy continues to live on—not just in his masterpiece Femme dans la nuit, 1945, but also in Alexander Calder’s Conique noir, 1972–1973, Alberto Burri’s Grande legno e rosso, 1957– 1959, and Robert Motherwell’s Open No. 153: In Scarlet with White Line, 1970. Seen together, they reveal the formal and conceptual breadth of an artist whose anarchic and radically modern vision spurred some of the most seminal artists of the past century to ever greater heights.
deep afnity with the artist leading him to include Miró not only in the 1947 artistic and literary magazine Possibilities that he co-edited, but also extensively writing on his oeuvre throughout his career. As he proclaimed in 1953, “I think Miró is the most important post-Picasso fgure in Europe” (Robert Motherwell, “Is the French Avant-Garde Overrated”, 1953, in Dore Ashton, ed., The Writings of Robert Motherwell, Berkeley, 2007, p. 167). On the other side of the Atlantic, Miró’s anarchic vision of moving “beyond painting” similarly ofered critical impulses for Italian-born artist Alberto Burri. Though the same age as Motherwell, Burri had only turned to art making in the mid-1940s as an autodidact—taking up painting during his internment as a prisoner of a war and leaving his medical practice behind upon settling in Rome in 1946. While Burri initially worked in a fgurative style, seeing black-and-white reproductions of Miró’s work, in addition to that of Paul Klee, led him to embark upon his frst abstract compositions
Property from an Important European Private Collection
4. Joan Miró
Femme dans la nuit signed, titled and dated “Miró 22-3-45 “femme dans la nuit”” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 51 1/8 x 64 in. (129.9 x 162.6 cm.). Painted on March 22, 1945. Estimate $12,000,000-18,000,000
Provenance Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York (inv. no. 1879) (acquired directly from the artist by 1947) Carlo Bilotti, Rome and New York (acquired from the above on January 18, 1972) Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York (acquired from the above shortly aferwards) Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner circa 1973, and thence by descent Exhibited Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Joan Miró, June November 1962, no. 77 New York, Acquavella Galleries, Inc., Joan Miró, October 18 November 18, 1972, no. 49, n.p. (illustrated on cover) Lugano, Museo d’Arte Moderna, Passioni d’Arte: da Picasso a Warhol, Capolavori del collezionismo in Ticino, September 22 – December 8, 2002, pp. 214, 322 (illustrated, p. 215) Riehen/Basel, Fondation Beyeler, Calder/Miró, May 2 September 5, 2004, no. 136, pp. 20, 255, 291 (illustrated, p. 212) Literature Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paris, 1961, no. 651, p. 355 (illustrated, p. 534) Jacques Lassaigne, Miró, Geneva, 1963, p. 139 (illustrated, p. 94) Jacques Dupin and Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró: Catalogue raisonné. Paintings, vol. III, Paris, 2001, no. 751, p. 75 (illustrated)
In Joan Miró’s Femme dans la nuit, 1945, a female creature is shown on the lef-hand side of a large canvas while the rest of the composition is flled with an array of characters, signs and glyphs. At the top is a black star, radiating against the light background. These elements, rendered with painstaking precision, have been contrasted with more freely rendered elements: caterpillar-like squiggles that wind through the picture, the loops of their meandering forms containing spots of color—green, mauve and orangey yellow. The resulting composition, one that rhythmically pulses with life, is comprised of elements that are found throughout the entire cycle of 14 paintings Miró conceived in 1945.
Joan Miró in 1947, photographed by George Platt Lynes. Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Created against the backdrop of World War II, Femme dans la nuit forms part of this ambitious series of 14 large paintings, each featuring Miró’s signature ideograms on an atmospheric white background that the artist undertook between January 26 and May 7, 1945 – the fnal work painted the same day as Germany signed the unconditional surrender in Reims. Painted on March 22, Femme dans la nuit is an important example from this group, its singular position refected in its inclusion in the artist’s seminal retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1962. Other examples from the series now reside in important institutional collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.
Miró, quoted in Hershell B. Chipp, ed., Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics, Berkeley, 1984, p. 434). It was this series, coupled with the tragic passing of the artist’s mother on May 27, 1944 that brought about an infection point in the artist’s work, laying the foundation for him to undertake his most ambitious body of work since the onset of the war. The Turning Point of 1945
Joan Miró, Ciphers et constellations amoureux d’une femme, 1941. The Art Institute of Chicago, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Femme dans la nuit: An Heir to Miró’s Constellations Femme dans la nuit was acquired in 1947 by Pierre Matisse, Miró’s most signifcant art dealer since 1933. The son of Henri Matisse, Pierre had moved to New York and set up an esteemed gallery to introduce primarily European avant-garde artists to the American market. In spite of wartime restraints, it was at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in January 1945 that Miró’s earliest images inspired by World War II were frst exhibited to unprecedented acclaim – the so-called Constellations, modestly scaled works on paper primarily in gouache. Discussing the Constellations and subsequent works a few years afer Femme dans la nuit was painted, Miró explained: “The night, music and the stars began to play a major role in suggesting my paintings. Music had always appealed to me, and now music in this period began to take the role poetry had in the early twenties – especially Bach and Mozart when I went back to Mallorca afer the fall of France” (Joan
Coinciding with the exhibition’s success in New York, Miró chose to undertake a second, concluding cycle of works inspired by the war, doing so with the belief that these would become his magnum opus. Since 1937, nothing but war had featured in Miró’s work; its trials had completely sidetracked not just his art career but his personal life as well. Writing to Georges Raillard, Miró exclaimed, “I remember very well this time of fascism. I took refuge here in Palma, and I said to myself: ‘My old man, you’re done! You’re going to go to sleep on a beach and draw in the sand with a cane. Or you’ll make drawings with the smoke of a cigarette... you will not be able to do anything else...all is ruined!’ I had this impression clearly at the time of Hitler and Franco” (Joan Miró, quoted in Ceci est la couleur de mes rêves. Entretiens avec Georges Raillard, Paris, 1977, p. 75). Writing to Roland Penrose in retrospect, he explained of his psyche at the time, “I believed in the inevitable victory of Nazism, and that everything which we loved and which constituted our reason for being was forever thrown into the abyss” (Joan Miró, quoted in Lilian Tone, “The Journey of Miró’s Constellations”, MoMA, no. 15, Autumn 1993, p. 2). When the war did ultimately end in May 1945 and Miró was able to consider the importance of the series of works he began earlier that year, conceived in the darkest hours when peace had seemed so far away, he understood them to be a watershed moment, not just in his own art, but also for the future of art. He was immediately inspired to explore the possibility of exhibiting his war works in totality. Writing to Christian Zervos less than two months afer Femme dans la nuit was painted, Miró explained, “during this period of time one had to enter into action in one manner or another, or blow one’s brains out; there was no choice…This exhibition
of a line “that goes out for a walk, so to speak, aimlessly for the sake of the walk” (Paul Klee, in Jurg Spiller, ed., Paul Klee Notebooks, Volume 1: The Thinking Eye, London, 1961, p. 105). A Picture for a Newborn Humanity
Joan Miró photographed by Joanquim Gomis, 1942. Image © Fundació Joan Miró
should not be considered as a simple artistic event, but an act of human import, by reason of being an oeuvre realized during this terrible time when they wanted to deny all spiritual values and to destroy all that man holds precious and worthy in life” (Joan Miró, quoted in Lilian Tone, “The Journey of Miró’s Constellations”, MoMA, no. 15, Autumn 1993, p. 4). The large canvases that Miró painted in 1945 saw him address the legacy of his artistic contemporary and friend Wassily Kandinsky, who had declared “my stories…are not narrative or historical in character, but purely pictorial” (Wassily Kandinsky, quoted in Kandinsky in Paris: 1934-44, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1985, p. 30). Just before Miró fed France, both had been living in Varengeville when Miró created his frst Constellations in 1939. At the end of 1944, just before Miró commenced his white paintings, Kandinsky had died. Miró was taking up the mantle – all the more so as Kandinsky’s old friend Paul Klee had also died four years earlier. Miró had never met Klee, but his discovery of the Swiss artist’s pictures earlier in his career had been a revelation, particularly Klee’s notion
This 1945 series represented Miró’s dramatic return to painting on canvas afer several years of focusing on prints, drawings and watercolors due to the dearth of opportunities to produce or market works conceived on the ambitious scale he would undertake with this cycle of paintings. These works, along with the notebooks that he kept during the war, act as a repository of sorts from which to excavate his source inspiration for the paintings of 1945. Miró’s notebooks indicate the extent to which he planned Femme dans la nuit and its sister-works during the war years, while also revealing how much the concepts evolved. While Miró originally intended to use earlier drawings as his inspiration for the series, he explained, “The frst stage is free, unconscious; but afer that the picture is controlled throughout, in keeping with that desire for disciplined work I have felt from the beginning” (Joan Miró, quoted in Hershell. B. Chipp, ed., Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics, Berkeley, 1984, p. 435). Discussing these intended paintings in his notebooks, Miró wrote in terms that clearly relate to Femme dans la nuit: “the lines that I shall draw in over it [sic] should be very sharp, the poignant outcries of the soul, the whimperings of a new-born world and a new-born humanity arising out of the ruins and rottenness of today” (Joan Miró, quoted in Gaetan Picon, ed., Joan Miró: Catalan Notebooks, London, 1977, p. 124). Miró led a quasi-monastic existence during this period, recalling his time in Montroig during World War I, when he compared himself to Dante in a letter to E.C. Ricart. This is all the more apt as Femme dans la nuit recalls Dante’s Paradiso: with the woman’s entrance into a clear world of light, the picture echoes Beatrice leading the poet into the Empyrean realm. This is evidenced in Femme dans la nuit where Miró deliberately distilled his visual iconography and lent it a greater impact by presenting it against the atmospheric white backdrop.
Wassily Kandinsky, Untitled, 1940. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Image © CNAC/ MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
dominate: gone is the all-over decoration of the earlier Constellations. Refning the iconography of his earlier series, the works of 1945 avoid density in favor of allowing more emphasis on the individual elements. The various forms in Femme dans la nuit, and in particular the dumbbell-like shapes linked by lines, take on the rhythmic appearance of musical notations, adding a pulsing visual cadence to the composition. And yet they also have a distinctly fgurative reading within the composition as well as specifcally address the worst horrors of the war: bombs raining from airplanes. Miró speaks of capturing this terror in his notebooks from the period, “up in the sky a plane done like a bird of fantastic shape in the spirit of Bruegel or Hieronymus Bosch…” (Joan Miró, quoted in Gaetan Picon, ed., Joan Miró: Catalan Notebooks, London, 1977, p. 33). Miró’s Guernica
These felds fnd their precedent in the monochromatic felds of color, predominately in blue, yellow, and brown, which the artist established in the mid-1920s that had become a signature of sorts. It is no surprise then, that his dramatic return to painting afer years working on a more diminutive scale would inspire the artist to revisit his revolutionary mode of covering the ground of his canvases that was quintessential to his work at the height of his career in the years before the war. The uneven feld of white paint succeeds in projecting a space for his main pictorial elements to
Most, if not all of the works featuring these dumbbells—and all those featuring the rough-hewn squiggly creatures—date from the World War II period. Evoking bombs and planes, air fraught with potential danger, they recall the essential theme of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica as well as René Magritte’s Le drapeau noir, both 1937. This context is all the more pointed as Femme dans la nuit was painted at a time of the most vigorous bombings by the Allied and Axis forces in Europe and Asia in early 1945.
Paul Klee, Insula Dulcamara, 1938. Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
“The night, music and the stars began to play a major role in sugesting my paintings.” Joan Miró
The female fgure who dominates Femme dans la nuit echoes the form in El segador, 1937, a colossal large-scale mural of a Catalan peasant Miró created for the Spanish Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, where it hung near Picasso’s Guernica. This was a protest picture, a cry of anguish about the aerial bombing of Spain. Miró’s relentless ambition had him musing on how he would go beyond what Picasso presented in 1937, writing around 1940, “let these canvases be in a highly poetic and musical spirit, done without any apparent efort, like birdsong, the uprise of a new world or the return to a purer world, with nothing dramatic about them and nothing theatrical, full of love and magic, in their conception as unlike Picasso’s canvases as possible, for his represent the end and dramatic summing up of an era with all its impurities, contradictions and expedients” (Joan Miró, quoted in Gaetan Picon, ed., Joan Miró, Le Faucheur, 1937. Artwork © 2018 Successió Miró/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Image Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“The solitary life at Ciurcana, the primitivism of these admirable people, my intensive work, and especially, my spiritual retreat and the chance to live in a world created by my spirit and my soul, removed, like Dante, from all reality... I have withdrawn inside myself, and the more sceptical I have become about the things around me the closer I have become to God, the trees, the mountains, and to friendship. A primitive like the people of Ciurana and a lover of Dante.” Joan Miró to Enric Cristofol Ricart, August 1917
Joan Miró: Catalan Notebooks, London, 1977, p. 116). Eight years later, in Femme dans la nuit, this ambiguous and engaging image of doom and defance retained much of its currency. While light and optimism were tentatively raising their heads in this luminous sequence of 1945, there is nonetheless a keen awareness of the toll of war, made all the more vivid by the presence of a sky laden with weighty forms. In many ways, the woman in Femme dans la nuit and several of its sister pictures can be seen as an analogue for the screaming and wailing fgures of Picasso’s Guernica.
René Magritte, Le drapeau noir, 1937. National Galleries of Scotland, Artwork © 2018 C. Herscovici, Brussels/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
A Timeless Legacy The connections across the years between Femme dans la nuit with the earlier El Segador and the Constellations series provide an insight into Miró’s working practice, whereby chance marks served as a springboard for an initial concept that he would elaborate over time. The marks in those paintings and in Femme dans la nuit all recall ancient cave art while also reverberating with the concerns of the existentialists who were coming to the fore in intellectual circles in Paris and elsewhere. At the same time, the “ideograms” that punctuate Miró’s works from the 1920s onwards ofen echoed the letters from his own name—his signature—using them as the seed for a composition. This was especially true with his initial “M”. In The Potato, for example, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the white portion of a fgure’s hand is emblazoned with an “M” that terminates with a curlicue that echoes the “o” from the end of his name. While these letters occasionally punctuated Miró’s paintings over the years, in the series of pictures from the end of the World War II to which Femme dans la nuit belongs, there is a remarkable density of their occurrence. In Femme dans la nuit itself, the more freeform element
Joan Miró, The Potato, 1928. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Successió Miró/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
that loops across the upper part of the canvas, which doubles as a Bosch-like bomber, also appears to contain at least an “M” and an “o”. This revealed Miró entwining his entire identity with the process of painting, an art form to which he was now returning with gusto. And the centrality of his name was all the more apt as it appears linked to the Spanish and Catalan verb “mirar” —to look. The impact of Miró’s paintings was seemingly immediate, where the insights expressed in these paintings of war were recognized, both in Europe and in the United States. Post-war paintings by Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell all share the same anguish and unprecedented graphic universality through abstraction that is so intensely presented in
this work. It is through works such as Femme dans la nuit that we can associate Miró more so with the generation of artists that would succeed him than with the previous generation who came to prominence before the war. And this becomes apparent why upon reading Miró’s own hopes for his art at that time – he was looking forward to envision a new art, conceived “as a good poem or the breath of air or the fight of a bird, and just as fne and pure”, and in doing so, he shaped a new generation of artists (Joan Miró, quoted in Gaetan Picon, ed., Joan Miró: Catalan Notebooks, London, 1977, p. 116). Looking at Femme dans la nuit, one can see that Miró’s example found fresh soil in the form of Motherwell in particular, as evinced in the freedom, lyricism and
“I remember very well this time of fascism. I took refuge here in Palma, and I said to myself: ‘My old man, you’re done! You’re going to go to sleep on a beach and draw in the sand with a cane. Or you’ll make drawings with the smoke of a cigarette... you will not be able to do anything else... all is ruined!’” Joan Miró
restraint of works such as Open No. 153 of 1970. It is easy to understand why Motherwell himself would heap praise upon Miró in terms that also apply to his own work: “A sensitive balance between nature and man’s works, almost lost in contemporary art, saturates Miró’s art, so that his work, so original that hardly anyone has any conception of how original, immediately strikes us to the depths. No major artist’s atavism fies across so many thousands of years (yet no artist is more modern)” (Robert Motherwell, “The Signifcance of Miró”, in Dore Ashton & Joan Banach, eds., The Writings of Robert Motherwell, Berkeley, 2007, p. 188). Alexander Calder with Dolores, Pilar, and Joan Miró, Varengeville, summer 1937. Image Hans Hartung/ Calder Foundation, New York/Art Resource, NY
Detail of present work. This mountain-looking ideogram is illustrated in Miró’s notebooks from the war years where he noted it was to represent the “scream of a swallow”.
Ownership of Other Paintings in the Series
Femme dans la nuit, March 1, 1945. (Cat. no. 748) Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Femmes et oiseaux dans la nuit, February 12, 1945. (Cat. no. 746) Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Femme et oiseau dans la nuit, January 26, 1945. (Cat. no. 743) Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
Femme rêvant de l’évasion, February 19, 1945. (Cat. no. 747) Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit, March 8, 1945. (Cat. no. 749) Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo Personnage et oiseau dans la nuit, February 5, 1945. (Cat. no. 745) Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Additional paintings in the series are in prominent private collections including Mrs. Emily Rauh Pulitzer (promised gift to the Harvard Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge), (Cat. no. 752); The Morton G. Neumann Family Collection (Cat. no. 753); and The Nahmad Family Collection (Cat. no. 754).
Opposite: Joan Miró, 1950s. Image Album/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Property of an Important Belgian Collector
5. Alexander Calder
Conique noir incised with the artist’s monogram and date “CA 73” on the upper lef white element; further incised with the artist’s monogram and date “CA 72” on the lef side of the base. sheet metal, wire and paint. overall 42 1/2 x 39 x 25 in. (108 x 99.1 x 63.5 cm.). Executed in 1973, this work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A11622. Estimate $1,200,000-1,800,000
Provenance Galerie Maeght, Paris Waddington Galleries, London (acquired from the above in June 1982) Acquired from the above by the present owner on November 11, 1982
Celebrating a lifetime of innovation, Alexander Calder’s Conique noir, 1973, is an exceptional example of the artist’s investigation of space, volume and color. A distinct work within Calder’s oeuvre for its conical shaped base, it expands upon earlier works such as The Cone, 1960, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo, and Conique rouge, 1972. As with these works, Calder has fused his iconic sculptural archetypes of the stabile and the mobile into a singular, impeccably balanced work in his signature palette of black, white, and red. The stabile consists of a conical, void shape, its black
Launch of the Apollo 17 mission, 1972. Image Oxford Science Archive/Print Collector/Getty Images
exterior revealing a rich interior that is painted in a fery red. Resting atop the cone’s pointed zenith is the mobile portion – a red horizontal rod which balances large white biomorphic discs on either side via delicate wire rods.
Alexander Calder, The Cone, 1960. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo, NY, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“Just as one can compose colors, or forms,” Calder wrote in 1933, “so one can compose motions” (Alexander Calder, 1933, quoted in Jed Pearl, Calder, The Conquest of Time, New York, 2017, p. 507). It was in 1930 that Calder made the radical transition from his circus-themed wire fgures to abstract constructions, which would set in motion his kinetic revolution of sculpture. Calder developed his artistic sensibility in the heady climate of 1920s Paris, where he became a fully-fedged member of the European art world. It was there that he encountered the work of Joan Miró and Piet Mondrian. The sight of seeing Mondrian’s colored shapes foating unframed on the wall inspired Calder to begin his own experiments of abstraction, but it was perhaps above all his deep
Alexander Calder and Joan Miró at the opening of Calder’s retrospective at Galerie Maeght, Saint Paul De Vence, April 3, 1963. Image © AGIP/Bridgeman Images
friendship and dialogue with Miró that helped him elaborate and develop his trailblazing ideas concerning balance and motion over the years. It is indeed telling that when Calder’s mobiles were exhibited at his second show at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1936, critics were quick to point out the parallels to Miró’s art: “They are very much like Miró abstractions come to life” (Emily Genauer, “Calder’s Mobiles”, New York World-Telegram, February 15, 1936). Indeed, with its organic shapes, whimsical lines and allusion to the imaginary, Conique noir appears like the sculptural realization of the organic forms teeming in Miró’s fantastical compositions. Though Miró also briefy focused on creating sculptures during his hiatus from painting in 1931, Calder pushed his objects into poetic regions that no other artist before him had ventured into – going even beyond Pablo Picasso’s sculptures of 1928 that were lauded as “drawing in
space”. Leaving the two-dimensional pictorial surface behind, Calder blazed ahead into the four-dimensional realm, adding time to the classic three dimensions. Equipped with his impeccable engineering skills, he crucially invented the two sculptural archetypes of the “stabile” and the “mobile” in the early 1930s that he would continue to elaborate on and refne throughout the ensuing four decades. Conique noir accomplishes Calder’s goal of expressing both stillness and dynamic movement in one artwork by fusing the stabile and mobile, a combination Calder had started consistently exploring since the 1940s. As he explained, “The mobile has actual movement in it itself, while the stabile is back at the old painting idea of implied movement. You have to walk around a stabile or through it – a mobile dances in front of you” (Alexander Calder, 1960, quoted in Motion-Emotion: The Art of Alexander Calder, exh. cat., O’Hara Gallery,
New York, 1999, n.p.). While a similar push and pull permeates Conique noir, its conical stabile heightens the efect of implied movement to the extent that it appears to lif above the ground. The cone is a rare shape to occur in Calder’s oeuvre. While the shape featured as a solid wooden form in Cône d’ébène, 1933, widely regarded as one of his very frst mobiles, it appears that Calder only started to revisit it some three decades later with the stabile, The Cone, 1960. While that earlier sculpture consisted of two conical portions placed atop of each other, Conique noir and its sister work Conique rouge, 1972, consist of a single sheet of bent metal – giving rise to an unadulterated sense of upward movement. Representing the more intimate pendant to the large-scale commissioned public sculptures Calder created throughout the 1960s until his death in 1976, Conique noir points to Calder’s playful engagement with paraphrased ideas regarding the Space Age. Its dynamism and red interior recalls stabiles such as Rocket, 1964, and particularly Obus, 1972, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., which presented the rough shape of a rocket launcher with fre-engine red fames spurting from its side. Calder’s imaginative works ofen seem to exude a whimsical optimism, yet, as recent scholarship has pointed out there are also oblique political undertones that refect Calder’s increasingly public anti-war activism in the 1960s and 1970s. Seen in this light, intriguing parallels begin to arise between Conique noir and Miró’s Femme dans la nuit, 1945, a whimsical yet deeply existential distillation of pure line and color. Testimony to a lifetime of innovation, Conique noir epitomizes Calder’s pioneering mastery of a new genre – one which by the time of the work’s creation had frmly cemented his stature as one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.
“I want things to be diferentiated [within my work]. Black and white are frst—then red is next... I love red so much that I almost want to paint everything red. I often wish I’d been a fauve in 1905.” Alexander Calder
Property from a Distinguished European Collection
6. Alberto Burri
Grande legno e rosso signed and dated â€œBurri 57-59â€? on the reverse. wood, acrylic and combustion on canvas. 59 x 98 3/8 in. (150 x 250 cm.). Executed in 1957-1959. Estimate $10,000,000-15,000,000
Provenance Galleria La Tartaruga, Rome Acquired from the above by the family of the present owners in the early 1960s, and thence by descent Exhibited Rome, Galleria La Tartaruga, Afro, Burri, Capogrossi, Matta, started December 5, 1957 Venice, XXIX Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, 1958, no. 258 (bears label on the stretcher, not listed in the exhibition catalogue) São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna, Artistas Italianos de Hoje na 5a. Bienal do Museu de Arte, September - December 1959, no. 24 Rio de Janeiro, Museu de Arte Moderna, Burri, Somaini, Vespignani: três artistas italianos premiados na 5a. Bienal de São Paulo, March - April 1960, no. 11 New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Dusseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting, October 9, 2015 - July 3, 2016, no. 41, p. 184 (illustrated, pp. 192-193) Literature Mario Pedrosa, “Artes visuals. Burri etc. (III)”, Jornal do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, April 7, 1960 Rafaelle Carrieri, Pittura e scultura d’avanguardia in Italia 1890-1960, Milan, 1960, n.p. (illustrated) “Untitled”, L’Œil, no. 94, Paris, October 1962, p. 49 (illustrated)
Cesare Brandi, ed., Burri, Rome, 1963, no. 69, n.p. (illustrated) Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco, Le arti oggi in Italia, Rome, 1966, p. 71 (illustrated) Franz Meyer, “Macchia e materia: Fautrier, Wols, Dubufet, Burri, Tapies”, L’arte moderna, no. 105, vol. XII, Milan, 1967, p. 224 (illustrated) Nello Ponente, “La crisi dell’immagine e della forma”, L’arte moderna, no. 93, Milan, 1967, p. 150 (illustrated) Maurizio Calvesi, Le grandi monografe: Pittori d’oggi, Burri, Milan, 1971, p. 22 (illustrated, p. 42) Marisa Volpi Orlandini, “Alberto Burri”, Storia dell’Arte, nos. 38-40, vol. II, Florence, June - December 1980, p. 407 Luciano Caramel and Francesco Poli, Storia Universale dell’Arte, vol. IX, Milan, 1985, p. 223 (illustrated) Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini, ed., Burri: Contributi al Catalogo Sistematico, Città di Castello, 1990, no. 605, p. 146 (illustrated, p. 147) Giuliano Serafni, “Burri”, art e dossier, no. 62, Florence, November 1991, p. 44 (illustrated) Gloria Vallese, “E Lucio Fontana fece il primo taglio”, Arte, no. 215, Milan, February 1991, p. 79 (illustrated) Giuliano Serafni, Burri: La misura e il fenomeno/The Measure and the Phenomenon, Milan, 1999, p. 53 Bruno Corà, ed., Alberto Burrio: opera al nero, Cellotex 19721992, exh. cat., Galleria dello Scudo, Verona, 2012, pp. 214-215 Bruno Corà, ed., Burri: General Catalogue, Painting, 19581978, vol. II, Perugia, 2015, no. 725, p. 40 (illustrated, p. 41) Bruno Corà, ed., Burri: General Catalogue, Chronological Repertory, 1945-1994, vol. VI, Perugia, 2015, no. 725, p. 129 (illustrated)
Installation view of Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 9, 2015 – January 6, 2016 (present work exhibited). Image Kristopher McKay, Artwork © 2018/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome
Monumental and absorbing in scale, Alberto Burri’s Grande legno e rosso from 1957-1959 stretches over eight feet in breadth. This colossal painting features the combination of wood and fre that Burri had only recently introduced into his work, placing it at the vanguard of his oeuvre. According to the catalogue raisonné of Burri’s work, this is the largest of the Legno e rosso works that he created, hence its name; additionally it is one of only two to incorporate combustion, the other being a fraction of the size. A picture of exceptional quality, it has been in the same family’s ownership since its acquisition from the acclaimed Galleria La Tartaruga, Rome, shortly afer its execution. The importance of Grande legno e rosso is further indicated by its inclusion in the critically-acclaimed 2015 retrospective of Burri’s work held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Afer that exhibition, the presentation of this picture at auction marks only the second occasion it has been shown publically since 1960, shortly afer it was completed. Grande legno e rosso demonstrates why Burri’s works chimed so well with the atmosphere of post-war Europe. The continent had been ravaged by the Second World War. Old hierarchies had been toppled. This was the age of Existentialism and Abstract Expressionism. Establishing his ground-breaking career in Rome and New York in the early 1950s, Burri’s works appeared to challenge both: his incorporation of “poor” materials such as sackcloth and wood revealed an artist appearing to elevate the humblest of elements into the realm of the artistic, placing them on a previously unthinkable pedestal. Likewise, the techniques that Burri employed,
Alberto Burri, Martedì Grasso, 1956. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Artwork © 2018/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome
Alberto Burri, Texas, 1945. Private Collection, Artwork © 2018/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome
be it the stitching in his Sacchi or the use of fre in works such as Grande legno e rosso, indicated an artist who was fnding new ways of making a mark on the canvas. Burri’s innovations came at the same time as the holes of Lucio Fontana and the drips of the recently-deceased Jackson Pollock. By scorching wood and incorporating it within the confnes of a picture surface, Burri was pushing the boundaries of art to new extremes. In using these materials from the world around him, he was creating seemingly autonomous works that took shards of the real world and reconfgured them in order to eke out a new visual poetry. These works are not representative: they simply are. And in this, their autonomy, they would fnd themselves the unwitting progenitors of a number of subsequent artistic developments both in Italy and abroad, from Arte Povera to Minimalism. Over the course of his ffy-year career, Burri developed his practice through discrete series, each of which was defned by and titled afer the dominant process, material or color. Following his Sacchi series, consisting of collage-like compositions stitched from cast-of linens and burlap material, Burri in the mid-1950s developed his Combustioni and Legni. Adopting materials essential to Italy’s post-war reconstruction and building industry, he utilized materials such as wood veneer and pioneered his new so-called combustion process of burning material.
“I see beauty and that is all…I am sure that every picture that I make, whatever the material, is perfect as far as I am concerned. Perfect in form and space. Form and space: these are the essential qualities that really count.” Alberto Burri
Alberto Burri in his studio, 1962. Image © Ugo Mulas Heirs
By incorporating fre within the picture surface, Burri could be seen to be taking up the challenge that had been set down by Joan Miró in the years before World War II. “The only thing that’s clear to me is that I intend to destroy, destroy everything that exists in painting,” Miró had declared. Miró, whom Burri had visited in his studio in Paris in 1948, admitted that he was nonetheless constrained by “the customary artist’s tools—brushes, canvas, paints—in order to get the best efects. The only reason I abide by the rules of pictorial art is because they’re essential for expressing what I feel” (Joan Miró, quoted in Margit Rowell, ed., Joan Miró: Selected Writings and Interviews, Cambridge, 1992, p. 116). In Grande legno e rosso and his other works, Burri demonstrated his ability to surpass those limitations. While Miró sought to destroy painting by creating imaginary universes, Burri’s art is grounded in both the past and present. Burri’s striking chromatic palette of red, black and ochre abounds with associations to not just post-war Italy, but also with references to art history – particularly in his use of the color black. The chromatic intensity that Burri achieves by juxtaposing black with fashes of red and in particular reveals his afnity with Michelangelo Caravaggio.
One of the frst Baroque painters to use black as the main element of his chiaroscuro, Caravaggio introduced a dramatic intensity hitherto absent from religious painting that would pave the way for numerous followers over the centuries. In Grande legno e rosso, the black feld is then not one of absence or functions merely as a background; much more, it is an integral component to achieve Burri’s desired tension between fatness and depth. Burri’s use of black as a bolster for the entire composition achieves a chromatic richness that reveals both his indebtness to the rich canon of Italian painting, and his ability to maneuver beyond its limitations. By the time that Grande legno e rosso was created, Burri had already become an internationally-recognized artist, having gained increasing exposure and acclaim at the beginning of the 1950s. This was in part due to his promotion by the legendary museum director James Johnson Sweeney, who exhibited and acquired his works from an early stage, having been introduced to Burri during a visit to Rome in 1953. By 1957, Burri was participating in shows throughout Europe and the United States. This rise to fame was all the more impressive as it was only during his imprisonment in World War II that he had turned to painting as a vocation, abandoning medicine, his former calling.
While serving as a prisoner of war in Hereford, Texas, Burri became increasingly focused upon art; although he would later destroy many of the works from this period, he made a point of saving his early landscape, Texas. This work, flled with scorched red and orange and with a high horizon line, can be seen as a forebear for the composition of Grande legno e rosso, where the lower two thirds of the picture are also redolent of the heat and colors of the desert of Texas. This landscape reveals the deeplyingrained sense of proportion that underpinned Burri’s work throughout his life. It is not that Grande legno e rosso refers to the landscape itself, but that the two works share the same fundamental quest for balance within the composition. Burri himself would declare that his pictures contained, “Form and space! That’s it! There is nothing else! Form and space!” (Alberto Burri, quoted in Stefano Zorzi, Alberto Burri. His Thoughts. His Words, 2018, p. 90). For Burri, this particular type of composition would be one to which he would return on a number of occasions, for instance in Martedì Grasso, another painting of almost the same scale which was formerly in the collection of G. David Thompson, and is now in the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. That work features strips of material rather than the wood and band of red paint of Grande legno e rosso, yet their kinship is self-evident. Similarly, Legno SP, 1958, in the Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini, Città di Castello, bears a similarity. Even the tiny Senza titolo, 1956, from the same museum, which measures a mere three and a half inches in breadth, echoes this composition, albeit with the upper horizontal band occupied in that case by a piece of scorched wood. Related compositions had even featured among the Sacchi, the earlier burlap works with which Burri had achieved such notable success. Later examples would pick up these visual rhythms, be it the Legno nero rosso of 1960 which hung next to Grande legno e rosso at the artist’s retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2015, and which appears to have taken up the theme albeit on a similar scale, or the later Cellotex works, which likewise sport similar proportions, harnessed through Burri’s interventions with paint and fberboard. These variations on a similar composition show the elegant sense of equilibrium which Burri sought in his works, turning his selections of unusual materials and techniques to the achievement of a sense of pictorial harmony. It is telling that Burri’s works were known to be admired by Giorgio Morandi, the painter of contemplative still life compositions. Burri himself would sometimes claim that his
Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1598-1599. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica at Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Image Scala/Art Resource, NY
materials were almost incidental, and that it was the problem of composition that he sought to solve, using wood, sackcloth or iron more because of their aesthetic qualities than any sense of meaning or purpose. Burri nonetheless accepted that his materials had appearances that appealed to him, and this is palpable in his use of wood in Grande legno e rosso. The wood contrasts with the bands and columns of uniform black and red paint, its warp and veins pushed to the fore. Its variations in color and almost marbled appearance add to the composition, becoming a readymade parallel to Pollock’s drips. The wood becomes a part of Burri’s arsenal— or rather his palette. In a rare interview with his friend Stefano Zorzi, Burri spoke in terms that refect his intense focus on composition: “I have fnally found a phrase that mirrors, with absolute fdelity, my conception of painting. It is just a couple of lines by Robert Bridges that I found, if you can believe it, in a scientifc text. He says, ‘Our stability is but balance, and our wisdom lies in masterful administration of the unforeseen.’ This is the foundation of my painting” (Alberto Burri, quoted in Stefano Zorzi, Alberto Burri. His Thoughts. His Words, 2018, p. 17). That element of the “unforeseen” is encapsulated in the increasing interest Burri showed in using fre as a part of his creative process, as is the case in Grande legno e rosso. Where earlier, he had begun to burn paper to create artworks, and would subsequently use fames to melt and make holes in plastic, he took advantage of the
slower-burning nature of wood to use fre as an analogue for black paint. This black, however, is made all the more dynamic through its dialogue with the painted band of black at the top of the composition, which also peeks through as a background visible behind the wooden elements. The black circle perfectly shows that balance of chance and mastery of technique that underpins so many of Burri’s greatest works. It is thrust all the more into relief by the thick wedge of red that makes the painting so vibrant. This shows the incredible attention to detail that was the foundation of so much of Burri’s work. Afer all, this was an artist who was friends with scientists, taking advantage of his access to new materials and substances to gain the precise fnishes he desired. Burri was meticulous, painstaking. The warmth and visual harmony of Grande legno e rosso showcase these qualities.
Alberto Burri, Legno SP, 1958. Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collection Burri, Città di Castello, Artwork © 2018/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome
Alberto Burri in New York, 1957. Image Tony Vaccaro/ Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Property from a Prominent Private American Collection ○
7. Robert Motherwell
Open No. 153: In Scarlet with White Line signed with the artist’s initials “R.M” lower right. acrylic on canvas. 86 1/2 x 140 1/4 in. (219.7 x 356.2 cm.). Painted in 1970. Estimate $2,000,000-3,000,000
Provenance Dedalus Foundation, New York (acquired in 1991) Acquired from the above via Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York by the present owner Exhibited London, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Robert Motherwell: Five Great Opens, October 15 - November 22, 2008 New York, Paul Kasmin Gallery, The New York School, 1969: Henry Geldzahler at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, January 13 - March 14, 2015 New York, Mnuchin Gallery, Reds, April 27 - June 9, 2018, pp. 11, 94 (illustrated, pp. 46-47) Literature Robert S. Mattison, et. al., Robert Motherwell: Open, London, 2009, p. 182 (illustrated, pp. 100-101) Jack Flam, Katy Rogers and Tim Cliford, eds., Robert Motherwell Paintings and Collages: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991, vol. II, New Haven, 2012, no. P556, p. 296 (illustrated)
Visually sparse, yet resplendent in color, Robert Motherwell’s Open No. 153: In Scarlet with White Line, 1970, envelops the viewer in an atmospheric red color feld, the vast expanse of which is only interrupted by minimally rendered white lines. An early example from Motherwell‘s seminal Open series, it takes a prime position as one of the three largest paintings that the artist created in 1970, which includes Open No. 150: In Black and Cream (Rothko Elegy), Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It is in works such as the present one that Motherwell proves himself a remarkable colorist. Anticipating such paintings as Phoenician Red Studio, 1977, Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Open No. 153 is a monumental ode to Motherwell’s love for the color red. His varied application of color and brushwork imbues the canvas with a rich texture and gives rise to vibrating movement as light refects of the paint surface, heightening the expressive power of color. Encountering Open No. 153 is to experience an overwhelming sense of serenity, contemplation and Zen-like harmony that is wholly unique to Motherwell’s Open series. The Opens represented a major shif from the gestural brushstrokes and black and white starkness of Motherwell’s preceding Elegies, an
ongoing series begun in the late 1940s. If the Elegies were frequently imbued with undertones of tragedy and sufering, works such as the present one refect the opposite spectrum of Motherwell’s sensibility. As Motherwell himself observed, “There is more emphasis on ‘feeling’ + less on ‘emotion.’ The ‘Open’ series is less aggressive than my older paintings” (Robert Motherwell, quoted in Irmeline Lebeer, “Robert Motherwell (Entretien avec l’artiste)”, Chroniques de Van vivant, no. 22, July - August 1971, n.p.). With the Opens, Motherwell had fnally found the means to recalibrate his practice in the wake of his mid-career retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965, which, having received mixed reviews and disrupting his work schedule, had given rise to a sort of creative standstill. The immediate origins of the Open series were inspired by chance when Motherwell was working in his studio in 1967. Struck by the relationship that resulted from leaning a smaller canvas against a larger one, he outlined the smaller canvas in charcoal on the larger one. According to Motherwell, “The series began as a ‘door’”, which he “ultimately reversed into a ‘window’” (Robert Motherwell, “Statement of the Open Series”, 1969, in Dore Ashton, ed., The Writings of Robert
Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY, artwork © 2018 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“I have always loved the redness of red in vermillion, Fire engine, scarlet-red range of hues.” Robert Motherwell
Motherwell, Berkeley, 2007, p. 244). That the frst such Open painting was borne from a chance episode was not surprising for an artist such as Motherwell, who since his early contact with Surrealism held a frm belief in the generative potential of chance, memory and imagination. Less immediately apparent to Motherwell, however, was that the theme of the window had already fgured earlier in his career – a fact he realized more than a year afer his frst Opens upon rediscovering his Spanish Picture with Window, 1941, now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. “There is no escape from one’s individuality!”, Motherwell remarked in his 1969 Statement on the Open Series, only to perceptively add, “Nor from one’s collectivity” (Robert Motherwell, “Statement of the Open Series”, 1969, in Dore Ashton, ed., The Writings of Robert Motherwell, Berkeley, 2007, p. 243). The subject of the window is indeed a recurring art historical theme, used by Leon Battista Alberti as a metaphor for painting itself in the Renaissance and frequently painted by the
Fauves. Opens reveal Motherwell’s renewed engagement with the motif as explored by Henri Matisse, which was arguably prompted by The Museum of Modern Art’s 1966 retrospective of the Fauve master where Motherwell saw many of the paintings in person for the frst time, including the highly abstracted Porte-fenêtre à Collioure, 1914, the View of Notre-Dame, 1914, and The Piano Lesson, 1916. With the present work, Motherwell appears to be specifcally channeling Matisse’s The Red Studio, 1911, a painting he loved for “the redness of red in vermillion” and which notably depicted a number of paintings stacked on the foor against an empty frame leaning against a red wall - an intriguing parallel to Motherwell’s own chance juxtaposition of canvases. Though many of Motherwell’s Opens have naturalistic points of reference and ofen evoke the image of a window against a wall, he emphasized that the motif of the window mainly represented a poetic metaphor to him. It is indeed illuminating that he ultimately
Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis, 1950-1951. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork
“There are eighty-two entries under the word open that could be on separate lines, as in a poem. For me those entries are most beautiful, flled with all kinds of associations, all kinds of images.” Robert Motherwell
chose to title the series “Open” rather than “Windows”, which he had been considering up until early 1969. Skimming through his copy of the Random House Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language for new prompts and associations, Motherwell was intrigued by the conceptual breadth and ambiguity of the myriad of defnitions for the word “open”. Echoing Stéphane Mallarmé’s belief that a poem should transcend a specifc entity, idea, or event, Motherwell strove to create open-ended paintings. His paintings are neither meant as direct correspondences to the real world, nor are they exemplary of abstraction as an end in itself. Rather, they are meant to convey “felt content”, which in relation to the Opens Motherwell described as “colorful and sensuous, and in spatial depth” (Robert Motherwell, “Statement of the ‘Open’ Series”, 1969, in Dore Ashton, ed., The Writings of Robert Motherwell, Berkeley, 2007, p. 123-124). This notion of open-endedness also informed Motherwell’s unprecedented embrace of color with the series, likely prompted by his discovery of Rafael Alberti’s 1948 poem cycle A la pintura in 1967. Motherwell’s fascination with the Spanish poet’s writing crucially gave rise to his acclaimed artist’s book of the same name in 1972, which juxtaposed his own Open prints with Alberti’s poetic invocations of color. As with the dictionary defnition of “open”, there is not just one, but several poetic invocations of the color red. As Dore Ashton noted, “When Motherwell uses certain colors, they are always associated in his own mind with Excerpt from Robert Motherwell’s copy of The Random House Dictionary.
Robert Motherwell in his Provincetown studio with Open paintings, 1969. Image Dedalus Foundation, Artwork © 2018 Dedalus Foundation, Inc./Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
specifc sense impressions…Red: memories of Mexico; The Red Studio by Matisse; blood and duende, folk art” (Dore Ashton, Robert Motherwell, exh. cat., AlbrightKnox Art Gallery, Bufalo, 1983, p. 35). The sensuous spaces Motherwell created through the subtle interplay of line and color powerfully pay tribute to the legacy of Joan Miró. As Rosalind Krauss noted in her review of the Opens when they debuted at the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery in 1969, “Like Miró’s art, Motherwell’s own has been a continuous investigation into the nature of signs…The U is merely the simplest graphic symbol for an opening and on one level it functions to reinforce the natural tendency for a color feld to suggest a yielding, penetrable sense of depth” (Rosalind Krauss, “Robert Motherwell’s New Paintings”, Artforum 7, no. 9, May 1969, p. 28). Motherwell’s radiant color felds reveal his admiration for Miró’s painterly nuance; as he highlighted himself, “[Miró’s] rhythmically animated, colored surface-plane…is invariably expressive,
mainly of feelings” (Robert Motherwell, “The Signifcance of Miró”, 1959, in Dore Ashton, ed., The Writings of Robert Motherwell, Berkeley, 2007, p. 191). Although Motherwell’s Opens at frst glance appeared to be a response to a particular moment in time when minimalist impulses had all but outmoded Abstract Expressionism, they in fact represented a unique convergence of chance and history. Motherwell’s continued emphasis on feeling and renewed engagement with the art of Miró and Matisse set the works apart from concurrent aspirations of emphasizing the literalness of painting. Rather, works such as Open No. 153 convey a spirit of freedom, peacefulness and unity of timeless resonance. As Robert S. Mattison indeed put in a nutshell, “like the ripples of a stone thrown into a pond, they encourage ever expanding and enriching rings of meaning” (Robert S. Mattison, Robert Motherwell: Open, London, 2009, p. 11).
Property from The Over Holland Collection
8. Bruce Nauman
Double Slap in the Face signed and dated “B Nauman 85” lower right. wax crayon and graphite on paper. 29 3/4 x 43 3/8 in. (75.6 x 110.2 cm.). Executed in 1985. Estimate $400,000-600,000
Provenance Galerie Konrad Fischer, Dusseldorf Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1985 Literature Coosje van Bruggen, Dieter Koepplin and Franz Meyer, Bruce Nauman: Drawings 1965-1986, exh. cat., Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, 1986, no. 508, n.p. (illustrated, erroneously orientated) Neal Benezra, et. al., Bruce Nauman, exh. cat., Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1994, p. 294
Bruce Nauman’s Double Slap in the Face is a seminal example from 1985 that marked the artist’s distinct shif of focus from language towards an investigation of human behavior. Capturing the near slapstick activity of two opposed fgures repetitively slapping each other’s faces with disembodied hands, the work is instantaneously recognizable as the blueprint for the iconic neon sculpture Double Slap in the Face, 1985. Appearing like a graphic equivalent to Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic studies of motion, the drawing’s multicolored lines and accompanying notations convey on paper the schematic movement Nauman would later translate in sculptural form into an alternating sequence of fashing neon lights. Here, the entire arc of movement is presented simultaneously, giving rise to an enticing semi-abstract image. Double Slap in the Face is a remarkable example of Nauman’s acclaimed drafsmanship, the signifcance of which is currently being celebrated in the exhibition Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. For Nauman, drawing is the visual equivalent to thinking. Since his abandonment of painting in the 1960s, drawing has formed the backbone of his multifarious practice that encompasses sculpture, performance, installations, flm and video, printmaking, photography and neon. Responding to difering functions and demands, drawing can enter Nauman’s creative process at various stages – at times serving as detailed studies for his sculptures, other times presenting a creative continuation of an already executed work. Works such as the present one
“My work comes out of being frustrated about the human condition. And about how people refuse to understand other people. And about how people can be cruel to each other.” Bruce Nauman
represented the development of a visual framework that put forth an unexpected departure from Nauman’s previous text-based work – both in process and theme. Double Slap in the Face shows how the human fgure in 1985 took center stage in the form of brightly colored stick fgures and silhouettes afer years of absence since Nauman’s body performances in the late 1960s. To create silhouettes as in the present work, Nauman traced the contours of his own and partner Harriet Lindenberg’s body parts on cardboard in various poses, repositioning and retracing the resulting templates to convey schematic movement within a singular plane. Though the outstretched hands in some drawings are arranged to convey the
Film still from The Three Stooges, 1930. Image RFG Collection/Alamy Stock Photo
Bruce Nauman, Double Slap in the Face, 1985. Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart, Image Esslingen Augustin, Artwork © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS). Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
welcoming gesture of a handshake, in the present work Nauman has arranged them in an arc to convey the full movement of repeated slapping. If Nauman’s flms and videos from the late 1960s captured the artist performing various repetitive, absurd actions, these drawings and their resulting neons honed in on psychologically more ambivalent interpersonal actions and gestures. Ranging from slapping, punching, kicking or poking various body orifces, the fgure’s repetitive activities seem to unfold akin to a slapstick version of Antonin Artaud’s Theater of Cruelty or Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Nauman has also highlighted the connection to the puppet theater of Punch and Judy, in which the amoral Punch gives in to his violent impulses and gets away with acting brutally towards those around him. Yet while Punch gets away, Nauman’s fgures reciprocate the actions in kind – engaging in an endless cycle of violence that neither escalates nor fnds a resolution. The present work essentially subverts the Christian doctrine of “if someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also”, putting forth a confrontational work that explores darker aspects of human morality.
Wholly defying the art world’s expectations, the fgurative body of work Nauman created during the productive year of 1985 represented a key turning point in the artist’s practice. Nauman’s investigation of the breakdown of communication in the form of individual vignettes ultimately set the foundation for the seminal video piece Violent Incident, 1986, Tate Modern, London. This revival of video in Nauman’s practice afer years of absence also marked the end of the artist’s engagement with the material of neon afer that year. Situated at that critical juncture, Double Slap in the Face attests to the crucial role of drawing in Nauman’s multimedia practice – a fact that was celebrated shortly afer its execution with the artist’s frst drawings retrospective at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, and the New Museum, New York in 1986 and 1987. Ofering unique insights into Nauman’s creative process, the present work powerfully demonstrates, as Roberta Smith noted, the “freed-up gesture and immediacy that can make drawing the visual equivalent of thinking out loud…both his mind and sensibility are more accessible, more on the surface here” (Roberta Smith, “Art: Bruce Nauman Retrospective”, The New York Times, October 30, 1987, online).
9. Bruce Nauman
Masturbating Man neon tubing mounted on wood panel. neon 47 3/4 x 30 1/8 x 2 3/4 in. (121.3 x 76.5 x 7 cm.) panel 86 1/2 x 39 1/2 x 12 1/2 in. (219.7 x 100.3 x 31.8 cm.). Executed in 1985. Estimate $2,500,000-3,500,000
Provenance Galerie Konrad Fischer, Dusseldorf Collection Selma and Jos Vandermolen, Ghent Konrad Fischer Galerie, Dusseldorf Acquired from the above by the present owner
Exhibited Dusseldorf, Konrad Fischer Galerie, New Neons, September 14 - October 17, 1985 Athens, Jean Bernier, Bruce Nauman, February 24 March 22, 1986 Antwerp, Galerie Ronny Van de Velde, The Future of the Object! A Selection of American Art; Minimalism and Afer, May 20 - July 28, 1990, pp. 16, 31, 47, 174 (illustrated, p. 175; erroneously orientated)
“Nauman’s best work is experiential. Its meanings are not served up on wall texts. You must see it, endure it, perhaps question and fght with it, all on your own.” Roberta Smith
Literature Neal Benezra, et. al., Bruce Nauman, exh. cat., Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1994, no. 342, p. 297 (illustrated)
Executed in 1985, Bruce Nauman’s Masturbating Man is an important example from the artist’s discrete series of fgurative neon works that is currently on view at Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The present work is an entrancing study of motion whose multicolored lines have been likened to those of Willem de Kooning’s late work. More playful and abstract than its title suggests, the neon blinks in fxed-color intervals like slides cycling through a projector: following the fashing cadences of the male fgure’s red and green silhouette, the entire arc of movement is depicted – only to continue its choreographed cycle from the start afer a precisely defned pause. Closely related to such works as Seven Figures, 1985, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Sex and Death by Murder and Suicide, 1985, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, this work epitomizes Nauman’s ability to investigate the breadth of the human condition with an approach that is equally witty, cerebral and provocative. Representing the culmination of Nauman’s engagement with the medium, it is among the very last neon sculptures the artist has created to date.
Bruce Nauman, Masturbating Man, 1985. Private Collection, Artwork © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS)
While Nauman has worked in a variety of media over the course of his fve-decade long career, his experimentation with neon has resulted in some of his most iconic pieces. Although widely synonymous with Nauman’s practice, there are only around 60 neon
Etienne-Jules Marey, Chronophotographs of a man doing a high jump, 1892. National Media Museum, Bradford, Image Art Resource, NY
works within his entire oeuvre to date, many of which are in public collections. The works created in 1985 represent the culmination of his engagement with the medium, which he frst began exploring in the mid-1960s. Having completed his studies at the University of California, Davis, where he studied under the mentorship of Wayne Thiebaud, Nauman moved to San Francisco and set up his studio in a former grocery store. An old neon beer sign there served as inspiration for his very frst word-based neon sign The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign), 1967, which deliberately mocked the seriality and literalness of Minimalism that had taken the art world by storm. Abandoning the medium from 1974, he gradually reengaged with neon starting in 1980 and wholly defed expectations in 1985 by introducing a body of fgurative neon work. He would fabricate 17 over the course of that year, before completely ending his engagement with the medium in 1986. Nauman developed the initial idea for the present work during 1984 through a series of drawings, which culminated in the monumental work on paper Masturbating Man, 1985. Taking on life-size proportions, it features the overlapping multi-colored silhouettes of a male fgure, based on cardboard templates of Nauman’s body, and meticulous notations indicating the timing between each interval. As Robert Storr observed of this blueprint for the present work,
“The seemingly schematic silhouettes…recall the def abbreviations of the sign-maker, but the touch is that of someone acutely attuned to the energetic fow of line and psychological sparks thrown by disturbance…in that fow…the polychromatic layering of these later works reverberates like the colorful tracery of [Willem] de Kooning’s last paintings – except that the elegiac eroticism of de Kooning is replaced by sexual antagonism” (Robert Storr, Bruce Nauman: Neons Sculptures Drawings, exh. cat., Van de Weghe Fine Art, New York, 2002, pp. 16-17). While recalling the distilled lines of Nauman’s abstraction, the silhouettes coalesce to become a study of movement – not unlike the 19th century photographs by Etienne-Jules Marey or Eadweard Muybridge. Nauman’s fgurative neons position themselves within this tradition, yet provocatively depict actions related to violence, death and sex. The present work is a powerful example of Nauman’s ability to tackle unconventional motifs with both wit and unfinching directness. In both Masturbating Man and its related work Masturbating Woman, any trace of intimacy or privacy implied by the same action in Vito Acconci’s notorious performance Seed Bed, 1972, is lacking. As Robert Storr observed, Nauman faces, “the basic facts of life…and examined them closely – more closely, indeed than is comfortable” (Robert Storr, Bruce Nauman, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1995, p. 2).
Private impulses and desires are transformed into spectacle as the neon hypnotically fashes in front of the viewer’s eyes like a sign advertising a bar or nightclub. Speaking of the present work, Jean-Charles Masséra observed, “Nauman’s neons do not lead anywhere…The programmed linkage of sequences and the repetition of certain bodily postures deny the event…the existence of desire” (Jean-Charles Masséra, “Dance with the Law”, in Bruce Nauman, Baltimore, 2002, pp. 177-184). The human body is disembodied, its action mechanized and repeated ad infnitum without conclusion. As Ute Holl pointed out, “Neon is the epitome of modern-day advertising, ofering the allure of a good life that invariably risks proving empty at its core” (Ute Holl, “Frames and Repetition: Neons as Willem de Kooning, Untitled XXI, 1982. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Moving Pictures”, in Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018, p. 170). Nauman plays into this notion, confronting the viewer with a fgure caught in a cycle of repetitive actions to the extent that it borders on the absurd and meaningless akin to Beckettian theater. Though at frst glance Nauman’s fgurative works appear to be a stark departure from his word-based neons, they are in fact a continuation of the artist’s investigation into the human condition. Indeed, his very frst known neon, Neon Templates of the Lef Half of My Body Taken at Ten-Inch Intervals, 1966, was efectively a self-portrait in absentia, as Nauman had molded the shapes of neon tubes against his own body. His body also became the subject of his photographic and performative work, ofen centering on repetitive, basic tasks such as walking or pacing that tested both the artist’s and the viewer’s endurance.
Bruce Nauman, Sex and Death/Double “69”, 1985. Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Bruce Nauman/ Artists Rights Society (ARS)
As if extending the near maddening act of repetition of his performances into neon, Nauman in the 1980s increasingly employed more complex animated movements and corresponding color schemes. As
Nauman has explained of the result efect, “with the fgure neons, the timing sequence is very important… the pace and repetition makes it hard to the see the fgures.” Additionally pointing out the contrast between the depicted act and the “pretty” colors he uses, he emphasized, “the confusion and dichotomy of what is going on [is] important” (Bruce Nauman, quoted in Elusive Signs, Bruce Nauman Works With Light, exh. cat., Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, 2006, p. 32). Nauman disrupts straightforward readings in a way that expands upon his subversion of moral binaries with Seven Virtues/Seven Vices, 1983-1988, a larger body of work comprised of both neon works and granite sculptures featuring superimposed word-pairings of the seven deadly sins and virtues, such as Faith/Lust. This approach, as Robert Storr identifed, conveys Nauman’s, “refusal to accept the classical mind-body split” of Western philosophy, which considers the body captive to needs and instincts: “he upends the hierarchy that supposes the human intellect to be
sovereign over our baser inclinations” (Robert Storr, Bruce Nauman, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1995, p. 2). Nauman’s 1985 neons are remarkable for the artist’s juxtaposition of a medium dominated by commercial associations with a deeply existential theme. Ultimately, the endless repetition of fashing lights does not empty the work of meaning, but rather is aimed at transforming our experience and ofering a reconsideration of all dogma. As Glenn D. Lowry put in a nutshell in his foreword to the exhibition catalogue of the current exhibition Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts, “Challenging the ways in which conventions become codifed, his work erases all forms of certainty, mandating that we craf our own meanings rather than accede to more familiar rules. The lessons learned from Bruce’s penetrating intelligence become more and more necessary every day” (Glenn D. Lowry, Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018, n.p).
The Las Vegas Strip, 1986. Image LOETSCHER CHLAUS/Alamy Stock Photo
Jean Dubufet: La Joie de Vivre
Jean Dubufet is widely heralded as the most important French painter of the second half of the 20th century, his infuential artistic endeavors changing the course of art history forever. Born in Le Havre in 1901, Dubufet leapt into art making in the 1940s with a remarkably mature artistic sensibility and outlook—creating works with a wry sense of humor and mischievousness that were wholly ahead of their time. In life as in art, Dubufet embraced an innate joie de vivre and contrarian spirit. The overarching theme of humor and exuberance comes particularly to the fore in Dubufet’s celebrated series Corps de dames, 1950-1951, Paris Circus, 1961-1963, and Théâtres de mémoire, 19751979, which together provide a useful framework to consider Mademoiselle mine orange from 1950 and Le malentendu from 1976. Dubufet’s Corps de dames series in many ways represented the culmination of the preceding decade. It was only eight years earlier that Dubufet had fully committed himself to an artistic career afer two decades of devoting himself to his family’s wine business and a brief stint in the French military during World War II. If contemporaries such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti depicted implicitly sufering fgures in their works within the immediate post-World War II period, Dubufet put forth a more forceful and also humorous cast of characters. They populate his cheerful depictions of Parisian city life in his Métro series, 1943-1946, and confront the viewers with confdent gazes in his caricature-like society portraits of 1946-1947.
A true contrarian, Dubufet was not one to wallow in the angst and deprivation of the era; rather, he ecstatically painted with a deliberate gaiety, returning art to a more primal, untainted world. Dubufet passionately pursued an anti-cultural approach to art making in the spirit of “art brut”, a term he famously coined in the mid-1940s to describe the raw aesthetic of the outsider art he collected. Attacking all painterly and cultural convention, Dubufet created ruptures with traditional approaches to portraiture, cityscape and landscape, and pioneered the use of unconventional
Jean Dubufet, 1951. Image Robert DOISNEAU/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
materials and techniques. In his assertive use of materials Dubufet was walking in the footsteps of Joan Miró, who similarly emphasized the raw and physical nature of his medium, all the while imbuing his compositions with humor and fantasy. While Dubufet’s art sent shockwaves through the French establishment at the time, the New York art world was quick to recognize and celebrate the underlying sense of wit in his daring approach. As the New York Times critic Stuart Preston indeed noted of Dubufet’s subversive treatment of the female nude in his Corps de dames series, “Outrageous, but brilliantly
efective, these fgure studies might be entitled ‘the good humored ladies,’ so delighted do the subjects appear with their treatment…One suspects that the artist has his tongue in his cheek almost as ofen as he has his fngers fussing with the medium” (Stuart Preston, “Currents of Today”, The New York Times, January 15, 1951, online). Throughout the 1950s Dubufet lived and worked in the reclusive French countryside, pushing his work to the point of abstraction with a focus on earthbound,
inanimate matter. His return to Paris in 1961 prompted a renewed interest in humanity and fguration in the form of his groundbreaking Paris Circus series, which captures the dynamism, frenzy and optimism pulsating through the streets of Paris — a prosperous metropolis teeming with life almost unrecognizable to the somber city Dubufet had lef behind. Dubufet’s caricature-like fgures return, now depicted in frenzied action within brightly colored cityscapes teeming with automobiles and storefronts. The cityscapes exalt an unbridled joy that would permeate the ensuing L’Hourloupe cycle, 1962-1974, in the form of a “philosophic humor”, explode in the frework of form and color of Théâtres de mémoire, and drive even Dubufet’s last abstractions until he would pass away at the age of 83 in 1985. Separated by 26 years, Mademoiselle mine orange from 1950 and Le malentendu from 1976 powerfully capture Dubufet’s overarching vision of joie de vivre. As he proclaimed, “In my paintings…I have tried to constitute great celebrations...I am speaking of celebrations of the mind; please may it be understood: celebrations of humors and deliriums. Art addresses itself to the mind, not to the eyes” (Jean Dubufet, quoted in Hubert Damisch, Prospectus et tons ecrits suivants, Paris, 1967, vol. II, p. 61).
“. . .when one has looked at a painting of this kind, one looks at everything with a new refreshed eye, and one learns to see the unaccustomed and amusing side of things.” Jean Dubufet
Jean Dubufet in Vincennes, France, 1972. Image Francis CHAVEROU/GammaRapho via Getty Images
Property from a Distinguished East Coast Collection ○◆
10. Jean Dubufet
Le malentendu signed with the artist’s initials and dated “J.D. 76” lower lef. acrylic on collaged canvas-backed paper mounted on canvas. 27 3/4 x 40 1/4 in. (70.4 x 102.2 cm.). Executed on December 23, 1976. Estimate $1,200,000-1,800,000
Jean Dubufet photographed by John Launois, 1976. Image © The Estate of John Launois, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris
Provenance The Pace Gallery, New York Geraldine Spreckels Fuller, New York Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (bequeathed from the Estate of the above in 1999) Sotheby’s, New York, May 11, 2011, lot 138 Private Collection, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Literature Max Loreau, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubufet, fascicule XXXII: Théâtres de mémoire, Paris, 1982, no. 40, p. 205 (illustrated, p. 44)
Formerly in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Jean Dubufet’s Le malentendu, 1976, is a striking example of the artist’s celebrated late series Théâtres de mémoire. With a tongue-in-cheek reference to Albert Camus’ theater play Le Malentendu, Dubufet has here constructed a heavily layered painterly collage that depicts three fgures standing in an indeterminate, abstract landscape. Recalling the frenzied action and kaleidoscope of color of his earlier Paris Circus series as well as the interlocking cellular components of the l’Hourloupe cycle, Le malentendu powerfully encapsulates Dubufet’s continued nuanced engagement with the theme of mental landscapes to explore the vicissitudes of memory. From the dawn of his artistic career into his twilight years, Dubufet relentlessly pushed his practice to new heights. In 1975, having exhausted the possibilities of the l’Hourloupe cycle, Dubufet embarked upon the Théâtres de mémoire with a vigor and force that wholly belied his 76 years of age. He would create a total of ninety-six paintings from late September 1975 to August 1978, with the two last paintings created the following summer. Containing some of the largest compositions Dubufet ever made, this would be the
last series of paintings of this magnitude before the artist, sufering from back ailments, would be forced to focus on smaller-scale projects. It was seeing Théâtres de mémoire at the Pace Gallery in New York in the late 1970s that frst sparked Jean-Michel Basquiat’s deep engagement with Dubufet’s “art brut”, the impact of works such as the present one coursing through Basquiat’s own revolutionary idiom. As Hilton Kramer aptly noted of the Théâtres de mémoire, “the artist is ofering us a kind of Proustian remembrance and grand summation of the imagery and ideas that have remained his abiding interests for some 35 years” (Hilton Kramer, “Art: Jean Dubufet At Pace Gallery”, The New York Times, April, 6, 1979, online). According to the artist, the series was inspired by Frances Yates’ The Art of Memory, a trans-historical study of mnemonic techniques. Dubufet was particularly drawn to Guilio Camillo’s Theater of Memory, an architectural structure the 16th century philosopher conceived as a spatialization of memory so that anyone who entered it would emerge with a collective knowledge of the world. Dubufet’s compositions represent visual analogies to this synchronic conception, yet fundamentally challenge the notion of objective and static memories.
“Perhaps we live in a world invented by ourselves.” Jean Dubufet
constellation of which Dubufet would recreate with remarkable exactitude on canvas.
Jean Dubufet, Le commerce prospère, 1961. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image © The Museum of Modern Art/ Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Dubufet’s interest in the way memories are continuously re-formulated powerfully makes itself manifest in the present work. Entitled Le malentendu (“the misunderstanding”), it references Camus’ eponymous 1943 theater play in which a man returns unrecognized to the home he lef years ago only to be murdered by his unwitting widowed mother and sister, who have been making a living killing lodgers staying with them. Dubufet expands upon Camus’ existentialist investigation of the human condition in a deliberately jovial, yet conceptually sharp visual language. Brilliantly mimicking the play’s failure of recognition and recollection, Dubufet complicates the viewer’s ability to decipher the fgures from the cacophony of visual information surrounding them. Dubufet characteristically built up this dissonant pictorial space through an intuitive, yet highly laborious process. Building on his Tableaux d’assemblages from the 1950s, created with fragmentary pieces of earlier painted canvas, Dubufet used cut-out fragments of works from his Lieux abrégés series, 1974-1976, and intuitively attached them with magnets across the metal-lined walls of his studio — layering and rearranging until the perfect coalescence of interlocking parts was achieved. The monumental compositions could consist of as many as six overlapping layers and 100 elements, the exact
This assemblage process efectively simulates the act of remembrance. It is almost as if the superimposed elements compete with one another in the discordant space of Dubufet’s theaters of memory — like individual memories that are not always compatible. Le malentendu demonstrates how Dubufet, through formal means, probes the interplay between memory and visual perception. As Dubufet propounded, “One should not confuse what the eyes perceive with what the spirit produces as a result of the perception. The eyes only see what appears to them in a single moment…” (Jean Dubufet, quoted in Jean Dubufet, exh. cat., Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, 2003, p. 26). Suggesting that memories are inventions of the present tense, and thus inherently in fux, Dubufet ultimately invites a consideration of how this relativity plays into our very sense of self and subjecthood. Le malentendu celebrates a profound moment in Dubufet’s career — one that saw him recapitulate the past 35 years of his practice, all the while marching forward true to his dictum, “there is only one healthy diet for artistic creation: permanent revolution” (Jean Dubufet, 1963, quoted in Jean Dubufet, Théâtres de mémoire, exh. cat., Pace London, London, 2017, p. 43).
Jean Dubufet, La vie de famille, 1963. Musée Des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Property of a European Collector
11. Jean Dubufet
Mademoiselle mine orange signed and dated â€œJ. Dubufet 1950â€? upper lef. oil on Masonite. 28 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. (73 x 60.3 cm.). Painted in March 1950. Estimate $1,800,000-2,500,000
Provenance Sidney Janis Gallery, New York Stephen Hahn Gallery, New York Mr. and Mrs. David Schreiber, Quebec William Beadleton Inc., New York Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Merians, New York Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., London, March 28, 1984, lot 263 Waddington Galleries, Ltd., London Private Collection, United States Christian Fayt Art Gallery, Knokke-Heist Briest Scp., Paris, December 13, 1997, lot 63 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited New York, Stephen Hahn Gallery, Contemporary Trends, November 14 - December 16, 1961, n.p. (illustrated, titled La Mine Orange) Kunsthalle Schirn Frankfurt, Jean Dubufet, 1901-1985, December 12, 1990 - March 3, 1991, no. 74, p. 246 (illustrated, p. 69) Literature Max Loreau, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubufet, fascicule VI: Corps de dames, Paris, 1987, no. 10, p. 19 (illustrated)
Painted in March 1950, Jean Dubufet’s Mademoiselle mine orange is one of a handful of female portraits the artist created in the months leading up to his highly acclaimed series Corps de dames. The heavily impastoed work is a quintessential example of Dubufet’s revolutionary attack on all conventions. Characteristically covering the surface with a mortar-like mixture, Dubufet spreads, scrapes, and scores the rich pigment to create an immensely variegated topography from which emerges a powerful portrait. Drawing the viewer in with its raw immediacy and unusual chromatic vibrancy, but also humorous undertones, the crudely etched portrait depicts a woman with a wide-eyed stare, toothy grimace and loop-like hair that would come to characterize many of the fgures in Dubufet’s Corps de dames shortly afer. This will be the frst time that Mademoiselle mine orange will be shown publically since its inclusion in Dubufet’s seminal retrospective at Kunsthalle Schirn, Frankfurt, in 1990-1991.
The female portraits Dubufet created between January 1950 and February 1951 are widely celebrated as the culmination of his unorthodox take on the long tradition of portraiture in art history. Dubufet cultivated an interest in the subject matter early on – almost exclusively creating portraits of his wife Emilie (Lili) Carlue in the mid-1930s – and turned to the subject with renewed vigor and a radical materialbased approach upon fully committing himself to a career as an artist in 1942. While Dubufet had consistently depicted women in portraiture throughout the 1940s, the present work marked the beginning of the artist’s most intense engagement with the theme. Dubufet’s output in 1950-1951 is largely demarcated into two predominantly concurrent series: the Intermèdes, which he began in January 1950, and the Corps de dames, which followed in April that same year. While the latter consists of works exclusively depicting female nudes in a similar, splayed out form, the Intermèdes encompasses a broader range of subjects and compositions, mostly male and female portraits, but also a small grouping of still-lifes. Mademoiselle mine orange belongs to the sub-group of female portraits within the Intermèdes series that both thematically and formally directly relate to the Corps de dames. In the choice of this female subject-matter, Dubufet was essentially taking up a century-old tradition only to attack it from within. As Dubufet explained, “When I asked myself what brought me to this subject, so typical of the worst painting, I think it is, in part, because the female body, of all the objects in the world, is the one that has long been associated (for Occidentals) with a very specious notion of beauty (inherited from the Greeks and cultivated by the magazine covers); now it pleases me to protest against this aesthetic, which I fnd miserable and most depressing. Surely I aim for a beauty, but not that one” (Jean Dubufet, 1953, quoted in Peter Selz, The Work of Jean Dubufet, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1962, p. 64). Rejecting the classical conventions of beauty, artistic skill, and likeness, Dubufet puts forth a deliberately raw portrait that refects the “art brut” aesthetic the artist sought to convey in his own art.
Dubufet’s profound belief that art should be a direct refection of emotion and instinct, rather than a product of training or convention, powerfully fgures in portraits such as the present one. Since the end of World War II, Dubufet had pursued an anti-civilized, “raw”, or “primitivist” cultural project in his painting, writing, and collecting. Dubufet took as his model not an aesthetic notion of beauty propagated by the fne arts tradition, but rather qualities he found in the art of non-Western cultures, as well as such non-professional “outsiders” as psychiatric patients, prisoners, and children. Seen in this light, the caricature-like portrait of Mademoiselle mine orange comes to more closely resemble the grafti one might fnd carved into a white plaster wall, while the medley of burnt orange, pink and coral pigments conjures primordial cave paintings — the latter association strengthened by Dubufet’s fascination with the Lascaux caves discovered in 1940. The strong presence of orange color – unusual for Dubufet’s mostly subdued color palette at the time and even more vibrant than that of Gymnosophie, 1950, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris — also recalls earlier works such as the gouache Arabe aux palmiers, 1948, which was inspired by the cultures and materials Dubufet encountered traveling in the Sahara in the late 1940s.
Jean Dubufet in his studio, 1952. Image Alexander Liberman/© The J. Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
It is revealing that Dubufet chose titles that denote a very particular subject: these are not simply women or nudes, rather they are identifed as “Corps de dame” (lady’s body), or as “fancée”, “jeune flle” (“young girl”), or “mademoiselle” (“miss” or “unmarried lady”), among others. In doing so, Dubufet situates his subjects in the contemporary realm of his time— alluding to the societal expectations and conventions connected to these roles. If in his Corps de dames, the women display their naked bodies without shame akin to earth goddesses, the mademoiselle depicted in the present work appears much more demure — the bulbous contours, bow and two buttons suggesting a dress beftting for an unmarried young woman.
Lascaux cave painting, c. 19,000 BCE. Musée d’Aquitaine, Bordeaux, Image © Ken Welsh/ Bridgeman Image
Seen in this light, Mademoiselle mine orange is heir to Dubufet’s breakthrough series of “society portraits” that he created of friends and acquaintances between 1946 and 1947. Based solely on observation at Parisian social gatherings he frequented, Dubufet gave this body of work the ironic collective title Plus beaux qu’ils croient (“More beautiful than they believe”). The Intermèdes portraits appear to continue the sly mockery of vanity and beauty, a notion that becomes apparent in tongue-in-cheek titles such as Le grain de beauté (Tete de jeune flle lilas), (“beauty spot”), Minaudeuse, or Mademoiselle couperose. There is certainly an element of social critique in these portraits, a fundamental questioning of the value Western culture attaches to the classical notions of beauty. While Dubufet’s portraits were initially received as a provocation and attack on the female body, his was ultimately an assault on the conventions of painting. Dubufet completely abandoned the traditional objective of conveying depth on the
Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1950–1952. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
two-dimensional canvas through painterly technique. As he proclaimed, “let us seek instead ingenious ways to fatten objects on the surface; and let the surface speak its own language of three-dimensional space which is not proper to it” (Jean Dubufet, quoted in Hubert Damisch, Jean Dubufet: Prospectus et tous écrits suivants, vol. I, Paris, 1967, p. 74). To this end, Dubufet had since 1946 developed a haute pâte technique, whereby he would pour a mixture of pigment, paint, sand, tar and other materials onto a horizontally placed surface — preceding Jackson Pollock’s drip technique, as well as Alberto Burri’s material realism. In Mademoiselle mine orange and its related works, Dubufet was pushing this approach to new extremes; with them, he was further developing the encrusted and inscribed surfaces and aerial point of view of his landscape paintings from the preceding Paysages grotesques series, 1949, to suit the technique and pictorial format of these portraits. Exploring the relationship between motif and ground, Dubufet presents the female subject as excavated matter — her contours fattened down and physiognomy rendered with lines as though drawn in the sand. While conjuring the metaphor of the body as a landscape, the heavily worked surface also imbues the painting with a sculptural quality and draws attention to the physicality of the canvas.
Dubufet’s presence in the New York art world. Not only was Sidney Janis crucial in placing his work in private and institutional American collections, he also introduced his work to a burgeoning generation of New York artists. Janis is widely acclaimed for exhibiting the work of acknowledged European masters, including Dubufet but also Picasso and Matisse, alongside that of then emerging artists such as Pollock and de Kooning. It is perhaps only apt that Mademoiselle mine orange returns to New York afer remaining in a distinguished European collection for the past two decades. A year afer the present work was created, Dubufet held a lecture at the Arts Club Chicago, which synthesized the central tenets of his “art brut” project. Mademoiselle mine orange powerfully embodies Dubufet’s claim that, once classical notions of beauty both in art and culture are discarded, “Art, then, returns to its real function, which is much more signifcant than creating shapes and colors agreeable for the so-called pleasure of the eyes…Art addresses itself to the mind, and not to the eyes” (Jean Dubufet, “Anticultural Positions”, 1951, in Kristine Stiles, ed., Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artist’s Writings, Berkeley, 1996, pp. 195-196).
In his approach to using abstract means to create a female portrait, Dubufet was working in unwitting parallel with Willem de Kooning, one of the stalwarts of Abstract Expressionism, who had begun working on Woman I in the same year. Dubufet’s radical investigation into issues of form, space, and materiality resonated strongly with the New York art world, to the extent that engagement with his work was more intense in the United States than any other country at the time, including France. While the art dealer Pierre Matisse was the frst to exhibit Dubufet’s work in New York in January 1947, Mademoiselle mine orange reveals the signifcant role that the Sidney Janis Gallery had in building
Jean Dubufet, Gymnosophie, 1950. MusŽe dÕart moderne, Saint-ƒtienne, Image RMN-Grand Palais/Philippe Migeat/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat Vincent Fremont in conversation with Arnold Lehman October 2018 Arnold Lehman: So we can start the beginning of how you frst got involved with Andy. Vincent Fremont: I had a fascination with Andy and his world and by high school I was totally a fan. I started freelancing for Andy in 1969, but lef New York in January 1970 because the frst lottery came up for the draf. I got out of the pre-induction physical but I didn’t have any money so it took me roughly a year to get back to New York. By January of ‘71, Andy asked me to work full time for sixty-fve dollars a week…I was probably 20. Andy gave me the keys to the studio—that’s a lot of trust. He was very intuitive about people and it was an interesting time. In the early ‘70s Andy’s studio was in transition, the craziness of the Silver Factory was gone. AL: Skipping ahead to 1980, ‘81, ’82—Andy had already done the Shadows and been spending a lot of time with diferent kinds of objects that he was photographing— knives. And then in late 1980-1981 we come to these Guns. Did something lead up to the gun? VF: It all happens very close together with his Knives. I don’t know why he went from knives to guns—I think knives frst and then guns. Here’s a person who was almost killed by a gun. He’s dealing with something that most people wouldn’t want to if you’ve been shot by somebody with a gun. So he turns a life threatening instrument into something of beauty. It pauses one to think about because a gun is violence. There’s nothing else you can equate it with—a handgun. It’s there to kill somebody. It’s dealing with American culture again because there’s a certain level of violence attached to the imagery or potential violence—and again I’m only interpreting, because Andy would never talk about this. He referenced things but he wouldn’t really talk about it. But when you were walking down the street or
during the afernoon he’d get philosophical, you could get a little peeks into what he was thinking about. So why did he want to take pictures of guns? We knew people who knew people who only had frst names. So people brought in a sawed of shotgun. I mean, serious. We didn’t ask questions. Just take the pictures, take the guns out, and gone. Andy decides he doesn’t want to use those, he goes to ads in the back of magazines, and that’s where this Gun comes from. All the guns and gun paintings are not from the physical guns he took pictures of, they’re from ad campaigns and whatever magazines, like gun magazines. He’s going afer the most common, easily accessible .22 calibers. There’s a lot of layering in the meaning and the fact that he almost died from somebody shooting him with a handgun. He’s dealing with something—but I think the gun is a beautiful painting. They are a great series. I think it’s this powerful image that causes people to stop and think. It’s not unlike the electric chairs. It’s still controversial. He takes something ominous and turns it into something beautiful at the same time, so you have that layer of terror. AL: I know Andy didn’t talk very much about the reasons that he was creating things. But do you remember anything about looking at the past, talking about Solanas, talking about being shot when he did these? VF: For him to do Gun paintings, it was probably his way of dealing with that because it did afect him—he had to wear a corset for the rest of his life. His body was just riddled; that bullet ricocheted through just about every organ. AL: Absolutely. Before we turn to Basquiat, I just want to ask you one hypothetical question about the Gun. You knew him as well as anybody for a long time. What would you think his thoughts would be about all the gun violence in America today?
Polariod of a photograph of Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1977-1987. Â© 2018 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“Andy was like a mayor of New York in the art world sense. It looked easy to be Andy but it’s not easy to be somebody like him.” VF: It’s hard for me to say. It is rare that I would speak in what Andy would think. There are times I can because I know exactly how he would approach certain issues. I think in this instance, he probably was a visionary and intuitive. I think he probably saw all this happening. Like how everybody is an instant celebrity if you have a reality TV show. You don’t even have to be interesting. And he saw that coming. And I think with the guns he probably would have said something, it would have come out in his art. He would have dealt with it in some fashion but not preachy. He wasn’t a judgmental person but it would show up, in photography or painting.
VF: We did Andy’s Warhol TV and by this time Andy was doing intros to the segments and we always got somebody to do it with him. There was one with JeanMichel in it, and it’s really good and you can see that Jean-Michel really likes Andy and vice versa. And it’s one of the few times Andy gets physical, like putting his arm around somebody. I mean that meant something. Andy was not touchy feely.
AL: I knew of Basquiat and Warhol’s relationship because of the exhibitions and one time I was with them for quite some time when they were together. And Andy was trying to get Basquiat to talk to me. He said, “you know he’s a museum director, maybe he could be helpful”.
AL: Just the trust of giving over a painting to somebody else to work on afer he did it.
VF: You were at the Baltimore Museum at the time… AL: And so how did they get started? Was that Bischhoferger doing that? VF: There are two people—or three but I’m not going into that—who said they introduced Andy ofcially to Jean-Michel. It’s a combination of Bruno and Glenn. Because Glenn had the TV party and you know JeanMichel’s SAMO, appears on that show. Bruno already had his eyeball on him. That was late ‘70s early ‘80s. And he was doing these little postcards. The chemistry between those two. Andy was attracted by people who were very eccentric, very crazy or had something really unusual about them: an unusual thought process—that intrigued him. Jean-Michel had charisma, talent and something more that attracted Andy to him: the way he was thinking, the way he interpreted how he painted. For Andy to embrace somebody this much... AL: Especially because their work style, everything was totally contrary.
Their chemistry just worked. The fact that Andy would paint frst when doing the collaboration, in a number of paintings you’ll see that Jean-Michel obliterates pretty much everything that he’s painting.
VF: They bonded incredibly well and they would go out at night with other people. There was Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf. Andy was very supportive at the same time of helping Jean-Michel make a sale. AL: What did Jean-Michel get from Andy? VF: He knew he was a famous artist. The infuence, the accoutrements of being a famous artist, I think was very important. Andy was bigger than life. He was famous. It was a give and take. Andy was giving him counsel about a lot of stuf. They were having conversations. He was trying to get Jean-Michel of drugs—just work, paint. People don’t understand that this was a really great moment in their lives. Andy appreciated it. It revitalized Andy. Jean-Michel learned a lot from Andy’s techniques and how he got things done. Business and life. Andy was like a mayor of New York in the art world sense. Andy was working, developing ideas and really thinking about stuf all the time. He was not lazy by any stretch. And I think Jean-Michel picked up on that. It looked easy to be Andy but it’s not easy to be somebody like him. The people like him do not come around ofen, at the right place and the right time and have the talent to back it up. And Jean-Michel was another one who had the talent to back it up. And I think they saw that in each other. One was just much younger and Andy wanted to help Jean-Michel along.
Polaroid photograph of Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982. Â© 2018 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Property from an Important European Collection
12. Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled signed and dedicated â€œTo Pasquina Jean-Michel Basquiatâ€? lower right. oilstick and graphite on paper. 27 5/8 x 38 7/8 in. (70.2 x 98.7 cm.). Executed in 1981, this work is accompanied by a certifcate of authenticity from the Authentication Committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Estimate $4,000,000-6,000,000
Provenance Private Collection, Rome (acquired directly from the artist in 1981) Baron Boisanté Editions, New York Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris (acquired from the above in 1999) Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000 Exhibited Le Mans, L’Espal Centre Culturel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, April 29 - June 15, 1999, pp. 22-23 (illustrated) Milan, Fondazione La Triennale di Milano, The Jean-Michel Basquiat Show, September 19, 2006 - January 28, 2007, no. 16, pp. 132-133 (illustrated) Riehen/Basel, Fondation Beyeler (no. 35, p. 50); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (no. 37, p. 60), Basquiat, May 9, 2010 - January 30, 2011 (illustrated) Literature Gianni Mercurio, “Basquiat”, Dossier Art, no. 227, Milan, 2006, p. 8 (illustrated)
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled, 1981, seethes with the emotional expressivity and palpable energy that distinguishes it as an exceptional masterwork on paper. Executed in the seminal year of 1981 as one of the earliest examples of portraiture in Basquiat’s oeuvre, this drawing anticipates the artist’s increased focus on the subject matter in the ensuing year, in many ways setting the immediate precedent for Proft 1, 1982. With this work, Basquiat puts forth a raw and existential portrait of a black man who confronts the viewer with a gaze that is equally tortured and prophetic. Rendered with brown and black oilstick and accentuated with distilled red lines, it demonstrates many of the iconographic elements Basquiat introduced to his vocabulary in 1981: from the spikey lines of hair, the gesture of upraised arms, the iconic motif of the crown of thorns or angel’s halo, to the bulging, blood-shot eyes that would powerfully surface in Untitled, 1981, in the collection of the Broad Museum, Los Angeles. A truly exceptional work created by Basquiat in his most celebrated period, Untitled was notably included in the The Jean-Michel Basquiat Show at the Fondazione La Triennale di Milano in 2006 and 2007, and his seminal retrospective at the Fondation Beyeler and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2010-2011.
The present work evidences the revolutionary pictorial idiom with which Basquiat burst onto the art scene in New York at merely 20 years of age, following his inclusion in the watershed Times Square Show in June 1980 and the New York/New Wave exhibition at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City in February 1981. Basquiat had frst gained notoriety in the late 1970s for the conceptually and politically charged grafti works he emblazoned around downtown Manhattan collaboratively with his friend Al Diaz under the pseudonym SAMO©. Contrary to common misconception, as Dieter Buchhart has pointed out, Basquiat was not a grafti or street artist; though he had embraced the vernacular in the late 1970s, it was one aspect within his larger multi-disciplinary agenda that would fuse the disparate felds of street vernacular, popular culture, music, poetry, world history, and art historical sources into one explosive language. Brilliantly capturing the zeitgeist of the New York underground scene, Basquiat began directing his extraordinary talent towards painting and drawing – setting in motion his dizzying ascent to international stardom that would only be put to a halt by his untimely death in 1988, at 27 years old. Works such as the present one demonstrate the incredibly mature pictorial idiom of Basquiat’s breakthrough works, one that built upon his lifelong fxation with drawing. A
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fallen Angel, 1981. Fondation Carmignac, Paris, Artwork © 2018 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Proft I, 1982. Private Collection, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 The Estate of JeanMichel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
voracious autodidact, Basquiat had taught himself to draw from early childhood – creating drawings equally inspired by television cartoons and comic books, as well as by the anatomical textbook Gray’s Anatomy and the objects he encountered during his frequent visits to New York museums. Even later, as a young adult, Basquiat would pursue his near manic obsession with drawing, exploiting the creative potential of free association while ofen sitting on the foor to the sound of music or television in the background. Though Basquiat was an exceptional drafsman, he pursued a deliberately crude style of drawing. As Basquiat once facetiously stated, “Believe it or not I can actually draw…but I try and fght against it mostly” (Jean-Michel Basquiat, quoted in Basquiat Boom for Real, exh. cat., Barbican Art Gallery, London, 2016, p. 26). For Basquiat, drawing was akin to a performative act – it was not simply the means of working out pictorial solutions to be integrated into a painting, rather, each drawing presented a discrete work in of itself. The present work pulsates with the unbridled immediacy that the act of drawing provided him: the expressive lines evidence the swif and sure movements with which Basquiat would feverishly move his hand across the paper, all but grinding the oilstick into the surface with great force. As Fab 5 Freddy described of Basquiat’s technique, “The way he would hold a pencil…He wouldn’t hold it in a formal way. He would stick it through the fourth fnger…so that when he drew, the pencil would just kind of slip out of his hand. He’d let it go that way, then grab it and bring it down, then let it drif. It was amazing, this whole dance he did with the pencil” (Fab 5 Freddy, quoted in Ingrid Sischy, “Jean-Michel Basquiat as Told by Fred Braithwaite, a.k.a. Fab 5 Freddy”, Interview, October 22, 1992, p. 122).
When Basquiat’s work was exhibited at New York/New Wave in early 1981, it was notably “the observable relationship of his drawing to past art” that made him stand out for poet and art critic Rene Ricard, who proclaimed, “The elegance of Twombly is there but from the same source (grafti) and so is the brut of the young Dubufet” (Rene Ricard, “The Radiant Child”, ArtForum, December 1981, online). Vividly echoing Ricard’s now famous observation, Untitled in particular evidences Basquiat’s deep admiration for the anti-establishment artist Jean Dubufet, whose work Basquiat had frst encountered at The Pace Gallery’s exhibition of the French master’s Théâtres de mémoire series in New York in 1977 and 1979. Dubufet’s rejection of traditional portraiture and his “art brut” dictum, “I believe very much in the value of savagery; I mean: instinct, passion, mood, violence, madness,” certainly held important cues for Basquiat in his own pursuit of introducing the human fgure within an art world context dominated by Minimalism and Conceptualism. Though the motif of the human head had already appeared in Basquiat’s SAMO© tags as early as 1978, it was in early 1981 that Basquiat began to elaborate on the subject in earnest. The oversize head he painted on the canvas that would later become known as Untitled, 1981, Broad Museum, Los Angeles, presented an image that had no precedent in earlier sketches, drawings or paintings. In contrast to the schematic renderings of the human head in earlier works, Basquiat’s emphasis on the expressive and psychological qualities of the fgures declared a momentous shif in his practice. His enduring fascination with the subject of the human body would give rise to a canon that revolved around single heroic fgures.
“His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past… But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them…This storm is what we call progress.” Walter Benjamin
Paul Klee, Angelus Novus, 1920. The Israel Museum of Art, Jerusalem, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Jean Dubufet, Dhôtel nuancé d’abricot, 1947. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Image © CNAC/ MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Vividly anticipating paintings such as Proft 1, 1982, the present work is among the earliest works in which Basquiat bestowed his fgure with heroism through the motif of the crown of thorns and the gesture of upraised arms. Whereas in later paintings Basquiat’s fgures pay tribute to his own heroes such as Cassius Clay and Charlie Parker, in works such as the present one they take on the forms of icons that, “have a familiar ritual function, not unlike…West African sculptures and masks…or the Western religious icons and statuettes meant to embody a given saint or represent Jesus Christ, Angels, crowns, haloes, saints, martyrs” (Marc Meyer, Basquiat, exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, 2005, p. 51). In the present work, the gesture of the upraised arms position the fgure as a higher power or being. While recalling the gesture of prayer depicted in the stylized sub-Saharan African sculptures from his frequent visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, seen in connection with the crown of thorns or halo it appears to position the fgure within Christian iconography –the upraised arms at once calling to mind an “orans” posture and, more specifcally, the image of Jesus crucifed on the Cross. This association
Detail of present lot
of sainthood, but also pain and sufering, is viscerally heightened by the red oilstick lines. Alternatively, conjuring Basquiat’s contemporaneous painting Fallen Angel, 1981, the fgure can also read in terms of the “Fallen Angel” analogy, with the circular line behind the fgure alluding to its outstretched wings and a shining halo above its head. Basquiat was acutely attuned to the history and everyday experience of race, class and cultural tensions, and it is almost as if he here presents us with his own interpretation of Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus, 1920 – which Walter Benjamin interpreted as the angel of history facing the wreckage of the past while being propelled into the future. There is a notion of self-portraiture within all of Basquiat’s work, his existential fgures in some ways expressing his deepest fears, doubts and hopes. Exorcising his own creative demons through the act of drawing, Basquiat presents the viewer with the haunting and tortured fgure of a black man, who appears to be equally confronting the anguish and torment of the recent past, and powerfully proclaiming his position in the present and future. There are of course strong parallels to Basquiat’s own
biography of being a young black artist within a predominantly white art establishment, struggling not simply for recognition but for fame. Indeed, the present work speaks of an artist at the very brink of unprecedented success. Having garnered the attention of art dealers Emilio Mazzoli, Bruno Bischoferger and Annina Nosei at the New York/New Wave exhibition in early 1981, Basquiat received his frst solo show at the Galleria d’Arte Emilio Mazzoli in Modena that May. It is likely that the present work – dedicated to “Pasquina” and acquired directly from the artist by a Roman collector that year – was created during Basquiat’s stay there; as curator Diego Cortez recalled, Basquiat experienced somewhat of a culture shock, withdrawing himself into art making – particularly drawing. There is certainly a sense of existential alienation at the heart of this portrait that would refect this experience. Just a few months later, in November of that year, Basquiat’s work was included in the watershed Public Address show at Annina Nosei’s Soho gallery – the extreme success of it famously leading Basquiat to tell his father, as the anecdote goes, “Papa, I’ve made it”.
Property from a Private New York Collection ○◆
13. Andy Warhol
Gun stamped by the Estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., New York, initialed “VF” and numbered “PA15.055” on the overlap. synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas. 70 1/8 x 90 1/4 in. (178.1 x 229.2 cm.). Executed in 1981-1982. Estimate $7,000,000-10,000,000
Provenance The Estate of Andy Warhol, New York The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York Anthony d’Ofay Gallery, London (acquired from the above in 1997) Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1999
Andy Warhol’s Gun, 1981-1982, ofers the viewer a monumental memento mori of the modern age. In a corpus revolving around celebrity, death and tragedy, it takes a critical position amongst the car crashes, race riots and electric chairs of Warhol’s Death and Disaster series from the early 1960s. It was through the lens of detachment that Warhol approached the existential subject of mortality, here isolating and monumentalizing the object depicted locked and loaded in his 1963 Elvis silkscreens. Taking on the scale of a grand history painting, the present work depicts the gun in threequarter view, silkscreened in black over the white canvas
like an X-ray. As part of Warhol’s larger Gun series 1981-1982, of which examples reside in Tate, London, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, this work demonstrates Warhol’s unerring, almost prophetic ability to select, isolate and transform a single image into a provocative icon as he here zooms in on the instrument, rather than the act of violence. Revealing the breadth of Warhol’s investigation of the theme of violence and death, Gun ofers a striking argument for the continuum between his early and late work as is currently being revisited with the current Whitney Museum of American Art’s Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again, the frst Warhol retrospective organized by a United States institution since 1989. Gun was created a little more than a decade afer Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas, the occasional Warhol flm actress and self-styled member of the revolutionary feminist group SCUM (“Society for Cutting Up Men”). The near-fatal assassination on
Present lot in situ.
Whether or not Gun was informed by the 1968 shooting, it nevertheless presents a continuation of Warhol’s longstanding fascination with a theme that had given rise to his aptly titled Death and Disaster series. Warhol’s thematic treatment of death began in 1962 with 129 Die in Jet, which was based on a tabloid page covering an airplane crash taking place just two months before Marilyn Monroe’s death. Car crashes, suicides and electric chairs followed. His celebrity images convey a latent sense of fatal tragedy, whether that be more obliquely in his portraits of Elvis, or more explicitly in that of Jackie and, of course, Marilyn. As Warhol noted of the Marilyn images he conceived in the afermath of her suicide, “I realized that everything I was doing must have been death” (Andy Warhol, quoted in Gene Swenson, “What is Pop Art?’’, Artnews, no. 62, November 1963, p. 60). Warhol, who had burst onto the art scene with images of American consumer staples like Campbell’s Soup and Coca-Cola, was unfinching in turning his gaze to
Above: Andy Warhol, Double Elvis, 1963. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Cover of fold out: Cover of New York Daily News, June 4, 1968. Image NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images Right: Andy Warhol, 129 Die in Jet, 1962. Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Artwork © 2018 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
June 3, 1968 at the Factory both physically and psychologically scarred Warhol. This traumatic event undoubtedly reverberates in Gun, which depicts a similar 0.22 revolver to the one that Solonas handed to the police along with the 0.32 automatic which she used for the crime. Fearing that Solanas, who served only one year in prison due to mental instability, would attack him again, Warhol became consumed by an intense phobia of death – even foregoing a gallbladder operation for fear he would not survive. Following Warhol’s return to painting afer a self-imposed hiatus to focus on flmmaking between 1964 and 1972, this pervasive sense of mortality came to the fore again in his Skulls of 1976. Around the same time he was making these works, the artist stated: “I can’t say anything about [death] because I’m not ready for it” (Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, New York, 1977, p. 162).
the dark underbelly of American life. In doing so, he clearly set himself apart from his Pop contemporaries. None other than Peter Halley highlighted the radical nature of his preoccupation with themes of death and disaster: “Warhol defned himself as an artist operating on a truly ambitious stage, willing to take on the big issues of human existence – mortality, the randomness of life and death, and the impersonal cruelty of state power. By so doing, he created a link for himself to not only the pessimistic humanism of Goya and Picasso, but, more importantly, to Abstract Expressionism and its existential and metaphysical concerns – concerns which had been mostly abandoned by the artists of the 60s” (Peter Halley, “Fifeen Little Electric Chairs”, Andy Warhol Little Electric Chair Paintings, exh. cat., Stellan Holm Gallery, New York, 2001, p. 40). In some ways, one can consider Gun as the 20th century incarnation of Goya’s The Third of May 1808, acknowledged as one of the frst paintings of the modern era. Gone is all the heroism and glorifcation of traditional war painting as Goya made no attempt to sofen the unvarnished brutality portrayed within its execution scene. Irreverently taking this to conclusion, Warhol hones in on the very instrument of violence: the rife is updated to a handgun, magnifed to epic scale as it hovers across the white canvas like a forensic object.
Francisco de Goya, The Third of May 1808, 1814. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Image Album/Art Resource, NY
“A few scary people, with frst names only, came by and let Andy take Polaroid’s of their weapons. I remember him photographing a saw-of shotgun.” Vincent Fremont
Warhol here appears to be extending his very ambition of having his Pop images become “a statement of the symbols of the harsh, impersonal products and brash materialistic objects on which America is built today…” (Andy Warhol, quoted in “New Talent USA”, Art in America, 50, no. 1, 1962, p. 42). In contrast to his 1960s work that which was based on mass media imagery, however, many of Warhol’s work in the 1980s took as his point of departure Polaroids he had taken himself. As then studio manager Vincent Fremont recounted, “In order to choose which guns he would use we made calls to friends who might know someone with a gun. A few scary people, with frst names only, came by and let Andy take Polaroid’s of their weapons” (Vincent Fremont, Cast a Cold Eye: The Late Work of Andy Warhol, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2006, p. 157). Ultimately, however, he decided to use a print advertisement of guns as his source imagery – turning his attention to the most easily accessible of these objects. Tightly cropping the image and blowing it up in the form of a silkscreen, Warhol has here overlaid two screens on the canvas with black paint. The resulting double image on the one hand evokes newsprint – particularly calling to mind the depiction of gun tabloid stories and print advertisements – but also conjures a blurred flm still in a similar manner as the strobe efect in Double Elvis, 1963, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Whereas the barrel is rendered in crisp detail, the pistol grip is only a ghostly trace. The absence of a subject in Gun – both that of perpetrator and victim – ultimately heightens the gun’s status as an ambivalent symbol, one that has been equally glorifed, sanitized and vilifed in mass media and culture. Warhol remarked that he considered his Guns and Knives as abstract compositions, refecting his overall preoccupation with abstraction at the time as
Reagan, who was campaigning with the slogan “Let’s Make American Great Again”, writing, “It does look scary” (Andy Warhol, 1980, quoted in Pat Hackett, ed., The Andy Warhol Diaries, New York, 2014, p. 312).
René Magritte, Le Survivant, 1950. Private Collection, Image Banque d’Images, ADAGP/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 C. Herscovici, Brussels/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
evidenced in his Oxidation and Shadows paintings from the late 1970. As much as Gun speaks to Warhol’s formal considerations, content is not trivial in Warhol’s work. Indeed, beyond Warhol’s personal trauma, Gun presented a topical motif that held strong currency in American society in the 1980s. The assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X in the 1960s were still recent history when in 1980 John Lennon was assassinated and in 1981 President Ronald Reagan escaped an assassination attempt; the mandate of background checks on buyers of frearms as instilled by the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was still more than a decade away. Warhol was not unaware of the sectarian conficts around the globe and the dawning of the neo-conservative Ronald Reagan era. In a diary entry dated July 16, 1980, Warhol expressed concern about the impending election of Ronald
It is not surprising that, although Warhol envisioned exhibiting his Guns and Knives alongside his Dollar Sign paintings at the Leo Castelli Gallery in January 1982, the guns and knives were edited out at the last minute. What would have ofered the public an unsettling portrayal of American culture with the convergence of money, power and violence, ultimately was presented as a more readily digestible comment on consumerism. This must have been all too familiar for Warhol, whose Death and Disaster series were initially met with categorical rejection in the 1960s, above all in the United States. It is telling that the frst exhibition of his Death and Disaster series was at the Ileana Sonnabend Gallery in Paris in 1964 where they garnered favorable reviews. Their positive reception in Europe may have been due in part to its rich memento mori tradition, as seen in the Dance of Death murals and woodcuts starting in the 15th century or the tradition of vanitas still-lifes of the 16th and 17th century. Under Warhol’s seemingly afectless gaze and mechanized process of creation, the gun as a modern day memento mori suggests an ambivalent view of society – one that is countered by Warhol’s concurrent American Myths series, which put forth an idealized image of American media society featuring fgures such as Superman and Mickey Mouse. In many ways, it presents the epitome of Susan Sontag’s description of Warhol as “that connoisseur of death and high priest of the delights of apathy” (Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, New York, 2003, p. 101). The commonplace interpretation of Warhol’s paintings suggest detachment, yet in this there is also an ethical dimension. His attempt to achieve a machine-like demeanor, as Thierry de Duve has argued, can be considered a strategy of bearing witness: “To testify is neither to promise nor simple to expose; it is to attest to reality as it is, in the past or present” (Thierry de Duve, “Andy Warhol, or The Machine Perfected”, October, no. 48, Spring, 1989, p. 6).
In many ways, Gun can be considered an heir to Warhol’s 1967 series of Electric Chairs that Hal Foster described as “a kind of modern crucifx” (Hal Foster, “Death in America”, October, vol. 75, 1996, p. 56). Death is only implied, and no longer depicted. Yet whereas the electric chair embodied a more sinister sense of foreboding and imminent death, the gun here has been wholly de-contextualized to a free-foating signifer not unlike René Magritte’s simulacra. In this sense, Warhol’s images, as Hal Foster observed, are both “referential and simulacral, connected and disconnected, afective and afectless, critical and complacent” (Hal Foster, “Death in America”, October, vol. 75, 1996, p. 39). Ronald Reagan 1981 presidential campaign button. Image MPI/Getty Images
“Before I was shot, I always thought I was more half-there than all-there—I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in real life that’s unreal.” Andy Warhol
Warhol’s strategy of ambivalence results in a continuous deferral of meaning as his works ricochet between detachment and engagement, superfciality and depth. This refects what Roland Barthes theorized as the “Death of the Author”, whereby moving away from the question of authorial intent opens up a text to a multiplicity of interpretations: “The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author” (Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author”, 1968, Image, Music, Text, New York, 1977, p. 148). If it is death that is implied in Gun, then by extension the playing feld is opened up to the “birth of the viewer” in a way that directly implicates us. As curator Douglas Fogle pointedly put forward speaking of the Death and Disasters, though the questions equally applies to Warhol’s Guns: “What do they tell us about a culture in which disaster has become the staple of our televisual ways of seeing as the 24-7 coverage of tragedies on the cable news networks…become the equivalent of roadside accidents from which we can’t avert our gaze?” (Douglas Fogle, Supernova, exh. cat., Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2005, p. 13). In a world where images proliferate to a degree that Warhol could only dream, it is clear that Gun remains as relevant now as nearly 40 years ago.
Andy Warhol in London, 1975. Image Bridgeman
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection
14. Kerry James Marshall
Terra Incognita signed and dated “K. MARSHALL 91” lower right. acrylic, ink and paper collage laid on canvas with metal grommets. 94 1/4 x 74 5/8 in. (239.4 x 189.5 cm.). Executed in 1991. Estimate $2,500,000-3,500,000
Provenance Jack Shainman Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1991 Exhibited Chicago Cultural Center, TERRA INCOGNITA: Works by Kerry James Marshall and Santiago Vaca, April 4 - May 30, 1992
In Kerry James Marshall’s Terra Incognita, 1991, the fgure of a black man, dressed in traditional waiter attire hovers miraculously atop a sea of dripping blue paint, an ocean liner and mass of land in the far distance. Framed by geographic coordinates, closer consideration reveals that this echoes the antique map of Africa painted at the lower right. Terra Incognita vividly attests to the pivotal juncture in Marshall’s career when he created his frst major large-format history paintings that embraced narrative dimensions through a distinctly expressive painterly style. A truly foundational painting, it marked the beginning of Marshall’s concerted investigation of the forced African diaspora, a recurring theme he also addressed in paintings such as Voyager, 1992, and Great America, 1994, both in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Gulf Stream, 2003, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis – as well as in installations such as Wake, 2003-2005, Rennie Museum, Vancouver. Executed in 1991, Terra Incognita celebrates a crucial period in Marshall’s career. Indeed, when gallerist Jack Shainman saw the exhibition Terra Incognita: Kerry James Marshall and Santiago Vaca at the Chicago Cultural Center in 1992 he immediately decided to give the artist a solo show – marking the beginning of a crucial working relationship. Just a year later, the Los Angeles County Museum purchased De Style, 1993, the frst work by Marshall to enter a major museum collection. These early works paved the way for Marshall’s inclusion at the Whitney Biennale and, soon afer, Documenta X in Kassel in 1997, which garnered him international attention and set in motion his ascent to one of the foremost living painters.
The present work sees Marshall employ the distinctly expressive painterly language characteristic for his work between the early to mid-1990s. Gestural swathes of blue paint drip down the height of the canvas, resembling the fowerlike blotches or “fourishes”, as Marshall has referred to them, that reference Cy Twombly, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. As Dieter Roelstraete has argued, “above all…these elaborate marks can be seen as the unmistakable physical traces of the artist’s formative struggle with the legacy of gestural abstraction as allegedly the only legitimate form of truly modern American art” (Dieter Roelstraete, Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2016, p. 52). Like artists as diverse as Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hammons, Romare Bearden, Charles White, and Barkley Hendricks before him, Marshall rejects the primacy of abstraction – embracing fguration instead to bring the
Kerry James Marshall, Voyager, 1992. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Artwork © Kerry James Marshall
used in antiquity to refer to the “unknown land” that was reintroduced in the 15th century when European empires began a period of extensive overseas exploration. Yet what is commonly referred to as the Age of Discovery was of course also the beginning of the military conquest and economic dominance of Africa, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade – a historical narrative Marshall visualizes in his inclusion and transformation of the map at the lower right.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1981. Private Collection, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
black subject into center view. As he postulated, “It is my conviction that the most instrumental, insurgent painting for this moment must be of fgures, and those fgures must be black, unapologetically so” (Kerry James Marshall, “Shall I compare Thee…?”, in Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2016, p. 79). Terra Incognita takes a key position in Marshall’s agenda of probing the idea and history of representation, as well as how the imbalance of power, struggle for equality and recognition unfolds over time. As Marshall explained, “For me, the question I begin with is, why are we here in the frst place? Why are there black people in the Western hemisphere?” (Kerry James Marshall, quoted in Kerry James Marshall, New York, 2017, p. 40). Terra Incognita is perhaps the most explicit of all of Marshall’s paintings to delve into the crux of that question through the inclusion of cartography as a visual and conceptual framework. Indeed, its title conjures the very cartographic term
Marshall’s painterly collage exemplifes the artist’s strategy of working of a visual and literary archive of found material as a means to address the cultural and political rhetoric of racial representation. Starkly reduced to a schematic and partial rendering of the African continent, the black and white map identifes a number of known colonies at the time – starting with Liberia in the far West and ending with Angola – yet remains largely devoid of cartographic nuance. The continent’s diverse populations and cultures are reduced to depictions of Egyptian pyramids and a prototypical African warrior, suggesting a large unknown yet to be discovered and conquered by the European galleon seen dominating the sea. The depiction of the African warrior fgure also alludes to the fact that the history of modern art itself was borne out of similar impulses of colonization. “African masks and statues inspired Pablo Picasso and friends,” Marshall emphasized,“…to Europeans those objects were proof of an uncivilized, primordial consciousness”
Cy Twombly, Lepanto VII, 2001. Museum Brandhorst, Bayerische Staatsgemaeldesammlungen, Munich, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Cy Twombly Foundation
Athanasius Kircher’s geological world map, 1678. Image Royal Astronomical Society/Science Source
(Kerry James Marshall, “Shall I compare Thee…?”, in Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, exh. cat., The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2016, p. 73). Terra Incognita ambivalently probes how this imbalance of power and struggle for recognition unfolds over time. In Marshall’s painterly composition, the warrior’s dominance of the land is a distant memory. The specifc West and Central African countries previously labelled in the map now foat like abstract signifers around the composition in the form of geographic coordinates, heightening the notion of the sea as the very locale of the black diaspora. The fgure’s traditional waiter attire and the presence of the ocean liner – a mid-19th century invention used for intercontinental travel rendered obsolete afer World War II – conjure a not too distant past when African Americans were granted freedom on paper, yet were at social, political and economic disadvantage. “When black people were introduced into the Western world,” Marshall emphasized, “they arrived with no independent agency, institutions or economies that would put them in a competitive relationship with the market-driven milieu they were folded into. Because of this imbalance of power, the struggle for equality and recognition has always been our primary challenge” (Kerry James Marshall, quoted in Kerry James Marshall, New York, 2017, p. 38).
Terra Incognita subtly anticipates the themes of class mobility and aspiration that would take center stage in Marshall’s ensuing Garden Project and Boy Scout series, but also echoes the religious imagery of Marshall’s concurrent paintings at the time. Indeed, Marshall presents a fgure of seemingly icon-like stature: hovering over the ocean and surrounded by a halo, oddly reminiscent of the adjacent compass roses, he conjures the image of Jesus walking on water. The loaded symbolism of water here imbues the painting with a more hopeful undertone of transformation, an association emphasized by Marshall when he explained, “The very idea of the baptism is being born again, dying in the water and rising as some new thing” (Kerry James Marshall, quoted in Kevin Nance, “Kerry James Marshall: In the Tower”, The Washington Post, June 21, 2013, online). Propelling the ongoing dialogue on art, history and the black subject, Terra Incognita captures the unparalleled vision of an artist, who, as Madeleine Grynsztejn so poignantly observed, “demands of himself nothing less than to make a lasting contribution to the history of art with commanding paintings that, over time, change their attributes and direction of art itself” (Madeleine Grynsztejn, Kerry James Marshall: Mastery, exh. cat., The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2016, p. 7).
Nkisi N’Kondi: Mangaaka, Republic of Congo, 19th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY Opposite: Detail of present lot
15. Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled signed, inscribed and dated “NYC 82 Jean Michel Basquiat” on the reverse. acrylic, oil, oilstick and spray paint on canvas. 72 x 48 in. (182.9 x 121.9 cm.). Executed in 1982. Estimate $9,000,000-12,000,000
Provenance Annina Nosei Gallery, New York Larry Gagosian, Los Angeles Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above in 1982) Christie’s, London, June 24, 2004, lot 6 Private Collection Phillips de Pury & Company, London, June 29, 2008, lot 229 Private Collection, New York Morgan Walker, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Los Angeles, Gagosian Gallery, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Paintings, April 8 - May 8, 1982 New York, PaceWildenstein, Dubufet Basquiat: Personal Histories, April 23 - June 17, 2006, p. 40 (illustrated, p. 41) Literature Enrico Navarra et. al., Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paris, 2000, no. 5, p. 11 (illustrated, p. 10)
“I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.” Jean-Michel Basquiat
Painted at the height of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s creative powers, Untitled epitomizes the artist’s distinctly expressive, raw and uncensored painterly idiom. Executed in 1982, it was created during a watershed moment in Basquiat’s notoriously short but groundbreaking career that resulted in some of the artist’s most self-assured masterpieces. Basquiat’s talent as a colorist comes to the fore in this painting, while equally demonstrating his distinct ability to use color structurally: he deliberately slathers white paint across the red underlayer to give form to a large, totemic head, whose features has distilled with confdent lines. Debuted at Basquiat’s seminal exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, in the spring of 1982, the artist’s second solo show in the United States, Untitled is among the discrete group of paintings that propelled the artist to international stardom. Basquiat painted Untitled at the crucial infection point when the critical and commercial success of his breakthrough in 1981 sparked a new phase in his artistic production. As Richard Marshall observed of this period, “all hell broke loose. The young master was ready” (Richard Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1991, p. 37). In January 1982, Basquiat made the pivotal decision to move his studio from the basement of Annina Nosei’s gallery to a large Soho lof. This was the frst time Basquiat had a place of his own that was large enough to paint in; liberated and
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982. Private Collection, Artwork © 2018 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
energized, Basquiat created some of the most vital paintings of his entire oeuvre. As Basquiat recalled of this period a few years later, “I made the best paintings ever. I was completely reclusive, worked a lot” (Jean-Michel Basquiat, quoted in Cathleen McGuigan, “New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist”, The New York Times Magazine, February 10, 1985, p. 29). Basquiat likely created the present work in the lead up to his impressive line-up of solo exhibitions in the spring of that year, his shows at Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, and Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, slated to open in March and April, respectively. Working in his lof studio against the steady backdrop of music and cartoon programs, he feverishly covered the canvas with swif but sure gestures while adroitly exploiting the creative potential of free association. Basquiat’s distinct process has been likened to that of improvisation in jazz, whereby harmonic structures and repeated note patterns are appropriated across several compositions. Like the jazz musicians he so admired, Basquiat drew on a range of sources for his visual lexicon, including urban and pop culture, music, poetry, Christian iconography, African and Haitian cultural histories, and art history. All these impulses would fuse together in his stream-of-consciousness approach. As Glenn O’Brien recalls, “He ate up every image, every word, every bit of data that appeared in front of him, and he processed it all into a bebop Cubist Pop Art cartoon gospel that synthesized the whole overload we lived under into something that made astonishing new sense” (Glenn O’Brien, “Greatest Hits”, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time, exh. cat., Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 2015, p. 177). The paintings that came out of this intense period of working in 1982 signaled an important shif within Basquiat’s practice. At the same time that his compositions became more dense and colorful, the human fgure took on a new complexity. Basquiat’s
Deity Figure (Zemí), Taino, 10th–early 11th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image Art Resource NY
success, according to Rene Richard, “solidifed his identifcation with black heroes of the past,” resulting in a number of works that incorporate specifc references to historic and contemporary individuals (Rene Ricard, “World Crowns”, in Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1991, p. 48). The fgure in the present work seems more ambiguous, recalling a totem but also appears like a shamanistic vision from one of the comics or cartoons Basquiat so loved and began integrating into his visual vocabulary in this period. Basquiat, who as a child had aspired to be a cartoonist, was an avid collector of comic books and
psyche – at times expressing torment and anger, other times lucidity and prophecy. The spiraling eyes that lend the fgure a hypnotic presence are a recurring motif in many of Basquiat’s works, for example in Irony of a Negro Policemen, 1981, Dustheads, 1982, and Philistines, 1982. The head, too, is ofen a central focus in Basquiat’s images, privileged over the body in a manner that seems to emphasize perception. Underlying much of Basquiat’s sense of self, as Fred Hofman observed, “was his innate capacity to function as something like an oracle, distilling his perceptions of the outside world down to their essence and, in turn, projecting them outward through his creative acts” (Fred Hofman, “The Defning Years: Notes on Five Key Works”, in Basquiat, exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, 2005, p. 129). This notion of channeling everyday life is underlined when Basquiat explained, “I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life”
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Irony of a Negro Policeman, 1981. Private Collection, Artwork © 2018 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
newspaper comic strips and frequently worked with the television streaming cartoons in the background. One of the sources that fltered into his art in particular was an advertisement for joke tricks and toys that he found in the back of an old comic book, which featured such novelty items as “X-ray specs”. This motif of optical illusion, which recurred in a number of Basquiat’s paintings and drawings in the ensuing years, can be considered as “directly connected to Basquiat’s aesthetic and social sense of reality, viability and equality” (Richard D. Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Museum of Lugano, Lugano, 2005, p. 62). If eyes serve as windows to the soul, then in Basquiat’s portraits, they ofer insights into the artist’s own
Jean Dubufet, Dévidoir enregistreur (Self-recording Unwinder), 1978. AlbrightKnox Art Gallery, Bufalo, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris Jackson Pollock, Guardians of the Secret, 1943. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Artwork © 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
(Jean-Michel Basquiat, quoted in Basquiat, exh. cat., Museo Revoltella, Trieste, 1999, p. LXVII). Much of Basquiat’s work in 1982 began to explore the political realities of his everyday experience, as evidenced in Untitled (Black Tar and Feathers), 1982, and Six Crimee, 1982, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, which were exhibited alongside the present work at Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles in 1982. As in the latter work, the fgure’s gritted teeth in the present painting are echoed by a large grid-like structure below, itself inspired by the form of a baseball scorecard. Above it, Basquiat has created a window-like structure that frames the letters that could equally be deciphered as “NRC” or “NRA”, which could allude to a number of things in the early 1980s. Etched into the white paint to the right of that is “POI” in possible reference to “person of interest”. The arrows that traverse the canvas imbue the work not only with movement, but also with rich symbolism.
Henry Dreyfuss, Hobo Signs from Symbol Sourcebook, 1972.
Considering the present work alongside its sister painting Untitled, 1982, which features the words “Jung” emblazoned below a Minotaur, the caricature-like fgure takes on the likeness of psychoanalyst Carl Jung with his distinct glasses and
Installation view of Jean-Michel Basquiat: Paintings at Larry Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, April 8 – May 8, 1982. Image Douglas M. Parker, Artwork © 2018 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“I made the best paintings ever. I was completely reclusive, worked a lot.” Jean-Michel Basquiat
mustache. Basquiat may specifcally be alluding to Jung’s theory of the “wounded healer”, which was based on the Greek myth of the centaur Chiron being irrevocably wounded by Hercules’s arrows. Yet just as the arrows ultimately ofer no clear path or direction, so does the overall composition itself dodge straightforward interpretations. It was Basquiat’s unique ability to present his quotidian impressions, observations and thoughts in a pictorial idiom that shows a remarkably intuitive understanding of the history of modern painting. As is characteristic of Basquiat’s painting starting in 1982, broad strokes and fat areas of color both reveal and conceal imagery. This nonrepresentational use of color recalls both Henri Matisse’s Femme au chapeau, 1905, and Jackson Pollock’s Guardians of the Secret, 1943, a painting Basquiat greatly admired, though the present work perhaps most vividly calls to mind Joan Mitchell’s early 1970s abstractions. While channeling these precedents, Basquiat frmly set himself apart: “With direct and theatrically ham-fsted brushwork, he used unmixed color structurally, like a seasoned abstractionist, but in the service of a fgurative and narrative agenda” (Marc Mayer, “Basquiat in History”, Basquiat, exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, 2005, p. 46). Indeed, covering the vibrant red ground of the present work with impasto passages of luminescent white, light blue and ochre paint, Basquiat ultimately employs color to give form to the head and to push it to the foreground of the composition.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982. Image James Van Der Zee/ © Donna Van Der Zee
Though Basquiat has been compared to many 20th century artists, including Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Robert Rauschenberg, Dubufet is perhaps his most immediate predecessor. Basquiat had frst encountered Dubufet’s work in the late 1970s in the form of the Théâtres de mémoire series that was being shown at the Pace Gallery in New York. “One doesn’t usually think of Dubufet and Basquiat as contemporaries,” Lawrence Rinder pointed out, “yet there was a brief though important period at the very beginning of Basquiat’s career and at the end of Dubufet’s when they were struggling with related representational issues and arriving at remarkably similar artistic solutions” (Lawrence Rinder, Dubufet Basquiat: Personal Histories, exh. cat., PaceWildenstein, New York, 2006, p. 4). There are indeed striking parallels between Dubufet’s Théâtres de mémoire and works such as the present one; both artists conjoin disparate elements from their personal reservoir of idiosyncratic forms and symbols, fusing them into heterogeneous compositions. Pulsating with the unbridled energy of an artist at the height of his creative powers, Untitled made its debut at Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles on April 8, 1982 to rave reviews. Following the phenomenal success of Basquiat’s solo exhibition at Annina Nosei Gallery in the month prior, it was there that Basquiat was introduced to infuential collectors Eli and Edythe Broad and Douglas S. Cramer, who would become important supporters of his work. Shortly afer, in June, Basquiat was included in Documenta 7, Kassel, as the youngest artist ever to be selected. At merely 25 years of age, he exhibited works alongside such established artists as Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol, the latter of whom he would meet a few months later and befriend. What followed is legend – Basquiat’s meteoric rise to international stardom tragically ending with his death just a few years later in 1988.
Property of a Distinguished New York Collector ○◆
16. Gerhard Richter
Abstraktes Bild (714-1) signed, numbered and dated “714-1 Richter 1990” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 27 1/8 x 33 1/8 in. (69 x 84 cm.). Painted in 1990. Estimate $1,800,000-2,500,000
Claude Monet, Londres, le Parlement. Trouée de soleil dans le brouillard, 1904. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Image Art Resource, NY
Provenance Studio of the Artist Dieter Giesing, Hamburg Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich Schönewald Fine Arts, Dusseldorf/Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco Galerie Andreas Binder, Munich Private Collection (acquired from the above in 2005) Sotheby’s, London, October 16, 2009, lot 155 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Literature Gerhard Richter: Werkübersicht/Catalogue raisonné 19621993, vol. III, Bonn, 1993, no. 714-1, p. 188 (illustrated, n.p.) Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter. Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 4 (1988-1994), Ostfldern, 2015, no. 714-1, p. 286 (illustrated)
Painted from the fnest period of Richter’s abstractions to date, Abstraktes Bild (714-1), 1990, is a formidable example of the formal complexity the artist achieved with his mature Abstrakte Bilder. Demonstrating the mastery of his squeegee technique, a brilliant spectrum of color emerges from darkness– fashes of red, yellow, blue and green burst forth like molten lava erupting from inky depths. Exemplary of the rigor in which he has pursued his abstractions since the late 1970s to the present day, Abstraktes Bild highlights the signifcance of the genre within Richter’s oeuvre, which was most recently explored in the acclaimed exhibition Abstraktion at the Museum Barberini, Potsdam and in a major career retrospective to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2020. The period that immediately preceded the conception of Abstraktes Bild was a transformational chapter in Richter’s oeuvre and his global reception. In 1989, his exhibition October 18, 1977, travelled from Germany to several important international institutions, including the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Indeed Dietmar Elgar has observed in this regard, “His Abstract Paintings from around 1990 achieved a painterly density and seriousness that seems to echo the melancholy atmosphere of the Oktober Cycle” (Dietmar Elger, ed., Gerhard Richter, Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 4, Ostfldern,
2015, p. 22). Abstraktes Bild was created in the seminal moment in the artist’s career that would preempt a period of unprecedented international recognition in the following years, with his 1991 retrospective at the Tate Gallery, London, his inclusion in the Documenta IX in 1992, and his momentous, touring retrospective Gerhard Richter: Malerei 1962-1993. Abstraktes Bild celebrates an artist at his prime, one who confdently pushed his pictorial innovations from the past decades into ever astonishing heights. The squeegee technique he pioneered in the 1980s essentially saw him return to the inception of his frst investigations into abstraction. In (Tisch) Table, 1962, he explored the relationship between fguration and abstraction by cancelling out the photorealistic image with haptic swirls of paint. The Abstrakte Bilder Richter later created are ostensibly informed by this dual interest in fguration and abstraction, with the artist conceiving both fgurative and abstract work in tandem. This becomes particularly apparent with his work in 1990: in fact, one may consider Passage (Leipzig), 1990, denoted with the catalogue raisonné number 714, as the starting point for his Abstract Paintings 714-1 to 714-4. The color palette for this cycle of four abstracts would seem to have much in common with that of the preceding fgurative work, based on a discrete grouping of photographs selected by the
artist for his Atlas. “Almost all the abstract paintings show scenarios, surroundings and landscapes that don’t exist,” Richter has noted, “but they create the impression that they could exist. As though they were photographs of scenarios and regions that had never yet been seen” (Gerhard Richter, quoted in Gerhard Richter: Panorama, exh. cat., Tate, London, 2011, p. 19). This engagement with both abstraction and fguration refects the interrelationship of what Dietmar Elger has described as simply “two sides of the same coin” (Dietmar Elger, Abstraktion, exh. cat., Museum Barberini, Potsdam, 2018, p. 23). Indeed, Richter considers both fgurative and abstract paintings as equal analogies for the reality surrounding us: “When I look out of the window, then truth for me is the way nature shows itself in its various tones, colors and proportions” (Gerhard Richter, quoted in Dietmar Elger, ed., Gerhard Richter, Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 4, Ostfldern, 2015, p. 23). Looking at Abstraktes Bild equally gives rise to the sensation of looking into the abyss of an otherworldly, half-seen or remembered out of focus image. As such, it vividly conveys Richter’s notion of reality as a simulation – an investigation that would notably usher in the development of his discrete Mirror series, which tellingly debuted alongside the Abstrakte Bilder. It is through the semi-mechanistic blending of color in works such as the present one that Richter achieves an efect similar to the blurring of his early photo-
Joan Mitchell, August, Rue Daguerre, 1957. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Image Bridgeman, Artwork © Estate of Joan Mitchell
Gerhard Richter, Atlas Sheet 498. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München, Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2018
paintings. Though Richter began employing a handmade squeegee in the 1980s to pull curtains of paint across the canvas in a process of perpetual addition and subtraction, the technique found its purest articulation between 1989 and 1994. The present work marks the very infection point in which Richter began using a new tool: equally as important as the squeegee now became the spatula, which he would use to scrape of paint in wide, parallel stripes with rhythmic gestures. Moving away from the varied, all-over compositions of the late 1980s, Richter deliberately lends the paintings a compact, almost architectural structure – his vertical and horizontal strokes imbuing the surface with palpable tension and movement. The sense of ease and spontaneity that radiates from the present work belies Richter’s laborious and complex working method. Indeed, this work would have undergone multiple variations whereby Richter would repeatedly apply, erase, remake and obliterate the various paint strata - each addition and efacement introducing new chromatic and textural juxtapositions. Richter’s process has been likened to that of a pendulum, swinging between phases of chance and control until the desired composition is achieved. Richter, who typically arranges multiple blank canvases around his studio and works on them simultaneously, explained, “It takes me longer than some people to recognize their quality, their situation – to realize when they are fnished. Finally, one day I enter the room and say ‘checkmate’” (Gerhard Richter, quoted in Michael Kimmelman, “Gerhard Richter: An Artist Beyond Isms”, The New York Times, January 27, 2002).
Property of an Important European Collector ○◆
17. Albert Oehlen
Untitled signed and dated “A. Oehlen 93” on the reverse. oil, spray paint and enamel on canvas. 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in. (200 x 200 cm.). Executed in 1993. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich Saatchi Collection, London Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, November 16, 2006, lot 35 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited Zurich, Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Albert Oehlen, January 21 - March 31, 2005, p. 10 (illustrated) London, Saatchi Gallery, The Triumph of Painting - Part 2, July 5 - October 30, 2005
In Albert Oehlen’s Untitled, 1993, paint in its various guises detonates across the monumental canvas. Vividly exemplifying the key tenants of Oehlen’s “postnon-representational” paintings created between 1988 and 1997, fguration is set against abstraction as a cacophony of brushstrokes, colors and forms coalesce on the vast canvas with a deliberate nonchalance that belie its studied formal complexity. It was with works such as the present one that Oehlen burst onto the international art scene in the mid-1990s, when his work was included in group exhibitions with like-minded artists such as Martin Kippenberger and Christopher
Sigmar Polke, Moderne Kunst, 1968. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Estate of Sigmar Polke/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
“Qualities that I want to see brought together: delicacy and coarseness, color and vagueness, and, underlying them all, a base note of hysteria.” Albert Oehlen
Wool and he received his frst institutional United States solo exhibition at The Renaissance Society, Chicago, in 1995. His prescient oeuvre is currently the subject of the acclaimed monographic exhibition Cows by the Water at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Italy. Painted in 1993, Untitled was conceived fve years afer Oehlen achieved his artistic breakthrough during his now legendary sojourn with partner-in-crime Martin Kippenberger to Spain. As Oehlen recalled of the secluded period living and working with Kippenberger in early 1988, “I wanted to start something new that I was dreaming of for a long time, which was abstract painting…In a way it was because I thought that art history went from fgurative to abstract. And I should do the same. I should have the same development in my life as art history” (Albert Oehlen, quoted in Glenn O’Brien, “Albert Oehlen”, Interview Magazine, May 2009, p. 106). Emulating, but also transcending the progression of 20th century modernism from fguration to abstraction, Oehlen sardonically labeled his eforts “post-non-objective”. Walking in the conceptual footsteps of his mentor Sigmar Polke, Oehlen from then on and throughout the mid-1990s pursued an unprecedented mash-up of seemingly incompatible aesthetics, vocabularies and materials – irreverently pulling apart the art historical legacy of such movements as Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, but also the then dominant tendency of Neo-Expressionism. At frst glance, Untitled appears to fuse a breadth of techniques from such predecessors as Willem de Kooning, Brice Marden, and Jackson Pollock, yet closer
Martin Kippenberger, Untitled, 1992. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Image © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMNGrand Palais/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Estate Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
to any particular style” (Hamza Walker, “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”, The Renaissance Society, 1995, online).
consideration reveals that the painting is not as abstract as what the incongruous layering of marks might lead to believe. The presence of a human leg and a mask-like face, both subtly modulated to suggest plasticity, disrupt the purported purity of abstraction. With regard to this simultaneous pursuit of abstract and fgurative painting, Oehlen notably explained one year afer painting the present work, “I’m not interested in the autonomy of the artist or of his signature style. My concern, my project, is to produce an autonomy of the painting…The question ‘abstract or not abstract’…is irrelevant to me” (Albert Oehlen, quoted in Diedrich Diederichsen, “The Rules of the Game”, Artforum, November 1994, online). It is the abolition of the diference between fgurative and nonfgurative art that is at the core of Oehlen’s “post-non-objective” project. He achieves this through a process of negation; not in the sense of erasure or subtraction as Christopher Wool would later pursue, but, as he defned, “the visible working through of inferences, misunderstandings, ideas to be criticized, and also your own mistakes” (Albert Oehlen, quoted in Diedrich Diederichsen, “The Rules of the Game”, Artforum, November 1994, online). Oehlen to this end puts forth, as Hamza Walker discerned “a chorus of contradictory gestures; fguration is set against abstraction, form against anti-form, the rhythm of pattern versus a meandering stroke, and a muddy mix of colors juxtaposed against vibrant pigment straight from the tube…Oehlen’s paintings are always autonomous in so far as they have managed to eliminate through contradiction an allegiance
Oehlen’s singular achievement is to fuse these disparate elements into a powerful composition that seems frozen in a deafening and liberating crescendo of both discordant and harmonious form and color. His syncretic approach, as Oehlen’s current exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi highlights, is not unlike that of a jazz musician rifng on a set of classics. Oehlen, who was associated with the Punk scene, uses a similar analogy when speaking of artistic freedom: “I see it this way: it’s the confuence of earnestness and ridiculousness that allows the artist to run riot. It’s comparable to a classic jazz soloist. He runs riot within his harmony and stretches it as far as it can go” (Albert Oehlen, quoted in Albert Oehlen: Home and Garden, exh. cat., New Museum, New York, 2015, p. 102). Whilst seemingly announcing itself with the tempo of impromptu brushstrokes, the electrifying composition is in fact the achievement of a deliberate and methodological working method. Each drip, smudge and stroke that would otherwise be the product of improvisation is carefully painted, just as the composition is intentionally constructed to teeter at the edge of total dissolution. Untitled viscerally exemplifes how the uninhibited freedom and excess of Oehlen’s radical practice has reconfgured the possibilities of the medium of painting.
Willem de Kooning, Untitled V, 1977. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Property from a European Collection
18. Christopher Wool
Untitled signed, numbered and dated “WOOL 2005 (P500)” on the overlap; further signed, numbered and dated “WOOL 2005 (P500)” on the reverse. enamel on canvas. 96 1/8 x 72 in. (244 x 183 cm.). Executed in 2005. Estimate $4,000,000-6,000,000
Provenance Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist) Acquired from the above by the present owner
Christopher Wool’s Untitled, 2005, is a preeminent example of the artist’s groundbreaking series of what are known as the “Gray Paintings”. Painted in 2005, Wool puts forward a cerebral surface that at once exhibits its creation and destruction, imbuing the historic medium of painting with a new phenomenology. Wool adorns his expansive surface with a gloss of enamel and sweeping sprays of linear gestures that he subsequently scumbles and erases in a manner that efectively efaces his own creative
gestures. The result is a composition that profers at once the presence and absence of the artist’s hand. Witness to an interminably paused moment of creative tension, we are caught within a liminal pictorial space that professes no resolution. This paradox expresses the inefable downtown cool of the urban milieu where the artist frst developed his idiosyncratic method. The “Gray Paintings” extend from Wools’ neardogmatic investigations since the late 1980s into the conceptual limits of painting and abstraction. When Wool emerged as an artist in the experimental arts scene of lower Manhattan in the 1970s, he found himself at the center of a heated conceptual debate about the continued direction of art. The publication of Douglas Crimp’s seminal text “The End of Painting” in 1981, which declared the medium’s demise, perhaps served as a catalyst for Wool’s defant shif to painting at the time, and his ultimate artistic breakthrough in 1986 with a series of works that sardonically attacked the stigma of painting as merely decorative whilst drawing from contemporary urban existence. Appropriating the kind of stamped rollers that New York landlords would use to cheaply create the illusion of foral or geometric wallpaper, Wool challenged the expressive impulses of contemporary painting, privileging banality and placing the medium in a paradoxical dialogue with the history of the readymade. Wool soon moved from his stamps and rollers to silkscreens which allowed him to play with scale. While the technique undoubtedly recalls Andy Warhol, this process also inaugurated a key innovation of selfreferentiality that Wool would continuously return to. The constant referencing of his own works served as a metaphor for the endless recycling of forms and information in a media-obsessed society saturated with visual signifcation. As noted by Joshua Decter in 1995, “Wool ofers us access to a world where things are layered to the point of implosion, where iconographic elements are built up only to virtually fall apart” (Joshua Decter, “Christopher Wool: Luhring Augustine Gallery”, Artforum, 34, September 1995, p. 89).
Robert Rauschenberg, Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953. San Francisco Museum of Art, Artwork © 2018 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“I became more interested in ‘how to paint it’ than ‘what to paint’.” Christopher Wool
refned in technique and redolent of street vernacular, both high and low” (Glenn O’Brien, “Apocalypse and Wallpaper”, Wool, Cologne, 2012, p. 8).
Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1970. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Cy Twombly Foundation
In Untitled we encounter, what Wool has declared as, “erasure as a picture itself” (Christopher Wool, quoted in Christopher Wool, Cologne, 2008, p. 176). In these “Gray Paintings”, Wool frst draws large gestural swirls to build a network of black lines on the surface with a spray gun. Tagging the picture plane with broad arcs of sweeping linear sprays, the result would be a curious pastiche of spray paint grafti coupled with the high art references to the all-over webs of Brice Marden or the automatic scrawl of Cy Twombly if not for his next irreverent step. He then disrupts his own artistic impulses and seemingly erases marks at will with gestural fuidity, wiping his surface down in broad swathes, efacing the discrete marks to create strokes and difused patches of gray monochromes. This sense of layering and erasure is fundamental to the arresting intrigue of this body of work, granting this work a profoundly detached sense of pathos. As Glenn O’Brien espouses, “Wool embraces and engages action painting as his primary source and he then manipulates it, with the cool refection of a Pop artist or Dada collagist, creating art that is both intense and refective, physical and mechanical, unconscious and considered,
Echoing the minimalist tendency for reduction and a focus on material ontology, Wool in these works seemingly succeeds in voiding the medium of its reliance on historic precedents. No longer is the frst creative impulse of the artist privileged within the composition as a mark of genius. As with his approach to earlier silkscreen works, Wool imbeds visceral drips, glitches, stutters and serendipitous absence, aping the sensuality of Abstract Expression whilst consciously undermining any superior sense of totality in his vision. The defacement or erasure of such marks, and their own subsequent presence within
Willem de Kooning, Painting, 1948. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Wool in same year also began making his frst digital paintings, this process also parallels the editing techniques used in digital media. As Eric Hall has commented, “it’s as if he’s leeched the life out of his vibrant loops, captured them on flm, then searched for a way to bring them back to life” (Eric Hall, in Hans Werner Holzwarth, ed., Christopher Wool, Cologne, 2008, p. 371).
Albert Oehlen, Woods Near Oele, 1999. Private Collection, Artwork © Albert Oehlen
the composition hold just as much importance. Each mark, whether additive or subtractive, contributes to the success of the compositional whole. As such, this series directly engages with the legacy of Abstract Expressionism, not only within the art historical canon but as a loaded specter within the canon of American painting at large. As Katherine Brinson describes, “excruciatingly aware of the taboo status of gestural mark-making as an index of self-expression, Wool was nonetheless compelled to explore whatever space was lef within abstraction for a critical practice” (Katherine Brinson, “Trouble is My Business”, Christopher Wool, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2013, p. 37). A crucial innovation in his practice, it is in this series that Wool fully embraces the creative potential of “un-making”. With an irreverent nod to Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953, Wool embraces erasing and smudging of the preceding vision. The viewer is lef to consider what was once there, whilst simultaneously being drawn into the new gestural tides brought about in the wake of this destruction. Considering how
By overlaying motifs and gestures over one another, sometimes efacing and sometimes adding to those marks which proceeded them, Wool creates a time-stamped surface that collapses and condenses duration as the moment of creation is suspended and overwritten interminably. In so doing, the resulting composition is at once fnal and also a physical manifestation of the process of its making. Across a slick surface that is expressive without calling for an antiquated valorization of the artist’s hand, Wool explores and makes manifest the inherent contradictions of painting, instigating a new conceptual appreciation of the medium where his works “are defned by what they’re not—and what they hold back” (Ann Goldstein, Christopher Wool, exh. cat., The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1998, p. 263)
Gerhard Richter, Tisch, 1962. Private Collection, Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2018 (0230)
19. Amy Sillman
U signed and dated “Amy Sillman 08” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 84 x 92 in. (213.4 x 233.7 cm.). Painted in 2008. Estimate $300,000-400,000
Provenance Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2008 Exhibited Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution; Saratoga Springs, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Amy Sillman: Third Person Singular, March 13, 2008 - January 4, 2009, no. 26, p. 107 (illustrated, p. 104)
The last work in Amy Sillman’s series of paintings made between 2006 and 2008, U is a stunning example of the artist’s vibrant and tactile compositions that are infused with emotional undertones. Beginning in 2006, the Brooklyn-based painter embarked upon what has become known as her “couples project”, culminating in a small series of large abstract compositions to which the present work belongs. The project was the subject of Sillman’s celebrated traveling exhibition Third Person Singular, which began in 2008 as part of the Hirshhorn Museum’s 20th installment of the Directions series, intended to showcase recent works by trailblazing contemporary artists. The present work was one of just 13 paintings exhibited in this show, which has remained in the same private collection since its acquisition the year of its creation in 2008. Other works from the series are housed in esteemed public collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Each painting in Sillman’s couples project began with drawings made during 90-minute sittings of diferent couples. Afer having her subjects pose for studies in their own homes, Sillman brought the sketches back to her studio and created a number of additional drawings of the subjects from memory, each becoming progressively more abstract. The resulting gestural illustrations, reduced to contour lines and geometric planes, were the basis for which Sillman embarked upon her large-scale canvases over seven feet tall. Throughout this process, the artist gave tangibility to the space between fguration and abstraction, defying the categorization of either distinction. As explained
Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 29, 1970. Dallas Museum of Art, Artwork © Estate of Richard Diebenkorn
by Hirshhorn curator of Third Person Singular Anne Ellegood, “Sillman has not…replaced representation with abstraction. Rather, she more strongly asserts her longstanding commitment to embrace abstraction without abandoning representation. The fgure here has become so intimate, so close, so dominant in the visual feld that one can, paradoxically, no longer see it” (Anne Ellegood, Amy Sillman: Third Person Singular, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., p. 59).
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers), 1991. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation
In the present work, geometric planes of lavender, fery orange and greens are delineated by black impasto lines, reminiscent of Philip Guston’s organic forms made with dark contours. While Guston, who Sillman champions as one of her favorite painters, creates fgures that are bound by connecting, bulbous shapes, Sillman breaks hers into fragments, separated by linear brushwork that simultaneously recall the geometric compositions of Richard Diebenkorn. Each of Sillman’s paintings is built in layers through a reductive process of erasing and reworking certain areas, which in turn creates a variety of textures. The tactile variations become the subjects of the paintings themselves, as heavy impasto forms appear to be in the foreground, while thinner expanses of color applied more uniformly recede into the background. Sillman’s emphasis on the foundations of painting—line, color and form—is perhaps the most defning feature of her oeuvre. In the late 20th century, despite the growing popularity of conceptual art, Sillman remained devoted to the practice of painting, paving the way for a school of artists who would return to the medium at the onset of the 21st century. As Ellegood espoused in response to this series, “Sillman gives us permission to love painting for its tactility and materiality, its visual allure, color and play with light—in short, its beauty, while also reiterating its transformative potential, capacity to make us think, and unrelenting instigation of emotional response” (Anne Ellegood, Amy Sillman: Third Person Singular, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., pp. 60-61).
The emotional response elicited by the present work illustrates the central tenant of this series: the intimate concept of “coupling”. Beginning with the drawings, this idea is uniquely explored from the third person perspective of Sillman herself. While not a voyeur in the truest sense of the word—in fact, many of the couples Sillman drew were close friends—Sillman’s objective separation from her subjects marks her as an outsider. As such, her multi-step process illustrates a collective human desire for an intimacy that seems just out of reach. Despite parallels to contemporaneous conceptual sculptors and performance artists such as Félix González-Torres and Marina Abramović, Sillman’s painterly approach to the subject is entirely unique. Her psychological study of intimacy is only furthered by her use of abstract painting to depict human closeness. In the culminating canvases in the series, the interactions witnessed in each sitting is indiscernible. What remains exists somewhere in between what Sillman saw and what she felt when recording the poses from memory in her studio, which in turn encourages the viewer to search for a deeper meaning within the work. This connection to the viewer is a hallmark of Sillman’s painterly practice. As she says of each work in her oeuvre, “I also think that you have to believe that when you’re making private, poetic work, you’re in fact fnally, if you get it right, making something that is realistic to the world, even if it’s abstract” (Amy Sillman, quoted in Helen Molesworth, “Amy Sillman: Look, Touch, Embrace”, in Amy Sillman: one lump or two, exh. cat., The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 2013, p. 48).
Amy Sillman, P & H, 2007. Milwaukee Art Museum, Artwork © Amy Sillman
20. Sean Scully
Landline Red Veined signed, titled and dated “LANDLINE RED VEINED Sean Scully 2016” on the reverse. oil on aluminum. 85 x 75 in. (215.9 x 190.5 cm.). Painted in 2016. Estimate $900,000-1,500,000
Provenance Timothy Taylor Gallery, London Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2016 Exhibited London, Timothy Taylor Gallery, Sean Scully: Horizon, November 1 - December 17, 2016, pp. A15, B39 (illustrated, p. B35)
In Sean Scully’s monumental Landline Red Veined, 2016, horizontal bands of rich crimson, deep blue and purple hues traverse the aluminum surface from lef to right. The artist’s brushstrokes reveal the dark under layer which grounds the composition, all seven ribbons of color each mixing diferently with the pigment beneath. The resulting abstractions which form Scully’s Landline series are harmonious paintings with emotional undertones; they are rooted in nostalgia, informed by the artist’s memories of natural surroundings from his life travels. Born in Dublin, raised in London and now living and working out of his Chelsea studio in New York, Scully recalls that the frst time he was inspired by a horizon line occurred while looking out at the sea on Ireland’s Aran Islands in Galway Bay. The memory has since inspired the artist’s ongoing series of Landline works, which were
frst revealed to the international public at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2015. Today, this renowned series is the subject of a show at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. which began in September, marking Scully’s return to the institution since his mid-career retrospective held there in 1995. In a recent conversation with Patricia Hickson, curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, where the exhibited Landline works will travel to from the Hirshhorn, Scully describes this series as an attempt to “rescue abstraction from the abstract” (Sean Scully, quoted in Roger Caitlin, “Sean Scully’s Artworks Are a Study in Color, Horizon and Life’s Sorrows”, Smithsonian Magazine, September 20, 2018, online). While Scully’s monumental works like Landline Red Veined appear to pare painting down to its foundational building blocks of color and form, its origins in the horizon line reveal an undeniable connection to landscape painting. As such, the artist challenges the limitations of abstract painting and imbues it with something tangible. “I was always looking at the horizon line, at the way the end of the sea touches the beginning of the sky, the way the sky presses down on to the sea, and the way that line (that relationship) is painted... I try to paint this, this sense of the elemental
Installation view of Sean Scully, Human Too, at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., September 13, 2018 – February 3, 2019. Image Robert Bean, Artwork © Sean Scully
Andreas Gursky, The Rhine II, 1999. Tate, London, Artwork © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
coming together side by side, stacked in horizon lines endlessly beginning and ending…” (Sean Scully, quoted in Sean Scully: Horizon, exh. cat., Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, 2016, online). The frst of Scully’s Landline works made in 2012 represented a dramatic shif from the artist’s earlier, more geometric compositions of the late 20th century that recall the minimalist aesthetic of Piet Mondrian. In these more recent works, Scully chooses instead to rely on a looser, more expressive style, inspired by the beauty of the natural world. It is the emotional undertones present in the Landline series that recall the color felds of Mark Rothko, an artist whose work Scully frst encountered in 1967. The bands of paint in the present work relate to the thin washes of color Rothko used in his canvases and works on paper. Like Scully’s works, Rothko’s paintings are also grounded in a single underlying pigment on top of which diferent hues swell to the outer edges of the composition. The resulting relationship between the top and bottom layers of media envelops the viewer in a sublime fow of pure color and form. Having both sufered from psychological trauma and loss, Rothko and Scully sought salvation in their painterly processes, infusing each of their works with a beautiful melancholy that refected their states of mind. As Scully described of his frst Landline work, “I painted it on a quiet Sunday in Chelsea. There was an immense sadness in and around me. In the plants, the living things, the material
of the studio. My life has been a story of great sorrow and great love. Landlines stand for edges” (Sean Scully, quoted in Roger Caitlin, “Sean Scully’s Artworks Are a Study in Color, Horizon and Life’s Sorrows”, Smithsonian Magazine, September 20, 2018, online).
Mark Rothko, Number 61. (Rust and Blue), 1953. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Artwork © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
21. Ed Clark
The Dome signed, titled, dedicated and dated “For Quincy Troupe “The Dome” Ed Clark 12-21-97 CIRCA 1994” on the reverse. acrylic and tape on canvas. 57 5/8 x 71 in. (146.4 x 180.3 cm.). Executed circa 1994. Estimate $120,000-180,000
Provenance Collection of the Artist Quincy Troupe, New York (acquired directly from the above in 1997) Peg Alston Fine Arts, New York (acquired from the above) Acquired from the above by the present owner
Executed circa 1994, The Dome exemplifes the harmonious, painterly compositions for which Ed Clark is known. With stacked beige and blue bands of color arranged in a tripartite confguration delineated by a gestural oval housed within the canvas borders, the present work showcases Clark’s ability to convey a sense of movement through the application of brushstrokes with a broom. The way that the artist sweeps paint across the canvas in horizontal ribbons illustrates the level of improvised control with which Clark approaches his works. Following Tilton Gallery’s exhibition Ed Clark: Big Bang in 2014 and coinciding with Clark’s inclusion in the highly anticipated New York leg of the traveling exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power currently at the Brooklyn Museum, The Dome comes to auction at a time of renewed admiration for the abstract painter. The artist’s simultaneously dynamic yet soothing arrangements refect Clark’s inspirations from journeys around the world. Afer moving from Louisiana to Chicago as a young boy, Clark later attended the Art Institute of Chicago in 1946. In 1952, Clark lef to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris with the aid of the G.I. Bill. This year marked the start of a life full of travel to places including New York, Crete, Nigeria, Brazil and New Mexico—each of which would infuence Clark’s evolving practice in diferent ways.
Ed Clark in his Paris studio, 1993. Image Mnuchin Gallery
The importance of Paris in defning his painterly process is echoed during the present work, which was most likely painted in one of the artist’s later visits to the city. It was in Paris where Clark would make his frst oval picture in 1968 called The Big Egg, currently housed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture: “I would try to explain why one should paint ovals. I was thinking, ‘We do not see rectangles. Our eyes are oval shaped. Why do we do rectangles?’” (Ed Clark, quoted in Barbara Cavaliere and George R. N’Namdi, eds., Edward Clark: For the Sake of the Search, Belleville Lake, 1997, p. 22). Clark’s decision to incorporate ellipses into his practice harkens back to 1956 when he made his frst shaped canvas, ofen
Ed Clark, The Big Egg, 1968. Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C., Artwork © Ed Clark
acknowledged as the frst of its kind to ever be created. This is one of his lasting contributions to 20th century painting, placing Clark at the center of a circle of artists who have experimented with the motif including Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland and Robert Mangold. In a 1997 interview with Quincy Troupe, the American writer best known for his biography on Miles Davis, and to whom the present work was dedicated that same year, Clark described his practice as being infuenced by the sound, light and found materials from within the walls of his studio. The combination of these elements with Clark’s use of a broom in what has been coined as his “push broom abstraction” lends itself to the artist’s vigorous compositions. In The Dome, Clark sweeps paint across the canvas lying on the foor. As such, Clark invites the studio into his work, further emphasized by the use of thin artist’s tape placed within the painted surface. In his interview by Troupe, Clark explained this process in detail: “I was making ovals, and then I got the idea of creating the illusion of volume. I was using big brushes, so why not tape the canvas. Now we’re talking about rectangular canvases. The oval would be made and I’d tape over it, block it out and then paint over it. Just before the paint dried, I’d pull the tape of. You get a kind of etched look” (Ed Clark, quoted in Barbara Cavaliere and George R. N’Namdi, eds.,
Edward Clark: For the Sake of the Search, Belleville Lake, 1997, p. 23). The use of unconventional art materials connects Clark’s painterly process to menial labor, a concept also referenced in the work of his contemporary and close friend David Hammons. A champion of Clark’s work, Hammons was the curator behind Tilton Gallery’s 2014 show, ofen considered the frst of many long overdue exhibitions to celebrate the painter’s infuence on contemporary painting. Frequently classifed as a second generation Abstract Expressionist, Clark has only recently been explained alongside late 20th century painters such as Willem de Kooning. Joined by contemporaries including Stanley Whitney and Sam Gilliam, Clark’s work is a reminder that the development of newfound abstract painting practices in post-war America did not discriminate based on race or gender. As the artist himself has said, “Art is not subject to political games; its importance elevates it above any racial diferences. Any man of talent, of noble spirit, can make it” (Ed Clark, quoted in “Un musée pour Harlem”, Chroniques de L’Art Vivant, November 1968, p. 15).
Frank Stella, Flin-Flon IV, 1970. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Image © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
22. Mark Rothko
Black Blue Painting oil on paper, laid on linen. 47 3/4 x 40 1/8 in. (121.3 x 101.9 cm.). Executed in 1968. This work is being considered for inclusion in the forthcoming Mark Rothko Online Resource and Catalogue RaisonnĂŠ of works on paper, compiled by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Estimate $2,500,000-3,500,000
Provenance Marlborough-Gerson Gallery Inc., New York Estate of Bernard J. Reis, New York Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc., New York, November 19, 1981, lot 49 Dr. R.D. and Jane Burns, Elkhart, Indiana Sotheby’s, New York, May 9, 1990, lot 164 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited Elkhart, Midwest Museum of American Art, April 1982 May 1990 (on extended loan)
“Often towards nightfall, there’s a feeling in the air of mystery, threat, frustration—all of these at once. I would like my painting to have the quality of such moments.” Mark Rothko
Executed in 1968, Mark Rothko’s Black Blue Painting is a captivating late work made by the artist at the height of his creative powers. Recalling the Rothko Chapel paintings commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil, 1964-1971, the serene color feld envelops the viewer into silent darkness. Two color felds of variegated opacity foat atop a translucent dark ground, the internal horizon that arises between the rectangular shapes giving the faint allusion of an ocean seen in the darkness of night. Black Blue Painting exemplifes Rothko’s renewed focus on painting on paper in the late 1960s, furthering his decade-long pursuit of conveying the essence of light. A masterpiece of chromatic and compositional nuance, it emanates the incredible sense of control, serenity, and delicacy so characteristic of Rothko’s late works. As such, the present work powerfully anticipates the radical break in Rothko’s mature style that went in hand with his Black and Gray paintings, the last series Rothko would undertake before his premature death in 1970.
Clyford Still, 1948-B, 1948. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo, Image Tom Loonan, Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
When Rothko painted this work in 1968, his status as one of America’s most revered Abstract Expressionists had been frmly secured. While he was enjoying considerable critical and commercial success in a decade dominated by the new movements of Pop art and Minimalism, he nevertheless continued to investigate new possibilities in his art in pursuit of ever greater formal and conceptual formal clarity. Around the same time as fellow New York School artist Robert Motherwell was recalibrating his practice with his radical Open series, Rothko, as Thomas B. Hess noted, appeared to be “clearing the decks for something
Rothko Chapel, Houston. Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
new, freeing himself for fresh experiment. Rothko’s paintings have this nascent excitement” (Thomas B. Hess, “Rothko: A Venetian Souvenir”, Art News, 69, no. 7, November 1970, p. 74).
Rembrandt, Self-portrait as an old man, 1606–1669. Ufzi Gallery, Florence, Image Scala/Art Resource, NY
In this late period, Rothko shifed from working on canvas to paper. The medium bore profound signifcance for Rothko throughout his career, yet it was in the 1960s, and particularly starting in last three years of his life, that he pursued it with an unprecedented focus that surpassed even his preoccupation with working on paper during his Surrealist period in the mid-1940s. In the spring of 1968, Rothko sufered an aortic aneurysm and started working on a smaller scale upon his doctor’s advice. Rothko conceived of his works on paper as autonomous works of art: they presented a crucial part of his artistic probing which he pursued with a remarkable energy and productivity despite his poor health.
– not merely its range and hue, but also its application and interaction. The internal rectangular color felds provide only a glimpse of the underlying translucent color feld as they sofly feather out towards and each other and the edges of the canvas; the tonal background upon which they hover all but disappearing in his ensuing Black and Gray paintings. If in many of Rothko’s pictures from the mid-1950s bands of color clashed energetically, in his last years they seem to emanate from one another – the turbulence giving way to sensuous serenity.
Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, La fne di Dio, 1963. Private Collection, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Fondation Lucio Fontana/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
With its paradoxical ability to simultaneously absorb and refect light, the medium of paper proved essential for Rothko’s decade-long rhetoric of light and color. For works such as the present one, Rothko layered thin washes of paint, ofen allowing colors from bottom layers to show through the top pigment. In doing so, Rothko achieved surfaces that seem to conceal a light source emanating from hidden depths, devoid of any traces of the artist’s gestures as the paper’s fbers soaked up the swathes of fuid paint. Black Blue Painting, as with many of Rothko’s late works, is distinguished by an ominous darkness, yet nevertheless appear as if brilliantly illuminated from within. A great admirer of Fra Angelico, Rothko sought to reduce the range of colors to convey a sufused, mysterious kind of light. “One of the most remarkable of Rothko’s triumphs,” as Michael Butor postulated, “is to have made a kind of black light shine” (Dore Ashton, About Rothko, New York, 1983, p. 189). Black Blue Painting is exemplary of Rothko’s preoccupation with a simplifcation of color in the 1960s
Though this marked chromatic shif has been regarded by some as indicative of Rothko’s psychological state at the time, works such as the present one ultimately presented a continuation of Rothko’s longstanding intent of expressing, through color and form, “basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom…” (Mark Rothko, 1956, quoted in Writings on Art: Mark Rothko, New Haven, 2006, p. 119). Indeed, as Christopher Rothko convincingly argued, the darker palette in many ways was a way for Rothko to clarify “that he was not a colorist, that even his most brilliant hues were simply a means to an end” (Christopher Rothko, “Mark Rothko: The Mastery of the ‘60s”, in Mark Rothko, An Essential Reader, Houston, 2015, p. 146).
Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Painting no. 4, 1961. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Estate of Ad Reinhardt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
As with all of Rothko’s painting, Black Blue Painting evades any form of literal interpretation; its constituent elements coalesce into a total image capable of infnite infection for each viewer. Here, the visual analogies to the classical music Rothko was so inspired by become apparent. “Rothko’s means”, as Brian O’Doherty indeed observed, “are not so much reductive and singular as multiple and orchestral” (Brian O’Doherty, “Mark Rothko: The Tragic and the Transcendental”, in Mark Rothko, An Essential Reader, Houston, 2015, p. 134). Paralleling the unalloyed expression and compositional transparency found in the late work of Johann Sebastian Bach, these are works in which balance, harmony and serenity reign: “Rather than providing us, as popular myth solicits, with a dramatic requiem, they are works of great control, peacefulness, delicacy and distance, like chamber music overheard from the next room” (Brian O’Doherty, “Mark Rothko: The Tragic and the Transcendental”, in Mark Rothko, The Last Paintings, exh. cat., The Pace Gallery, New York, 1994, p. 9). The slower, cumulative tempo of Black Blue Painting urges the viewer to lose oneself in the immense vastness of Rothko’s composition. In an era that values rapidity above all, as Christopher Rothko has argued, “A painting becomes almost a world of its own, where we fnd ourselves caught up and lingering beyond our conscious intention to stay. It is the type of space that erases the tick of the workaday clock, where time, as we usually experience it, is nearly suspended” (Christopher Rothko, “Mark Rothko: The Mastery of the ‘60s”, Mark Rothko, An Essential Reader, Houston, 2015, p. 149). Works such as the present one force us to stop and refect, to suspend the here and now in favor of a deeper meditation. They beautifully make manifest Dore Ashton’s declaration that Rothko “conjured light and he conjured shadow, as painters have always done, but he did so in the service of an ideal that transcended both, and that can only be felt and not thought” (Dore Ashton, quoted in Bonnie Clearwater, ed., Mark Rothko, New York, 1984, p. 13). Portrait of Mark Rothko, c. 1960. Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Jackson Pollock Number 16, 1950 Property Formerly from the Collection of Nelson A. Rockefeller, Sold to Beneft the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro
Property Formerly from the Collection of Nelson A. Rockefeller, Sold to Beneft the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro
23. Jackson Pollock
Number 16 signed and dated â€œ50 J Pollockâ€? lower right. oil and enamel on Masonite. 22 1/4 x 22 1/4 in. (56.5 x 56.5 cm.). Executed in 1950. Estimate Upon Request
Provenance Betty Parsons Gallery, New York Collection of Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York (acquired from the above on December 20, 1950) Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (gifed by the above in 1952) Exhibited New York, Betty Parsons Gallery, Jackson Pollock, November 28 - December 16, 1950 New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, The American Century: Art & Culture 1900-2000, Part II, 1950-2000, September 26, 1999 - February 13, 2000 Venice, Museo Correr, Jackson Pollock in Venice, March 23 June 30, 2002, no. 49, p. 100 (illustrated, p. 101) Literature Michel Tapié and Alfonso Ossorio, Jackson Pollock, exh. cat., Studio Paul Facchetti, Paris, 1952, n.p. (illustrated) Bryan Robertson, Jackson Pollock, New York, 1960, no. 151, p. 207 (illustrated, p. 178) Francis Valentine O’Connor and Eugene Victor Shaw, eds., Jackson Pollock: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Drawings, and Other Works, Vol. II: Paintings 1948-1955, New Haven, 1978, no. 280, p. 103 (illustrated)
Jackson Pollock’s Number 16, 1950, is a truly exceptional work whose formal command is matched only by its unique provenance, having been acquired by Nelson A. Rockefeller and donated to the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro in 1952. Embodying the zenith of Pollock’s iconic “drip period” that he had commenced three years prior, Number 16 draws the viewer into a seemingly weightless galaxy of dripped, splashed and spattered paint. A fligree of meandering lines interweave and dance across the silver surface with the refned degree of controlled chance so characteristic of Pollock’s compositions in 1950, examples of which are housed in such prestigious museum collections including The Museum of Modern Art; New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C and the Kunstsammlung NordrheinWestfalen, Dusseldorf.
Included in Pollock’s seminal exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery in 1950, Number 16 was created fve years afer Clement Greenberg proclaimed Pollock to be “the strongest painter of his generation and perhaps the greatest one to appear since Miró” (Clement Greenberg, 1945, in John O’Brien, ed., Clement Greenberg, The Collected Essays and Criticism, vol. 2, Chicago, 2017, p. 16). Coming of age as an American artist in the post-World War II order, Pollock was anxiously seeking an art appropriate for the exigencies of modern life. His revolutionary “drip technique” fused disparate infuences — ranging from techniques he learnt in the workshop of muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros in the late 1930s to Native American sand painting and the Surrealist notion of automatism — into a revolutionary pictorial idiom that could meet the demands of the modern age. Indeed, as Pollock stated in a radio interview in 1951, “It seems to me that the modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or of any other past culture. Each age fnds its own techniques” (Jackson Pollock, quoted in William Wright, “Interview with Jackson Pollock”, 1950, Jackson Pollock: Interviews, Articles, and Reviews, New York, 1999, p. 20). Number 16 perfectly conveys how, as Kirk Varnedoe argued, the works created in 1950 represented “the massively confdent culmination of Pollock’s three-year engagement with this manner” (Kirk Varnedoe, Jackson Pollock, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1998, p. 52). Having mastered the drip painting technique through works such as the present one, Pollock abruptly shifed to a new body of work, abandoning color and exploring the fgurative again with his monochromatic Black Pourings, 1951-1954. The unfavorable response these new works received upon their debut ushered in a spiral of depression and drinking that would fnd its climax in his tragic and untimely death in 1956. Jackson Pollock in his studio by Hans Namuth, 1950. Image © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, Artwork © 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Nelson A. Rockefeller and the Creation of Modern Art Museums in Brazil Zeuler R. Lima, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis
When Nelson A. Rockefeller donated Number 16 painted by Jackson Pollock to the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) in January 1952, the museum was still temporarily housed in the modern, iconic Ministry of Education and Health. It would take another three years for the painting to move to MAM Rio’s permanent building, the innovative raw concrete and glass structure sitting solemnly on the Flamengo landfll park and looking at the Sugarloaf Hill on the horizon. Rockefeller’s relationship with Brazil had started two decades earlier through fnancial aid for commercial and educational programs, having also helped sponsor a celebrated exhibition of Brazilian modern architecture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1943. His activities intensifed afer President Harry Truman instituted his post-World War II doctrine to contain the advance of Soviet infuence in Latin America and secure the commercial and political interests of the United States in the region.
that the MoMA trustee had given the “Brazilian art situation […] a shot in the arm” (Memo by Carleton Sprague Smith, March 1, 1948, Rockefeller Family Archives, NAR Personal Documents, Folder 100, Box 17, RG 4). Smith helped mediate the frst donation of fourteen major pieces authored by North-American and European artists as early as 1946 to encourage the creation of modern art museums in those two cities. The advice and gifs Rockefeller and his assistants ofered to Brazilian industrialists, entrepreneurs, and collectors leveraged important initiatives to change the artistic and cultural panorama in the country in the late 1940s. The Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, led by the couple Ciccillo and Yolanda Matarazzo and responsible for the creation of the International São Paulo Biennial, and the Museum of Art of São Paulo, which maintained the Institute of Contemporary Art and Habitat magazine led by Assis Chateaubriand,
Given Rockefeller’s qualifcations as a politician, entrepreneur, and trustee of MoMA, he played an enthusiastic and skillful role in Truman’s goals and in the consolidation of capitalism in Brazil. Modern art, one of Rockefeller’s passions, was a powerful symbolic instrument for negotiating the cultural insecurities of an increasingly globalized world and the formation of a middle class of selective consumers in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro was still the capital of the country in 1952 and Brazil was undergoing intense industrial, commercial, and urban development, branching out of its agricultural roots. The new elites of booming cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which had until then found inspiration in European culture, looked at Rockefeller’s actions as a model of philanthropy to stimulate the modernization of Brazilian art. Carleton Sprague Smith, who was an expert on Brazilian and Hispanic culture working for the New York Public Library at the time and hired by Rockefeller to assist him in his South American undertaking, noted
Nelson A. Rockefeller visiting the Museum of Primitive Art, New York. Image © Nina Leen/ The LIFE Picture Collection/ Getty Images
Nelson A. Rockerfeller at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1939. Image Getty
headed those eforts. The Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, originally led by Raymundo de Castro Maia, followed suit, becoming the stage for the renovation of Brazilian art in the 1950s and 1970s, ranging from Concrete and Neoconcrete art to the Tropicália Movement. Rockefeller was very much involved in the creation of the MAM Rio – the idea was to have a museum with the same structure and ideas of the MoMA. By the early 1950s, he had donated not only Pollock’s painting, but also works by Robert Motherwell, Fernand Léger, and Yves Tanguy. In response to his generosity, Rockefeller was made an emeritus member of the Rio museum in 1952. This was a meaningful symbolic gesture that reiterated the cultural bond and the fraternity between the two museums and the two countries, as expressed by MAM Rio’s Vice President Francisco Clementino Santiago Dantas afer the ceremony.
“Mr. Nelson Rockefeller: I have the honor to hand you the title of redeemed member of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro. This title not only expresses the recognition of the Museum for the donation of the canvases, with which you have enriched our collection. It also expresses the spiritual bond that we wish to keep alive with one of the men to whom modern art owes most, and who has been a sincere friend of the cultural progress of our country.” Francisco Clementino San Tiago Dantas, quoted in “Visita do Sr. Rockefeller ao Museu”, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Bulletin, no. 3, December 1952, p. 4.
The museum’s collection sufered signifcant changes afer an accidental fre consumed the elegant structure in Rio de Janeiro on July 8, 1978, destroying ninety percent of the works deposited in its premises. Soon afer that, MAM Rio rose from the ashes strengthened by donations and loans from major Brazilian collectors, whose focus has been to collect and promote Brazilian art. Jackson Pollock’s Number 16 survived the 1978 incident that changed the museum’s mission, extending, to this day, the original support Nelson A. Rockefeller prided himself on ofering to the renovation of art in Brazil. ❖ Nelson A. Rockerfeller meeting with Brazil’s Carlos M. Pereira at the Pan American Conference, 1945. Image Frank Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Jackson Pollock’s Visual Dynamics Helen A. Harrison Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Director Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, New York Among the many misconceptions about Jackson Pollock and his art is the assumption that most of his paintings are large. In fact, less than a quarter of his oeuvre comprises paintings larger than four feet in height or width, and there are only eight with a dimension of over twelve feet. Yet mural-size canvases like Autumn Rhythm: Number 30, 1950, One: Number 31, 1950, and Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952, have come to defne the image of a typical Pollock painting, creating a distorted impression of both his actual output and his aesthetic. Indeed it’s not the size that embodies the essence of Pollock’s work, but the scale—that is to say, the visual dynamics within the composition, regardless of its measurements. Remarkably, in Pollock’s classic poured paintings those dynamics remain constant, whether the feld is large or small. As the preeminent Pollock scholar, Francis V. O’Connor, observed: “This singularity of gestural scale is the secret of Pollock’s monumentality” (Francis V. O’Connor, “Jackson Pollock’s Monumentality”, in Jackson Pollock: Small Poured Works, 1943-1950, exh. cat, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, Springs, 2006, p. 22). Thus a relatively small painting like Number 16, 1950, is, in concentrated form, as artistically powerful and emblematic as a big one. Number 16, 1950, created when Pollock was at the height of his powers, represents his mastery of the use of liquid paint to express what he called “energy and motion made visible” and “memories arrested in space.” It is one of a group of sixteen known works painted on identical squares of Masonite, a type of pressed wood paneling, smooth on one side and textured on the other. Pollock had scores of these boards, which were lef over from a screenprinting job done by his brother Sanford in 1948 for the F.J. Raf Company. The smooth side of the boards was
printed with baseball diamonds and marketed as the Autograph Baseball Game. When the job was fnished, Sanford had many extra pieces of pre-cut Masonite, 22 1/4 by 22 1/4 inches, and he ofered them to Jackson, who also used Masonite for several of his larger paintings. With a canvas-like texture and frm structure, the boards were ideal for his purpose, and their small size in no way limited his creative imagination. Thirteen of the paintings from this series were included in Pollock’s solo exhibition, from November 28 to December 16, 1950, at the Betty Parsons Gallery, the show that’s widely regarded as the apogee of his career. Eight of them, including Number 16, 1950, were hung fanking Autumn Rhythm. Their uniform size and grouping highlight the amazing variety of painterly efects Pollock was able to achieve within a repeated format. In Number 16, 1950, he primed the textured side with aluminum radiator paint, giving it a pearly ground. Over this he laid a delicate tracery of interwoven gestures—primarily in black, with accents of green, gold, cream and red—that dance rhythmically across the surface, rising in graceful curves and loops as if borne alof by the energy he sought to capture. ❖
“Number 16, 1950, created when Pollock was at the height of his powers, represents his mastery of the use of liquid paint to express what he called ‘energy and motion made visible’ and ‘memories arrested in space.” Installation views of Jackson Pollock at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, November 28 – December 16, 1950 (present work exhibited). Image © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, Artwork © 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Modern Inspiration for a Post-war Era Though the atmospheric efect of Pollock’s paintings have frequently elicited comparisons to the work of Claude Monet, Pollock’s emphasis on line, rather than color, made him heir to Miró, an artist he cited, along with Picasso, as the two artists he admired most. As Ellen G. Landau has argued, mature drip works such as the present one illustrate the continued stimulus that Miró’s work had on the development of Pollock’s distinctively linear allover format. In contrast to complex superimposition of skeins in Pollock’s earlier drip works, the compositions he created in 1950 increasingly became “simpler, airier, more controlled and ‘classic’”(Ellen G. Landau, Jackson Pollock, New York, 1989, p. 183). With the underlying surface ofen remaining visible, rivulets of paint more crisply coalesce into confgurations that indicate a latent resurfacing of imagery, though the holistic efect of the all-over composition complicates the eye’s tendency to establish fgure/ground relationships.
“...the strongest painter of his generation and perhaps the greatest one to appear since Miró.” Clement Greenberg
In Number 16, the two, thickly outlined and continuous shapes at the lower lef and the pointillist droplets of paint that punctuate the swirling composition can be seen to echo the stellar metaphor invoked in Miró’s Constellations, which Pollock would have been familiar with from their exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1945. The domineering black lines of the composition can also be seen to anticipate the gestural black drawings on canvas of 1951, particularly Echo: Number 25, 1951, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The discrete form at the lower center of Number 16 shares striking parallels to the ovoid shape at the upper lef of Echo: Number 25, which as curator Carolyn Lancher has pointed out, likely suggested to Pollock by the “myriad occurrences in the art of Miró and Picasso” (Carolyn Lancher, Jackson Pollock, New York, 2017, p. 45). ❖
Pollock’s Drip Technique Perhaps no other artist has been associated with a painting technique as Jackson Pollock, whose name immediately conjures the image of the artist dripping and pouring paint on his canvases. His drip technique, as Barbara Rose noted, “was in and of itself so radical that Picasso’s distortions looked tame by comparison” (Barbara Rose, Pollock Painting, New York, 1980, n.p.). Though Pollock had briefy experimented with a pouring technique in the early 1940s, it was in the winter of 1946 and 1947 that he achieved his artistic breakthrough. Emulating the techniques of the Navajo Indian sand painters that he had witnessed as a child, Pollock made the decisive shif of placing the canvas on the foor while letting thinned paint drip, fall and splatter onto the surface below. The photographs that Hans Namuth took of Pollock in the summer of 1950 reveal the refned degree of mastery Pollock had achieved within three years of honing this technique. Namuth’s iconic photographs do not conform to the style of the artist’s portrait, but instead radically focused on the process of art making, rather than the static object. The photographs captured Pollock totally immersed in his trance-like, performative act of art making, or “action painting”, as Harold Rosenberg later coined in 1952. As Namuth recalled, Pollock would “take his stick or brush out of the paint can and then, in a cursive sweep, pass it over the canvas high above it, so that the viscous paint would form trailing patterns which hover over the canvas before they settle upon it, and then fall into it and then leave a trace of their own passage. He is not drawing on the canvas so much as in the air above it” (Hans Namuth, Jackson Pollock. An American Saga, New York, 1989, p. 539).
Jackson Pollock in his East Hampton studio, 1949. Image Martha Holmes/ The LIFE Picture Collection/ Getty Images
Namuth’s images evidence how, by 1950, Pollock’s work took on a new focus and quality. As opposed to the bravura approach and more complex superposition of skeins in his earlier drip works, he was developing simpler, airier, and more controlled compositions, as evidenced in Number 16. Pollock claimed to know exactly where the drips would fall even afer the wildest of gestural splashes. What was essential, he asserted in a rare personal notation, was “total control - denial of the accident”. In support of this, Lee Krasner recalled that Pollock’s “assuredness at that time is frightening to me. The confdence, and the way he would do it was unbelievable” (Lee Krasner, “Jackson Pollock at Work: An Interview with Barbara Rose”, Partisan Review, 47, no. 1, 1980, p. 45). ❖
The 1950 Betty Parsons Jackson Pollock Exhibition: A Collection of Masterpieces
The Masonite Works
Number 32, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf
Number 28, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Number 22, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Number 18, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Number 15, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Number 4, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Number 20, The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson One: Number 31, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Selected Works from the Exhibition in Public Collections
Number 7, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Number 1 (Lavender Mist), National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Number 27, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Number 2, Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge
Number 25, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Number 5, Cleveland Museum of Art
Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Other paintings exhibited in this show are in prestigious institutional collections including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (Number 17); The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (Number 29); and The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie (Number 10)
The 1950 Betty Parsons Exhibition When Peggy Guggenheim, who had championed Pollock throughout the early 1940s, closed her Art of This Century Gallery to return to Europe in 1947, she had trouble fnding a dealer to take over Pollock’s contract. Betty Parsons, who had opened her gallery in 1946, was the only dealer in New York willing to work with Pollock and signed an agreement with Guggenheim: she would handle Pollock’s work until Guggenheim’s contract expired in early 1948, and mount a one-man show the following winter. Parsons represented Pollock throughout his so-called glory years, working with him from 1947 to 1952. Pollock’s second exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery is widely considered the crowning moment of his career. It presented three of his largest and most famous canvases, including Number 32, Kunstsammlung NordrheinWestfalen, Dusseldorf; One: Number 31, 1950, The Museum of Modern Art; New York, and Autumn Rhythm: Number 30, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, as well as his discrete series of Masonite paintings, of which Number 16 is one. The exhibition was voted among the three outstanding one-man shows of the year by Art News, with Pollock ranking second before Giacometti. Seen as the epitome articulation of contemporary art in America, Cecil Beaton famously staged his fashion shoot in the exhibition space that appeared in Vogue in March 1951.
“Back in the ’40s and ’50s there was a hostility that I was up against. The abstract world was considered cold because it didn’t have fgures. But it had fre, energy, nature, light, space—it concentrated on all those values.” Betty Parsons, Art News, 1979
Once referred to as “the den mother of Abstract Expressionism”, Parsons helped build the careers of not only Pollock, but also Clyford Still, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and Barnett Newman well before success claimed them and while the market for their work was nascent (Grace Lichtenstein, “Betty Parsons: Still trying to fnd the creative world in everything”, Art News, March 1979). A true visionary, she later continued to promote the work of emerging artists, including Agnes Martin, Leon Polk Smith, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns until her death in 1982. As Helen Frankenthaler declared, “Betty and her gallery helped construct the center of the art world. She was one of the last of her breed” (Helen Frankenthaler, quoted in Carol Strick, “Betty Parsons’s 2 Lives: She Was Artist, Too”, The New York Times, June 28, 1992, online).
Betty Parsons in her New York gallery. Image Eliot Elisofon/ The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Jackson Pollock: A Breakthrough
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, 1949. Image Martha Holmes/ The LIFE Picture Collection/ Getty Images
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner outside their East Hampton home. Image Martha Holmes/The LIFE Premium Collection/Getty Images
Jackson Pollock in his studio by Hans Namuth, 1950. Image © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, Artwork © 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Peggy Guggenheim and Jackson Pollock at the Guggenheim residence, New York, 1946. Image George Karger/Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, New York
The Irascibles. Image Nina Leen/ The LIFE Picture Collection/ Getty Images
Pollock and Lee Krasner marry on October 25, 1945 and in November move to their new house in Springs, East Hampton. The large barn on the property becomes Pollock’s studio.
Pollock achieves his artistic breakthrough of the “drip technique” in the winter of 1946-1947. He continues to refne this technique until 1950.
First solo exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery in January 1948. Pollock begins treatment for alcoholism and is able to stop drinking for two years.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York acquires the artist’s 1948 canvas Number 1A in January 1950.
Peggy Guggenheim, who gave Pollock his frst solo show in 1943, closes Art of This Century. Betty Parsons takes over the contract in May 1947.
Jackson Pollock’s tragic death in 1956 crystallized a larger than life cultural myth that had been nearly a decade in the making. The genesis of Pollock’s legend can be traced back to 1947 when the artist started developing his revolutionary drip and pour technique with a vigor and focus that was unprecedented in his career. At the time, he had recently moved from Manhattan to the countryside in East Hampton with his wife Lee Krasner and, shielded from the distraction of the city, began treatment for alcoholism. These favorable conditions ushered in an unprecedented period of productivity. Within a period of just three years, Pollock created what would become
Life magazine publishes “Jackson Pollock: Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?” on August 8, 1949.
Pollock supports the open letter rejecting The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition American Painting Today–1950. The letter was underwritten by artists such a Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell. Together they would become known as The Irascibles.
his greatest artistic achievements – his allover paintings sending shockwaves through not just the art world, but the public at large. In 1949, just one year afer the frst exhibition of drip paintings at the Betty Parsons Gallery, Pollock was rocketed to fame when Life magazine featured him with a four-page spread that asked “Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?” The image of Pollock — posing coolly with paintsplattered dungarees and a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth — boldly announced the arrival of a truly American artist, one who upended all convention by
“Considerably younger than Gorky and de Kooning, Jackson Pollock…has developed perhaps the most original art among the painters of his generation.” Alfred J. Barr, ArtNews, Summer 1950 Hans Namuth portrait of Jackson Pollock in front of his barn, East Hampton, summer of 1950. Image © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography
Jackson Pollock at the Betty Parsons Gallery, November 1950. Image © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, Artwork © 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
1951 Pollock is among the six artists selected to exhibit at the U.S. Pavilion at the XXV Venice Biennale from June 8 to October 15, 1950. Hans Namuth begins photographing Pollock painting in his barn studio in July 1950. Pollock’s second solo show at the Betty Parsons Gallery opens and runs from 28 November 1950 to 16 December 1950. Number 16 is hung fanking Autumn Rhythm, and is acquired by Nelson Rockefeller.
Art News votes the exhibition the three outstanding one-man shows of 1950, with Pollock ranking second before Giacometti. Life magazine publishes a photo story on The Irascibles on January 15, 1951.
Pollock returns to partial fguration, resulting in his series of Black Pourings that are exhibited at the Betty Parsons Gallery from November 26 to December 15. The unfavorable response these new works received upon their debut ushered in a spiral of depression and drinking.
1952 Nelson Rockefeller donates Number 16 to the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro.
1956 Pollock dies in a car accident.
Cecil Beaton’s photoshoot from the Betty Parsons Gallery exhibition appears in Vogue in March 1951
creating his paintings in a barn, using not a palette but aluminum cans of paint. It was the beginning of a new era. Though Pollock’s works were divisive, the answer to Life magazine’s tongue-in-cheek question was resoundingly afrmative from critics and institutions alike. That summer, Hans Namuth began photographing Pollock while he painted in his studio and in the autumn Paul Falkenberg to documented Pollock in action on flm — these images would come to function like a double-edged sword in the creation of Pollock’s myth-like status as action painter, dancing dripper, and sullen rebel in the ensuing years.
Nelson A. Rockefeller visiting the Museum of Primitive Art, New York. Image © Nina Leen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Pollock’s exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery, which opened on 28 November 1950, bookended what is now widely considered the most signifcant and transformative year in his career. Though not commercially successful, it garnered Pollock overwhelming critical acclaim – leading some to laud this exhibition as “his richest and most exciting to date” (Belle Krasne, Art Digest, December 1, 1950, in Jackson Pollock, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1967, p. 56).
Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro Founded in 1948, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) is one of the most prestigious museums in Brazil. As one of a few private non-proft institutions, it occupies a key position in the Brazilian art world as a hub for the consolidation and spread of art and culture. Jackson Pollock’s Number 16 has been a treasured part of the permanent collection for nearly seven decades, since Nelson A. Rockefeller generously donated the work to the museum in 1952. On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, it is the museum’s aim to focus on its self-sustainability to further its mission of showcasing the art of Brazil. MAM Rio has a rich tradition of acting as a haven for avant-garde expression and experimentalism. Since 1958, MAM Rio has been housed in a building specially designed by the architect Afonso Eduardo Reidy, now considered a landmark of the modernist movement in Brazil. The birthplace of many of Brazil’s artistic movements, it has been a point of reference for diferent tendencies over the years, such as Grupo Frente, which was founded by artist and MAM Rio educator Ivan Serpa in 1954 and formed by artists including Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, and Lygia Pape. It furthermore mounted seminal exhibitions such as Neoconcretism and The Printing Studio, both in 1959, and New Brazilian Objectivity in 1967. Meanwhile, it also provided inspiration for the movement of Cinema Novo in the 1960s, Cinema Marginal in the 1970s, and supported the production of independent shorts and documentaries throughout the past decades. Beyond MAM Rio’s proud tradition as a living lab for artists, it fulflls the important mission of preserving and showcasing the production of Brazilian modern art from the 1920s up to the present day. Since 1993, the museum’s collection has included over 6,000 items on permanent loan from the Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection, recognized around the world as the most comprehensive collection of Brazilian modern and contemporary art. More recently, MAM Rio received the Joaquim Paiva Collection on permanent loan, featuring nearly 2,000 works of Brazilian and international photography.
Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Property from an Important Private Collection
24. Henri Laurens
La Lune incised with the artist’s monogram “HL” on the right side of the base. white marble. 36 5/8 x 14 3/4 x 17 3/8 in. (93 x 37.4 x 44 cm.). Executed in 1946. Estimate $1,500,000-2,000,000
Provenance Studio of the Artist Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (archive photo no. 7595 and archive no. 7596) André Emmerich Gallery, New York Enid Annenberg Haupt, New York Estate of Evelyn Annenberg Hall, New York Christie’s, New York, November 6, 2008, lot 4 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Literature Werner Hofmann, Henri Laurens: Sculptures, Stuttgart, 1970, p. 219 (illustrated, p. 201)
The apotheosis of Henri Laurens’ sculptural œuvre, La Lune, 1946, is emblematic of the visual simplicity the artist sought to achieve in the last decade of his life. Created in the wake of World War II, the present work’s kneeling female fgure conveys the air of serenity and balance that pervaded the artist’s sculptural output following the war. Imbued with mythological references to the moon, La Lune ofers a striking formal investigation of the centuries old tradition of the female nude. A rare example in marble within Laurens’ oeuvre, La Lune represents the most accomplished iteration of this subject that the artist also explored in two bronze examples and is furthermore distinguished
Venus of Rhodes, 1st century. Archaeological Museum, Rhodes, Image Alinari/Art Resource, NY
Pablo Picasso, Bather with Beach Ball, 1932. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
by its exceptional provenance, having formerly resided in the revered collection of Enid Annenberg Haupt. Executed at the culminating point of Laurens’ sculptural innovation, La Lune marked the very moment when his practice gained wider international acclaim. It was only shortly afer that Laurens was included in the Venice Biennale in both 1948 and 1950, and bestowed a major retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1951. With La Lune, Laurens was returning to many of the formal and thematic tenets that had informed his practice prior to World War II. He had begun sculpting at the turn of the century, initially creating works that refected the infuence of Auguste Rodin, but swifly thereafer turned to Cubism as he entered a lifelong friendship with Georges Braque. He became deeply immersed within the Parisian avant-garde alongside Juan Gris, Amadeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso. Like Picasso, Laurens turned to Classicism afer World War I, shifing away from the angular style of his early cubist sculpture and began employing traditional materials such as bronze and marble. Embracing a more biomorphic and organic approach to sculpture, he sought to convey the fgure as a whole, rather than a
Henri Matisse, Dance (I), 1909. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Succession H. Matisse/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
of Great Britain, London, 1971, pp. 17-20). While imbued with rich symbolism, La Lune perhaps above all exemplifes the remarkable formal achievements Laurens achieved in his sculptural practice.
sum of its parts. Bearing the cyclical promise of “eternal return” that Werner Hofmann identifed at the core of Laurens’ oeuvre, La Lune can be seen as a culminating point of this stylistic evolution that saw Laurens return to the Greco-Roman themes of his oeuvre in the late 1920s (Werner Hofmann, The Sculpture of Henri Laurens, New York, 1970, p. 43). While the works Laurens conceived during France’s occupation from 1940 to 1944 exuded a sense of sorrow, the present work conveys hope and renewal. In this period, the female form became Laurens’ almost exclusive focus as seen in sculptures such as La Chevelure and La Petite Baigneuse. By depicting the fgure with upraised arms around her head, Laurens was efectively tapping into an art historical convention that went as far back as Ancient Greece and had been adapted by artists such as Ingres and Picasso as a symbol of femininity for their own odalisques and demoiselles. The gesture alludes to the mythical fgure of Ariadne, who was transformed into a constellation as a token crown of immortality by Dionysus, God of fertility. The convention of depicting her with arms upraised around her head in supplication and lamentation became an iconographic trope for imbuing the female nude with erotic and mythical undertones, as evidenced variously in Ingres’ Le Bain Turc, 1865, and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907. Formally echoing Ariadne’s transcendental metamorphosis, Laurens propels La Lune beyond womanhood into the lunar realm – both through the circular motion of the arms that alludes to the roundness of the full moon, and its piercing white marble surface “that is afected by the alterations of light and shadow on it and changes all the time” (Henri Laurens, “Artist Statement”, 1951, in Henri Laurens: Sculptures and Drawings, exh. cat., The Arts Council
Laurens’ round and curved sculptural forms reveal striking parallels to the practice of his close friend Henri Matisse, whose focus on sculpture in the late 1920s set the foundation for the unprecedented economy of line in his late paintings and drawings. The remarkable dynamism that Matisse achieved with the bodies in motion as in Dance (I), 1909, and with his cut-outs from the late 1940s and 1950s, Laurens managed to convey in sculpture to a degree that challenged Matisse’s bronzes. In La Lune, the female fgure gracefully raises both arms to her forehead, mirroring the swerving position of her legs below as her body seemingly twists unto itself. Meant to be viewed in the round, the sculpture gives rise to the illusion of movement, echoed by the curved nose, all the while retaining a sense of balance and stability. La Lune perfectly exemplifes how, “the most outstanding of [Laurens’] qualities is his ability to reconcile the two opposing imperatives of sculpture: steadfastness and movement” (Bernard Dorival, The Sculpture of Henri Laurens, New York, 1970, p. 46). La Lune beautifully encapsulates the timeless vision that has frmly placed Laurens within the pantheon of 20th century sculptors, ofering us a masterful take on a theme that is both grounded in the past and resolutely modern.
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Property from a Distinguished French Collection
25. Pierre Bonnard
Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes stamped with the artist’s signature “Bonnard” lower lef. oil on cardboard mounted on panel. 28 3/4 x 23 5/8 in. (73 x 60 cm.). Painted circa 1905. Estimate $600,000-800,000
Pierre Bonnard in the garden of Grand-Lemps, 1906. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Image Edouard Vuillard/© RMN-Grand Palais/ Art Resource, NY
Provenance Gustave Geofroy, Paris Paul Pétridès, Paris Acquired from the above circa 1980, and thence by descent Exhibited Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Autour de 1900, 1950, no. 28 (titled La place Clichy le soir, dated 1899) Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, Cent chefs-d’oeuvre des collections particulières, 1961, no. 99 (titled Les Modistes de la rue Royale) Paris, Galerie Paul Pétridès, 50 toiles de maîtres, May - June 1969, no. 10, n.p. (illustrated, dated 1900) Saint-Paul, Fondation Maeght, Bonnard dans sa lumière, July 12 - September 28, 1975, no. 13, p. 113 (illustrated with erroneous dimensions, p. 51) Paris, Galerie Daniel Malingue, Maîtres impressionnistes et modernes, March 14 - April 26, 1980, no. 1, n.p. (illustrated) Geneva, Musée Rath, Pierre Bonnard, April 9 - June 8, 1981, no. 15, n.p. (illustrated) Lausanne, Fondation de l’Hermitage, Bonnard, June 7 October 13, 1991, no. 20, p. 147 (illustrated, p. 52; titled Deux Elégantes, Place Clichy) Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Bonnard, June 11 November 14, 1999, no. 12, p. 58 (illustrated, p. 59) Literature Jacques de Laprade, Bonnard, Lyon, 1944, pl. 3, n.p. (illustrated, dated 1900) Jean and Henry Dauberville, Bonnard, catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, Paris, 1965, no. 317, p. 289 (illustrated) Jean and Henry Dauberville, Bonnard: Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint révisé et augmenté, Paris, 1992, no. 317, p. 289 (illustrated)
Pierre Bonnard, Place Clichy, 1894. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Image Art Resource, NY
In Pierre Bonnard’s Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes, painted circa 1905, the viewer is plunged into the throng of the Parisian nightlife. There is a sense of physical proximity with the women shown in the foreground, who dominate the composition, while the background dissolves into both the distance and a relative blur. Despite the nocturnal atmosphere of this painting, it is dominated by the bright colors of the central woman’s coat, which itself appears to have captured some of the artifcial light of the street, allowing Bonnard to showcase his celebrated ability to examine and capture the greatest subtleties of hue, even in a work that conveys a sense of movement. Considering the balance between observation and the rapid motion of daily life in Paris, it is telling that Bonnard would refer to “the work of art” as “a stopping of time” (Pierre Bonnard, quoted in Sarah Whitfeld and John Elderfeld, Bonnard, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1998, p. 47). Alongside his friend Henri Matisse, Bonnard is considered one of the great colorists of the 20th century. His importance has been recognized in numerous exhibitions, and he will be celebrated in a large-scale survey at Tate, London in early 2019. Over the years, Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes has been featured in a number of exhibitions dedicated to Bonnard, as well as in wider-ranging shows. Indeed, when this picture was included in a survey of masterpieces from private collections held at the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris, in 1961, it was referred to as one of the “most important works in Bonnard’s frst style” (Cent chefs d’oeuvre des collections particulières,
“A painting is a small universe that must be self-sufcient.” Pierre Bonnard
exh. checklist, Musée Jacquemant André, Paris, 1961). Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes was one of the works selected for illustration in Jacques de Laprade’s 1944 monograph of the artist, published only a few years before Bonnard’s death. In that book, as in the 1961 exhibition, Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes was ascribed a date of circa 1900, placing it within the period of his “frst style”. It is now believed to have been painted around 1905. Certainly, with the dark background and urban theme, it is clear that Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes was painted relatively near the beginning of his career, only a little more than a decade afer he had given up a life as a lawyer to become an artist. By the time he painted Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes, Bonnard had already gained considerable acclaim, with his works shown in various galleries during the 1890s. His intimate views of Parisian interiors, which ofen featured a bold use of felds of color to decorative efect, were perhaps his best-known works during the period. However, Bonnard was also a keen chronicler of cosmopolitan life in the French capital. Several of the studios that he had
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Moulin Rouge, 1892. National Fine Arts Museum, Prague, Image Bridgeman
during this period were around the rue Pigalle and Place Clichy, giving him easy access to views such as the one shown here. This picture exemplifes the way in which Bonnard was able to transfer the same intimisme that rendered his interiors so evocative to the anonymous throng of life on the streets of Paris at night. The pools of light in the coat and face of the women in the foreground are a blaze of activity, while the background gradually breaks up, veering towards darkness, punctuated only by the glare of windows and advertisements. The subject matter in Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes clearly owes itself to the views of Paris that Bonnard created during his “Nabi” period. These works were created in various media, for instance his painting Place Clichy from around 1894, now in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, his famous poster for La revue blanche from that year, with which it shares compositional elements, and his illustrations in the book Quelques aspects de la vie de Paris, published in 1895. This was the period when Bonnard sought new ways of painting, learning from the radical example of Paul Gauguin, alongside his fellow “Nabis”, the self-proclaimed “prophets”, who included artists Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier and Édouard Vuillard. However, the vivid brushwork and the delicate attention to minute details of color, light and tone in Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes reveal the infuence of the Impressionists, whose works Bonnard had only discovered later. This liberated his palette, as is visible in the luminosity that dominates Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes, especially in the main fgure’s coat and the efervescent decorations of her neighbor’s hat. Considering the infuence of the Impressionists on Bonnard’s work at this time, it is a telling accolade that this painting was one of several by the artist that were owned by the prominent art critic, Gustave Geofroy. A friend and biographer of Claude Monet, as well as a great supporter of Auguste Rodin, Geofroy was also immortalized in a celebrated portrait by Paul Cézanne. Writing about Bonnard in 1896, almost ten years before he painted Place Clichy ou les deux élégantes, Geofroy would discuss the artist in terms that are no less applicable here, “No-one notes more fnely the street’s aspect, the passing silhouettes, the patch of color seen through the thin Parisian mist...It is the poetry of the life which has been, the memory of things…of human beings” (Gustave Geofroy, quoted in “Pierre Bonnard”, Le journal, January 8, 1896, p. 1).
Property of an Important American Collector ○
26. Rembrandt Bugatti
Lion et lionne de Nubie incised with the artist’s signature “R. Bugatti” and stamped with the foundry mark and number “CIRE PERDUE A.A. HÉBRARD 6” on the base. bronze with black patina. 18 1/4 x 50 1/2 x 8 3/4 in. (46.4 x 128.3 x 22.2 cm.). Conceived circa 1909 and cast before 1934, this work is number 6 from an edition of 7. Véronique Fromanger has confrmed the authenticity of this work. Estimate $900,000-1,200,000
Provenance Galerie A.A. Hébrard, Paris (inv. no. 4896bis) (acquired in 1932) Michel Kellermann, Paris Macklowe Gallery Ltd., New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited New York, Macklowe Gallery Ltd., Rembrandt Bugatti, 18841916, March 1979, pl. 24, n.p. (illustrated) Literature Mary Harvey, The Bronzes of Rembrandt Bugatti, London, 1979, no. 17, p. 31 (another example illustrated) Jacques-Chalom Des Cordes and Véronique Fromanger Des Cordes, Rembrandt Bugatti, Paris, 1987, p. 247 (another example illustrated, pp. 246-247) Alain Delon and Véronique Fromanger Des Cordes, Les Bugatti d’Alain Delon, Paris, 1988, no. 11, n.p. (another example illustrated) Edward Horswell, Rembrandt Bugatti: Life in Sculpture, London, 2004, p. 181 (another example illustrated, pp. 182-183) Véronique Fromanger, Rembrandt Bugatti: Répertoire Monographique sculpteur, Paris, 2009, no. 230, p. 309 (another example illustrated, p. 175) Véronique Fromanger, Rembrandt Bugatti Sculpteur, une trajectoire foudroyante – Répertoire monographique, Paris, 2016, no. 234, p. 342 (another cast illustrated)
With quiet grace and power, a lion and lioness pad across the ground together, separated by a whisker. There is a discreet majesty to Rembrandt Bugatti’s Lion et lionne de Nubie, which was originally conceived in 1910, at the highpoint of his career. By this time, still in his mid-twenties, Bugatti had already established an impressive reputation as a sculptor. Of all his subjects, his animals were the most acclaimed—and of these, his depictions of big cats remain a pinnacle. In the case of Lion et lionne de Nubie, these Nubian lions— sometimes classifed as Panthera leo nubicus—are shown as a pair, standing together, surveying the world.
The “lion de Nubie” is renowned for its magnifcent mane, captured by Bugatti with special attention, its hairs picked out individually, radiating, recalling the decorations of pharaohs’ tombs as much as the animals themselves. The big cats in Bugatti’s sculpture have sometimes been identifed with Barbary lions—one of the many groups that has become extinct in the wild in the last two centuries. However, the “nubicus”, or East African lion, has enjoyed a revival thanks to conservation eforts. Regardless of precise identifcation, Bugatti’s sculpture, which stretches three and a half feet along, compresses the might of these lions, concentrating it in the glistening details that have been picked out by the artist. They are sufused with a latent energy that leaves the viewer aware of their raw, wild power. The sense of physical presence in Lion et lionne de Nubie refects Bugatti’s own working practice. Since 1906, although partly based in Paris, he had spent long stretches of time sculpting from life at Antwerp Zoo. He was fascinated by fauna, and at the time, zoos were ofen willing to accommodate artists keen to observe them. In the case of the zoo at Antwerp, one of the oldest in the world, Bugatti provided models for their own museum. He even had a studio there. In the case of Lion et lionne de Nubie, the subject must have seemed particularly apt, as the gates to the Antwerp Zoo are decorated with a celebrated mosaic of a tiger and a lion. Bugatti’s incredible empathy for the animals was visible in the sculptures he made, which are flled with personality rather than just presenting generic impressions of their subjects. Stories were told of animals responding to Bugatti’s presence with afection—the wild seeming tame in his presence. Certainly, Lion et lionne de Nubie captures more than the stately and magnifcent presence of the creatures: they convey a rich sense of character. This is heightened by the dynamic between the lion and the lioness: they are presented as a unit, prowling together. The lions were modelled as separate works and cast as such in additional editions – an original plaster was bequeathed to the French state by Bugatti’s niece and is now in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris – yet the strength of their pairing, expressed through their proximity and intimacy, clearly resonated with Bugatti. It is this crystallization of emotion that has resulted in the enduring popularity of Bugatti’s works.
Mosaic at the Antwerp Zoo. Image PjrTravel/Alamy
Rembrandt Bugatti, Lion de Nubie, 1911. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Image Art Resource, NY Far right: Rembrandt Bugatti at the Antwerp Zoo, 1906. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Image Art Resource, NY
In addition to its profound sensibility, Lion et lionne de Nubie reveals the extent to which Bugatti was able to balance timelessness with modernity. Although they are depicted with subjective accuracy, these animals have been presented with a discreet stylization. Some of the forms of their bodies have been reduced to an almost planar level, hinting at an awareness of the Cubism that had cut such a swathe through the avant-garde in Paris at the time that he had been there. In particular, the mane of the lion has been rendered with striating lines depicting the hairs; these have an almost abstract quality in their rigor, prefguring Art Deco as well as refecting the continuation of Art Nouveau. It was only natural that Bugatti would be positioned to create works that synthesized both the appearance and presence of his subjects and also the artistic developments of the day, as his father was a highly successful furniture designer, whose works are still sought-afer to this day. It was in Carlo Bugatti’s own studio that the young Rembrandt had discovered his prodigious talent for sculpture. Ironically, Rembrandt had originally been slated for a career as an engineer, while his older brother Ettore had
originally been considered the more artistic sibling, even enrolling at the Accademia di Brera in Milan. However, they would ultimately exchange their positions, with Ettore founding the famous car company that still bears the family’s name today. His company would eventually craf tools for the sculptor in its factory, while Rembrandt Bugatti created the mascot—a rearing elephant—for the Bugatti Royale, a vast and luxurious limousine which was also a loss-making labor of love for Ettore. In a sense, both brothers shared a love of beauty and fnesse that informed their work. For Rembrandt Bugatti, this was evident in the technical, as well as artistic, mastery evident in his sculptures, for instance Lion et lionne de Nubie. This was subsequently reinforced by AdrienAurélien Hébrard, whose celebrated foundry cast most of Bugatti’s sculptures, including the seven casts of Lion et lionne de Nubie of which this is numbered “6”. Hébrard was innovative when it came to his techniques, hence his being chosen as a founder by artists such as Auguste Rodin. He was also innovative in his marketing, radically limiting the editions of Bugatti’s works, recognizing the value of rarity and excellence.
Alternate view of present lot
CLEAN SLATE fberglass, metal structure and paint. base 19 5/8 x 216 1/2 x 216 1/2 in. (49.8 x 549.9 x 549.9 cm.), sculpture 275 5/8 x 216 x 216 in. (700.1 x 548.6 x 548.6 cm.), overall 295 1/4 x 216 1/2 x 216 1/2 in. (749.9 x 549.9 x 549.9 cm.). Executed in 2014, this work is 1 of 3 unique color variants. Estimate $900,000-1,200,000
Provenance Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner Exhibited Hong Kong, Ocean Terminal Forecourt of Harbour City, KAWS: CLEAN SLATE, September 18 - October 12, 2014 Shanghai Times Square, KAWS: CLEAN SLATE, May 15 - 31, 2015 Ibiza, La Nave Salinas, KAWS: CLEAN SLATE, August 10 October 10, 2015 Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, October 20, 2016 - January 22, 2017, pp. 84, 195 (illustrated, p. 85)
Towering over its viewers and animating its surroundings with a uniquely uncanny presence, KAWS’ CLEAN SLATE, 2014, comprises the ultimate monument to the artist’s trademark Companion fgure. Recreated in fberglass at a colossal scale, the Companion is captured midstride, holding two smaller, cloned child-like versions of itself in its arms as it moves forward with a resolution and confdence that seems to refect the notion of starting with a “Clean Slate” as its title suggests. Since its unveiling in Hong Kong in 2014 as one of KAWS’ largest public sculptures, CLEAN SLATE has taken a prominent position as the artist’s most recognizable fgure. Not only was it the frst KAWS sculpture of that magnitude to be exhibited in mainland China when it was subsequently erected in Shanghai Times Square in 2015, it was also the key
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1998. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
highlight of KAWS’ major museum exhibition KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS where it was displayed outside of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2016 and 2017. With the fgure inspiring the artist to create smaller versions, both for exhibitions at such seminal venues as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as well as in the form of limited edition toys, it has become a truly global icon of our time that captures the way in which KAWS has irrevocably changed the relationship between fne art and pop culture. It has been with large-scale sculptures such as the present one that KAWS, aka Brian Donnelly, has in recent years claimed his position among the most forward-looking contemporary sculptors of our present age. Like his artistic idols Claes Oldenburg and Jef Koons before him, he scales up pop cultural motifs with an irreverent nod to the grand tradition of sculpture. CLEAN SLATE perfectly demonstrates how KAWS re-contextualizes the role of mass culture in art, based as it is on the Companion character that initially took the form of small-scale fgurines starting in 1999. KAWS, then largely known as a grafti provocateur, began collaborating with the Japanese apparel line Bounty Hunter to create a limited edition of vinyl toys. What began as toy versions radically expanded in the past decade to become supersize works of sculpture, deliberately aimed at dismantling distinctions between high and low art. As KAWS
Installation view of Jef Koons on the Roof at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, April 22 – October 26, 2008. Image Art Resource, Artwork © Jef Koons
Aldo Molinari, Mickey Mouse, 1934. Image © Look and Learn/Bridgeman
explained, speaking of his strategy of blurring the lines between toys and sculptures, “to me they involve the same thought process, so it’s funny that when I work big in bronze, it’s called a sculpture, but something I do that’s small and plastic is called a toy” (KAWS, quoted in Carlo McCormick, “From the Streets to TV to Fine Art Galleries, KAWS Is Everywhere”, Paper, November 4, 2013, online). As the present work exemplifes, KAWS still manages to convey toy-like plushness in the sculptural surface of his monumental works in a manner that echoes Jef Koons’s “Play-doh” sculptures.. A bold afront to the classical medium of sculpture, CLEAN SLATE confronts the viewer with a hybrid character that is emblematic of the visual tactic of cartoon appropriation KAWS has become synonymous with. Enacting a sardonic appropriation of arguably the most recognizable cartoon character of all time, Mickey Mouse, KAWS takes on a subject that previously entered art history through the appropriated images of pop artists Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Yet here the regular reading of the endearing and upbeat cartoon character is disturbed by KAWS’ supplanting of the head with his own eerie skull motif; an irreverent transformation that instantaneously elicits an emotionally weighted sense of the uncanny amongst
CLEAN SLATE on Tour
a familiar audience. At once saccharine and regal, KAWS privileges the potency of hybridity as a creative tactic to challenge and deconstruct cultural boundaries. KAWS taps into the nostalgic potency of universally cherished childhood characters, importantly imbuing them with emotional undertones as he updates them for our contemporary context. KAWS conceived CLEAN SLATE specifcally for his second collaboration with Harbour City, Hong Kong’s largest shopping mall that had previously hosted his frst exhibition in Greater China in 2010. Refecting on PASSING THROUGH, the work that he had created for the frst iteration and featured a seated Companion with its head in his hands, KAWS noted, “I went on a site visit to Kowloon and there was just a sea of people. It’s easy to pass people sitting on the street like this all day long – you don’t think twice – but when you see something on that scale you might stop and think a little more about what’s going on” (KAWS, quoted in “Toy Story 2: This Time It’s Artistic”, The Independent, January 31, 2016, online). KAWS
monumentalizes his Companion with the present work to similar ends, seeking a diverse public to encourage viewers and unsuspecting passersby alike to pause and refect in the maelstrom of our contemporary age. “Companion is a fgure in the world now, and it’s not all great out there,” KAWS has explained. “Even though I use a comic language, my fgures are not always refecting the idealistic cartoon view that I grew up on…Companion is more real in dealing with contemporary human circumstances. I think when I’m making work it also ofen mirrors what’s going on with me at that time” (KAWS, quoted in KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 5). If KAWS’ Companion was caught in a state of isolation with PASSING THROUGH, here he marches resolutely forward with two smaller child-like Companions in his arms in a manner that embodies the optimism and dynamism its very title “CLEAN SLATE” suggests. Like GOOD INTENTIONS, 2005, a large-scale sculpture comprised of a large and small, toddler-like Companions, this sculpture
“There’s nothing that can compare to being in front of a sculpture that people can walk around and view. It’s a totally diferent thing, experiencing a sculpture.” KAWS
ofers a highly intimate portrait of parenthood, not unlike Henry Moore’s Mother and Child sculptures. that is likely refective of KAWS’ own experience of becoming a father at that time. As Andrea Karnes noted, his Companions “seemingly empathize with us while we emphasize with them – plodding through life” (Andrea Karnes, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 49). Despite being imbued with autobiographical undertones, CLEAN SLATE is of universal resonance. Both mourning and celebrating a globalized age of expedited communication, this grand statue reminds us of our
own place within society. In the world of cartoons where emotions and violence are readily sanitized for consumption, KAWS’ evolved hybrids operate in a liminal state between life and death, somehow immune to the relentless appeals to shock made by mass media. KAWS leaves behind art’s romantic anti-commercial idealism, and looks toward contemporary Japanese distribution and the world of fantasy icons. His “X” eyes show blindness in a universe only inhabited by logos and brands – a world of homogeneity and indiference, but also a world where there remains hope and faith in the power of human relations.
David Hockney and Friends
David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj.
Friends, family, fellow artists—they have all become immortalized in David Hockney’s oeuvre. The artist’s sustained interest in the genre of portraiture fnds its earliest precedent in his frst solo show at John Kasmin’s gallery, Pictures With People In in 1963. This distilled interest in portraiture has come to the fore again and again throughout Hockney’s over 60 year career. “I’ve never thought of myself as a portraitist,” Hockney recently mused, “But then I thought: I did portraits all the time.” The present two works evidence Hockney’s fdelity to the genre of portraiture which he has sustained throughout his vacillation between a host of media throughout his career, from painting, to paper, to photography and more recently, digital technology. Portrait of Paul Jenkins, 1963, and Ron Kitaj Reading,
1974, ofer an apt springboard to bring into focus the unique relationships Hockney developed as he forged his way as a fgurative artist during the Swinging Sixties and beyond. It was whilst studying at the Royal College of Art, London in the late 1950s that Hockney met fellow students Allen Jones, Peter Phillips, Patrick Caulfeld and R.B. Kitaj, with whom he would spearhead the Pop art movement in England. Hockney burst onto the London art scene in 1961 when he was included in the Young Contemporaries exhibition at the RBA Galleries. His meeting with the art dealer John Kasmin there led to his commercially and critically highly successful solo exhibition at the gallery in 1963.
“I’ve never thought of myself as a portraitist. But then I thought: I did portraits all the time.” David Hockney
ofen cites W.H. Auden, who in his “Letter to Lord Byron”, wrote, “To me Art’s subject is the human clay, / And landscape but a background to a torso …”. Portrait of Paul Jenkins and Ron Kitaj Reading bring this powerfully into focus, demonstrating Hockney’s preoccupation with the theme of the human fgure that most recently came to the fore again in his acclaimed exhibition 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life that travelled from the Royal Academy of Arts, London, to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sir Roger DeGrey, Peter Blake, David Hockney, and R.B. Kitaj on a carousel in London.
Featured in David Sylvester’s special Sunday Times issue “British Painting Now” and appearing in many television interviews that same year, Hockney was catapulted to fame as the unconventional, daring “young eccentric” artist with a larger than life personality.
As Hockney indeed noted on the occasion of that exhibition, “I’ve really enjoyed doing them [portraits] and I shall go on doing them. I think I’ve found something that I could go on with forever, because people are fascinating, they’re mysterious really. When I get another person sitting there I always think, where do I end and they begin?”
Hockney navigated his way through the art world with remarkable ease as he began traveling to New York frequently where he found himself befriending such eminent fgures as Andy Warhol and The Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Henry Geldzahler. Hockney’s portraits not only ofer a unique snapshot of the art world of the past half century, they are also impressive formal investigations that reveal Hockney’s ability to capture human nature. A true heir to such portrait painting masters as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Caravaggio, Velázquez, among others, it is perhaps not surprising that Hockney
Third Paris Biennale of Young Artists: Joe Tilson, Gerald Laing, Francis Morland, Peter Phillips, Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, Allen Jones and David Hockney, 1963. Image © Joe O’Reilly/Bridgeman Images
Important works by David Hockney from an Esteemed European Collection
28. David Hockney
Ron Kitaj Reading signed twice with the artist’s initials and dated “DH. 74” lower right. colored crayon and graphite on paper. 16 7/8 x 30 3/4 in. (43 x 78 cm.). Executed in 1974. Estimate $800,000-1,200,000
Provenance James Kirkman, London Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 1998 Literature Studio International, vol. 188, no. 971, London, November 1974 (illustrated on front and back cover)
The stylistic rendering of David Hockney’s fellow artist and dear friend Ron (R.B.) Kitaj illustrates the artist’s unmatched ability to capture his subjects in a specifc moment in time. Depicted reading in his London library, Kitaj stands in front of bookshelves overfowing with artistic inspiration: art monographs are interspersed with framed homages to the work of Modern Masters and contemporaneous artists whom he admired. In vibrant blocks of color and illustrations that refect the close level of introspection with which Hockney approached his drawings, he has captured the true essence of Kitaj, who was defned by his love of art, pop culture and literature. Depicted wearing a pink sweater vest, a green collared shirt and cargo pants, Kitaj is instantly recognizable by his beard. His gaze is directed down at the book in his hands, highlighting his reputation as an avid reader and wordsmith. Indeed, Kitaj was as much a renowned professor as he was an artist, both passions that Hockney has succeeded in encapsulating. He also captured what Tate Britain
David Hockney drawing R.B. Kitaj in Vienna, 1975.
curator Chris Stephens describes as “not just the form of the body, its attire and setting, but the personality of the sitter and a sense of time” (Chris Stephens, “Close Looking” in David Hockney, exh. cat., Tate Britain, London, 2017, p. 96). Executed in 1974, the present work highlights the enduring friendship between Hockney and Kitaj, who met as students at the Royal College of Art in London in 1959, when Kitaj was immediately struck by his classmate’s prowess as a draughtsman. Kitaj recalled his frst impression of Hockney fondly: “we were in the Cast Room and I watched him spend his frst week drawing a skeleton. It was the most beautiful drawing I had ever seen in an art school. I ofered him £5 for it and he accepted…We became close friends very quickly, and have been like brothers ever since” (R.B. Kitaj, quoted in Peter Webb, Portrait of David Hockney, London, 1988, p. 22). Until Kitaj’s death in 2008, the two artists infuenced each other’s practices, both equally passionate for observational fgure drawing that would come to defne their practices. Hockney echoed the statements made by Kitaj, calling him “the artist who infuenced me most strongly…It’s partly because I’ve always admired his art enormously… and also because he opened my eyes a great deal
David Hockney, Cecilia in a Black Slip Reclining, 1973. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Artwork © David Hockney
Cover of Studio International, November 1974.
and I always think of things beginning from particular moments when I discussed things with him. I think of my painting beginning properly then” (David Hockney, quoted in Mark Glazebrook, “David Hockney: An Interview” in David Hockney Paintings, prints and drawings 1960-1970, exh. cat., The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1970, pp. 9-10). It was Kitaj who was repeatedly credited as Hockney’s greatest infuence for the renowned double portraits begun in the late 1960s, in which he began to explore the relationship between fgures and the interior spaces that ground them. The mastery of this is exemplifed in the present drawing of Kitaj in his home, where the importance of the library setting is paramount to the fnished composition.
Created three years afer Hockney’s split from his romantic partner Peter Schlesinger, the present work was made during what is perhaps the most prolifc time in the artist’s career. The colored crayon drawings beginning in 1971 are ofen considered the fnest in Hockney’s oeuvre, together serving as an autobiography telling the stories of the portraitist’s travels and experiences with friends. During this time Hockney drew wherever he went, seeking salvation from his heartbreak in his practice. Other subjects depicted in these drawings include Man Ray, Andy Warhol, Celia Birtwell and Henry Geldzahler, each of whom he studied in various settings around the world. Expanding on these early 1970s drawings, Marco Livingstone points out, “the almost reverential attentiveness…is evident in Hockney’s delicately rendered drawings in colored crayons, which reach their highest level in…1972 and 1973 afer separating from Peter. All of these works…were crucial markers in his conscious return to the human fgure—a rejection of the conceptualist and minimalist modes then in the ascendant” (Marco Livingstone, “The Human Dimension”, in David Hockney, exh. cat., Tate Britain, London, 2017, p. 252). It was exactly this embracement of fgure drawing that has come to defne Hockney’s successful career today, helping to establish the artist as one of the most successful portraitists in contemporary art.
R.B. Kitaj home, 2007. Image © Robert Wedemeyer/ R. B. Kitaj Estate
Important works by David Hockney from an Esteemed European Collection
29. David Hockney
Portrait of Paul Jenkins signed, titled, inscribed and dated by Paul Jenkins “Portrait of Paul Jenkins by David Hockney, 1963 at 831 Broadway New York” on the overlap. acrylic on canvas. 60 x 39 3/4 in. (152.4 x 101 cm.). Painted in 1963. Estimate $1,200,000-1,800,000
Provenance Paul Jenkins, New York (acquired directly from the artist) Sotheby’s, New York, November 2, 1994, lot 152 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Literature Paul Jenkins and Suzanne Donnelly Jenkins, Paul Jenkins: Anatomy of a Cloud, New York, 1983, no. 108, p. 260 (illustrated, p. 160; titled Portrait of the artist in his Broadway studio)
Painted in the pivotal year of 1963 in David Hockney’s career, Portrait of Paul Jenkins ofers an intimate look at the artist’s earliest studies of the human fgure. The year afer his graduation from the Royal College of Art in London, 1963 witnessed Hockney’s frst solo exhibition at John Kasmin’s gallery titled Pictures with People In. Immediately following this sell-out show, Hockney achieved true critical acclaim, becoming instantly recognized by the art world at large. It was in
this circle of artists and gallerists based in both London and New York that Hockney frst met the subject of the sitter in the present work, American abstract painter Paul Jenkins. Upon meeting Hockney at an exhibition of his own work at Arthur Tooth & Sons, Jenkins, like others who met the recent RCA graduate, purchased works from him right away. Later that year Hockney traveled to New York where he would meet key players in the American art scene, including Andy Warhol and The Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Henry Geldzahler. It was during this trip that Jenkins invited Hockney to his downtown studio lof to do a portrait, resulting in the present work. In his rendering of Jenkins, Hockney depicts his fellow artist in a seated position from a traditional threequarter profle view. The subject is recognizable by his quintessential gray hair and beard, achieved through a wash-like application of black acrylic, as well as by the bowl of paint sitting atop the table next to him. Refecting the personal touches characteristic of Hockney’s portraits, the artist has also incorporated elements of Jenkins’ own painting practice into the composition—poured vibrant gold metallic paint recalls the staining technique pioneered by the Abstract Expressionist painter in the 1950s. Jenkins recalls the sitting fondly, commenting on Hockney’s astute observations: “The heat was not working well so I had an overcoat on and feece-lined boots. It turned out to be a very good subject. He painted or drew a bowl of paint on the table and said it reminded him of a bowl of gruel. The irony of the red exit sign did not escape him.” The success of Hockney’s close looking as exemplifed by this portrait is achieved through his friendships formed with each of his sitters. His unmatched ability to capture the essence of his subjects—through body language, facial expressions, settings and attires—is similarly refected in the frst painting Hockney ever sold from 1955, Portrait of My Father, which depicts his subject in the same seated position as Jenkins in the present work.
Paul Jenkins, Phenomena, Yonder Near, 1964. Tate Gallery, London, Artwork © 2018 Paul Jenkins
Portrait of Paul Jenkins is uniquely placed in the artist’s oeuvre, straddling both Hockney’s early experimentations with abstraction and also the more
Simultaneously alluding to the artist’s next body of work which would begin upon his move to California the following year, Portrait of Paul Jenkins also showcases a more realistic approach to Hockney’s subject than those present in his earlier works. The details captured in Jenkins’ face serve as a precursor to the artist’s 1970s portraits, while the stylistic motifs in his clothing reference the bold renderings of the Los Angeles landscape begun in 1964. As Tate Britain curator Chris Stephens explained of paintings such as the present work, “the combination of diferent modes of representation within one composition became a characteristic of Hockney’s work of the early 1960s” (Chris Stephens, “Play within a Play”, in David Hockney, exh. cat., Tate Britain, London, 2017, pp. 12, 14). It is precisely this synthesis of various art movements, combined with the act of looking closely that make Hockney’s practice so unique. David Hockney, Renaissance Head, 1963. Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Image © The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation/ Scala/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © David Hockney
naturalistic renderings he would embark upon in the following decades. Indiscernible black forms in the upper right in combination with pooling paint in the lower part of the composition bear similarities to Hockney’s earlier “love” paintings of 1960, which were largely informed by not only the American Abstract Expressionists, but more so by European modernists like Pablo Picasso. Hockney recalls visiting Picasso’s exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London in 1960 at least eight times, consistently referencing him as an important inspiration in his work. Indeed, Hockney “has always regretted never having had the opportunity of meeting the 20th Century artist he most admires” (Peter Webb, Portrait of David Hockney, London, 1988, p. 106). Picasso’s infuence in the present work is evident not only in the graphic black forms, but also in the perspective of the table Jenkins sits at, which appears to be intentionally askew from the vantage point Hockney is painting. These multiple viewpoints in a single image would later inform Hockney’s photographic work in the 1980s. Pablo Picasso, Girl Reading at Table, 1934. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
30. Jonas Wood
Michael and Leslie signed with the artist’s initials, titled and dated “MICHAEL AND LESLIE JBRW 2013” on the reverse. oil and acrylic on canvas. 63 1/8 x 64 in. (160.3 x 162.6 cm.). Painted in 2013. Estimate $450,000-550,000
Provenance Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago Private Collection Robert Blumenthal Gallery, New York Private Collection Christie’s, London, February 12, 2015, lot 140 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited Chicago, Shane Campbell Gallery, Jonas Wood, October 12 – November 23, 2013
Michael and Leslie, 2013, is a prime example of Jonas Wood’s vibrant and textured interior scenes. His use of multiple perspectives and of-key colors articulate a wholly unique vision of the human experience that is simultaneously embellished and genuine. In the present work, Wood’s subjects sit adjacent on a sofa making eye contact with the viewer. Their domestic
Grant Wood, American Gothic, 1930. The Art Institute of Chicago, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © Figge Art Museum, successors to the Estate of Nan Wood Graham/Licensed by licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
space is rendered in stylized strokes to emphasize a depth of perspective that is grounded in observation, but simplifed to pattern. The fattened chromatic planes bear resemblance to Henri Matisse’s cut-outs, while the painterly surface refects the infuence of Vincent Van Gogh’s highly textured still-lifes. Throughout his practice, Wood has consistently referred to the paintings of his pop and modern predecessors, creating a body of work that is uniquely rooted in tradition with a contemporary voice. Each of Wood’s large-scale paintings including the present work is based on handmade collages of the artist’s own photographs. Afer jig-sawing his imagery together into a single arrangement, Wood then reworks the composition through a series of drawings used to plan out the canvas. “I look to drawing frst. I’ll take a picture of the painting and print it out on drawing paper, get the colored pencils and try to fgure some shit out. I’m less of a de Kooning and more like Lichtenstein so it’s a compositional decision, I guess” (Jonas Wood, quoted in Bill Powers, “A Talk with Jonas Wood”, Artnews, January 6, 2015, online). The artist’s use of drawing to work out the formal qualities of his fnal compositions lends itself to the collage-like disjunction of his domestic paintings, the result of which resembles a new form of Op art that is as much fat as it is visually stimulating. This is evident in Michael and Leslie, in which Wood’s portrait subjects appear to be super-imposed onto a pre-existing background. A lampshade to the lef of Michael appears to be on the same plane as the fgure himself, while the fabric weave of the couch beneath Leslie extends outwards rather than recedes inwards, challenging the relationship of foreground and background. In using his own source imagery, Wood’s interiors, landscapes and portraits are also informed by his own recollections. While the artist would have most certainly photographed his subjects prior to painting the present work, Wood was likely also relying on his own memories of them. Central fgures in the Los Angeles art scene to which Wood belongs, Leslie Ross-Robertson and her partner Michael Ned Holte are friends of Wood: fellow artist Ross-Robertson
David Hockey, American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman), 1968. The Art Institute of Chicago, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © David Hockney
owns a contemporary design studio, while Holte is an independent curator, writer and professor at California Institute of the Arts. Wood renders Holte and Ross-Robertson with recognizable features, such as Holte’s long red hair with clear-rimmed glasses, yet keeps their surroundings largely non-specifc. The result is a depiction of what appears to be a traditional home life that recalls the banality of Grant Wood’s American Gothic, whose couple subjects also gaze at the viewer straight-on, while infusing it with something oddly familiar. As David Pagel described of Wood’s most successful double portraits, “from the hobbyist pastime, Wood’s oils and acrylics on linen or canvas borrow charm, earnestness, steady, one-step-at-atime crafsmanship and just the right touch of hokey sentimentality…Wood’s best paintings…make every day spaces and the ordinary things in them look better than ever, as if the rooms themselves were in good moods, and those moods were infectious” (David Pagel, “Review: Jonas Wood upends the everyday at David Kordansky”, Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2012, online). Jonas Wood’s exploration of the human fgure in portraiture has dominated his prolifc practice. Indeed, the artist’s frst solo exhibition in 2006 held at Black Dragon Society, a gallery in Manhattan’s Chinatown known for representing fgurative painters, mostly featured portraits of his own friends. Since then, Wood has continued to paint people depicted in various
settings including domestic interiors such as the present work, sports arenas and artist’s studios. A collection of these portraits were most recently the subject of his ffh solo exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, New York in 2016, which were called “oddly refreshing; they ofer a subtle corrective to idealized renderings of the human form” (Carey Dunne, “The Staged Beauty of the Awkward Family Photo”, Hyperallergic, October 12, 2016, online). In an age dominated by media distortion, Wood’s portraits ofer an alternative for their emphasis on more realistic depictions of the fgure, focusing on individualities that convey a unique level of truth. With an undergraduate degree in psychology, Wood has always been preoccupied with the nuances of human interaction, which explains why portraiture continues to reappear again and again in the artist’s oeuvre. Wood’s paintings are a reminder of the beauty of ordinary life, transforming spaces from his own world into ones that appeal to his viewers through familiarity: “I’m interested in exploring the spaces that I’ve inhabited and the psychological impact they’ve had on me and my memories of them. And then I can create a new memory of that space” (Jonas Wood, quoted in Rebecca Bates, “Jonas Wood at Anton Kern Gallery”, Architectural Digest, August 31, 2013, online).
Roy Lichtenstein, Interior with Mirrored Wall, 1991. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Property of a Distinguished Italian Family
31. Giorgio Morandi
Natura morta signed and dated â€œMorandi 1930â€? lower center. oil on canvas. 21 5/8 x 24 in. (55 x 61 cm.). Painted in 1930. Estimate $600,000-800,000
Provenance Duchess Marguerite Caetani di Sermoneta, Rome Thence by descent to Donna Lelia Caetani Howard, Rome Gifed by the above to the father of the present owners, and thence by descent Exhibited Venice, XXXIII Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, Mostra Retrospettiva di Giorgio Morandi, June 18 – October 16, 1966, no. 259 Bologna, Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio, L’Opera di Giorgio Morandi, October 30 - December 15, 1966, no. 39, p. 74 (illustrated, n.p.) London, Royal Academy of Arts; Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Giorgio Morandi, December 5, 1970 - April 12, 1971, no. 27, pl. 32, p. 16 (illustrated, p. 48) Rome, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Giorgio Morandi, May 18 – July 22, 1973 Oslo, Kunstnernes Hus; Helsinki, Ateneumin taidemuseo, Dal ritorno all’ordine al richiamo della pittura: Continuità fgurativa nella pittura italiana, 1920-1987, February 6 - April 24, 1988, no. XIV, n.p (illustrated) Bologna, Galleria comunale d’arte moderna, Giorgio Morandi: Mostra del Centenario, May 12 - September 2, 1990, no. 44, p. 407 (illustrated, p. 110) Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Morandi: Exposición antológica, June 1 - September 5, 1999, no. 20, p. 118 (illustrated) Turin, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Giorgio Morandi, May 26 - September 10, 2000, n.p. (illustrated) Rome, Studio d’Arte Campaiola, Giorgio Morandi: nelle raccolte romane, March 27 - May 27, 2003, p. 58 (illustrated, p. 59) Luxembourg, Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, Giorgio Morandi et la nature morte en Italie 1912-1962, February 4 March 13, 2005 (illustrated on the cover; illustrated, p. 26)
An exceptionally rare work by Giorgio Morandi, Natura morta invites us into the ethereal microcosm of the artist’s famous table top still-lifes. The painting depicts Morandi’s iconic repertoire of opaque vases, jugs, bottles, cans, knives and boxes, masterfully rendered in an array of subtle earthy hues and dramatically orchestrated across the width of the table. Painted in 1930, the present work is among the largest still-life paintings in the artist’s oeuvre and was the largest of only fve created that year. It has since been prominently included in some of Morandi’s most seminal monographic exhibitions over the past fve decades and is further distinguished by its exceptional provenance, having been acquired by Duchess Marguerite Caetani di Sermoneta and then gifed to a friend in whose family it remained. Living between France and Italy, the American-born Duchess was a passionate patron and collector of the arts, as well as an editor and publisher of modernist literary journals. A true connoisseur, she played a crucial role in championing Morandi’s work – to the extent that she co-organized a group exhibition encompassing his work in Paris in 1934, his fourth exhibition in the heart of the modern art world.
Literature Guido Giufré, Giorgio Morandi, Florence, 1970, no. 19, p. 64 (illustrated) Lamberto Vitali, Morandi: Dipinti, Catalogo generale, Volume primo 1913/1947, Milan, 1994, no. 158, n.p. (illustrated)
Giorgio Morandi’s studio, Bologna, 1950s. Image Morandi Portfolio/Walter Mori/Bridgeman
period, which was characterized by a darker palette, an exaggerated use of chiaroscuro, and, signifcantly, a shif towards abstraction. Deliberately allowing for his brushwork to remain visible, Morandi here weaves a dense composition that achieves the rare feat of suggesting both fatness and depth. While his modulation of paint in some instances captures the appearance of three-dimensional vessels, the knife placed at the foreground and the slender bottle at the upper right become sof and silhouette-like, blurring like shadows into the background. Whereas in Natura morta, 1930 (Vitali 155), Morandi rendered these objects with a defned solidity, here he began dissolving volume through the materiality and application of impasto paint in a manner that clearly sets the foundation for the seminal and ofcited Natura morta, 1931 (Vitali 164).
Giorgio Morandi in his studio, 1964. Image Ugo Mulas © Ugo Mulas Heirs
When Morandi painted the present work he had been pursuing the still-life genre for nearly two decades. Having experimented with the movements of Cubism, Futurism, and, most notably, the Pittura Metafsica (Metaphysical Art) pioneered by Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà in the 1910s, and had been developing his mature, more naturalistic style since 1920. Painted in 1930, Natura morta sits at a signifcant transitional moment within Morandi’s career. In the same year, the artist’s growing reputation had garnered him the chair of Professor of Etching at the Bologna Accademia di Belle Arti and his work was included in the XVII Venice Biennale. A laborious, experimental and diversifed period of artistic research, the 1930s saw the artist produce only a limited number of still-life paintings: only 14 between 1930 and 1932, all but abandoning the subject between 1933 and 1934 in favor of landscapes. Natura morta powerfully articulates the new formal direction the artist was beginning to take in this
Morandi’s still-lifes also gained a palpable emotional density in the 1930s, as can be seen in the dynamic constellation and intense lighting in the present work which imbues the microcosm of his tabletop with elusive tensions. While the present work is then a fgurative image borne from reality, it is also an abstracted and highly atmospheric image that appeals to the viewer’s senses in a manner indebted to 18th century still-life master Jean Siméon Chardin. A contemplative picture flled with latent drama, Natura morta is typical for the overarching multivalence inherent to Morandi’s practice. Throughout his over fve-decade long career, Morandi embraced the still-life as the means to pursue a meditation of art in and of itself. For centuries relegated to the sphere of imitation or the symbolism of vanitas, the subject matter had become favored by modern artists as means of exploring questions of perception. Like his great hero Paul Cézanne, Morandi abandoned the notion of the still-life as a straightforward representation of reality. A veritable modern master of the still life, he instead sought to convey the feelings and images aroused by the visual world through an emphasis on form, space, color and light. Natura morta encapsulates a crucial phase in Morandi’s practice, setting the foundation for the serial still-life variations he would concentrate on from the early 1940s to his death in 1964, and which has come to infuence generations of artists to come.
Property from an Important Midwest Collection ○◆
32. Wayne Thiebaud
Food Bowls incised with the artist’s signature and date “ Thiebaud 05” upper right; further signed and dated “ Thiebaud 2005” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 28 x 22 in. (71.1 x 55.9 cm.). Painted in 2005. Estimate $1,500,000-2,000,000
Provenance Paul Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2005 Literature The New Yorker: The Food Issue, September 5, 2005, p. 10 (illustrated on front cover)
The culmination of over sixty years of painting quintessentially American sweets and treats, Wayne Thiebaud’s Food Bowls, 2005, positions the viewer as a hungry customer standing at a delicatessen counter before a row of four white bowls, each flled with a variety of take-out foods and lusciously rendered against a minimal background. Evocative of the meditative still-lifes and urban portraits painted by his lifelong heroes, including Giorgio Morandi and Edward Hopper, Food Bowls is a testimony to Thiebaud’s virtuosic ability to accentuate the quotidian and overlooked. The superb painting, which graced the cover of The New Yorker in 2005, recalls the European still-lifes of the past while delectably capturing the present, and exemplifes Thiebaud’s remarkable vision that was celebrated this year at The Morgan Library & Museum, New York and the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis.
Wayne Thiebaud, Three Sandwiches, 1961. Smithsonian American Art Institution, Washington, DC, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Presenting us with the artist’s most iconic subject matter, Food Bowls positions Thiebaud in the art historical genealogy of still-life painters, in which he is the heir to renowned masters such as Francisco de Zurbarán, JeanBaptiste-Siméon Chardin, and the great challenger of the conventional genre, Paul Cézanne. It is perhaps Morandi, however, who most conspicuously shaped Thiebaud’s artistic thinking: in a 1981 article for The New York Times, Thiebaud credited his Italian predecessor’s still-lifes with showing him “what it is to believe in painting as a way of life, to love its tattletale evidence of our humanness”, in reference to the still-life’s ability reveal what we eat, and to a greater extent, who we are (Wayne Thiebaud, “A Fellow Painter’s View of Giorgio Morandi”, The New York Times, November 15, 1981, online). Thiebaud has been exploring this truth-telling quality of the still-life genre for sixty years, and it was with the predecessors to Food Bowls that he frst garnered acclaim in the early 1960s, brought about by his solo show at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York and the acquisition of one of his paintings by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Morandi’s infuence on Thiebaud’s oeuvre is still evident half a century later, and the contemplative quality and methodical placement of the vessels and dishes in the Morandi’s Natura morta, 1946, Tate Modern, London, is palpable in Food Bowls; indeed, Thiebaud once characterized his still-lifes that anticipated Food Bowls as an “obvious homage to Morandi” and Chardin (A. LeGrace Benson and David H.R. Shearer, “An Interview with Wayne Thiebaud,” Leonardo, no. 1, 1969, pp. 65-66). However, unlike his European predecessors, Thiebaud abandoned the conviction that a still-life was meant to be a hyperrealist representation of reality. Food Bowls features an impasto-rich surface that is characteristic of Thiebaud’s idiosyncratic technique: the creamy paint of the potato and egg salads emulates the viscous consistency of its subjects while the conspicuous brushstrokes strike a dynamic tension between abstraction and fguration. The three-dimensional quality of this late work due to such a thick application of paint is comparable to that of Cut Meringues, 1961, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. According to Margaretta M. Lovell, this exploitation of impasto highlights “the handmade character of the work, allowing
the work similarly presents a display of deli cuisine that is nearly identical from coast to coast of the United States. Though Thiebaud has typically been considered a Pop artist due to his vernacular subject matter, the painterly style and well-defned shadows of Food Bowls are more aligned with Edward Hopper’s Americana works than Andy Warhol’s seriality and appropriation. The Hopper-esque silhouettes that are evident here are one of Thiebaud’s career-long motifs and are reminiscent of the contours that pepper his painting from almost 50 years earlier, Pies, Pies, Pies, 1961, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento. In a 2001 interview with curator and historian Dr. Susan Larsen, Thiebaud acknowledged Hopper’s infuence on his oeuvre while explaining that his decades-long fascination with comfort food – such as the deli options on the counter in Food Bowls – is due to its ubiquity, noting that it is “available in almost every place in America” (Wayne Thiebaud, “Oral history Interview with Susan Larsen”, Archives of American Art, May 17-18, 2001, online). The New Yorker, September 5, 2005 (present work illustrated). Artwork © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
us to empathetically feel the gesture of the artist’s hand, and draw[s] attention to the character and the act of representational imitation,” enabling Thiebaud to further manipulate the still-life’s natural tendency to divulge society’s secrets” (Margaretta M. Lovell, “City, River, Mountain: Wayne Thiebaud’s California,” Panorama, Fall 2017, online). Thiebaud dared to explore the full potential of raised tactility; in this way, his fresh eye towards texture allowed him to masterfully translate the banal subject of deli food into an engrossing painting. Though Food Bowls epitomizes Thiebaud’s artistic approach, the picture is hardly formulaic. “His style is highly personal, clear and distinct, but he does not paint by ‘formula’,” Donald J. Brewer noted. “His pictures take time and each involves a real struggle for completion” (Donald J. Brewer, “Preface”, Wayne Thiebaud Survey, 1947-1976, exh. cat., Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, 1976, p. 7). Food Bowls reveals Thiebaud’s astute ability to encapsulate everyday America in a single picture of inconspicuous food items. Building on the articulation and wistful quality of his earlier Three Sandwiches, 1961, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.,
The tone of Thiebaud’s sumptuous Americana treats in Food Bowls is hard to grasp: the work is simultaneously nostalgic and ironic, meticulous but chaotic, earnestly painted yet corrupted by a playful olive atop the egg salad. Perhaps this ambivalence – which fuses the solemnity of European art history with a Californian light-heartedness – is what makes it an American picture above all.
Edward Hopper, Automat, 1927. Des Moines Art Center, Image © DeA Picture Library/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Property of a Distinguished American Collector
33. Donald Judd
Untitled brass and blue anodized aluminum. 5 1/8 x 75 x 5 in. (13 x 190.5 x 12.7 cm.). Executed on March 27, 1970, this work is example 1 of 3. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance Leo Castelli Gallery, New York The Helman Gallery, St. Louis Mary King Swayzee, St. Louis Blum-Helman Gallery, New York Private Collection, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited St. Louis, The Helman Gallery, Don Judd, April 3 - 29, 1970 New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, Summer Group Show, June 30 August 18, 1970 (another example exhibited) Pasadena Museum, Don Judd, May 11 - July 4, 1971, no. 39 (another example exhibited) Paris, Galerie Daniel Templon, Don Judd, December 1, 1972 January 12, 1973 (another example exhibited) Literature Dudley Del Balso, Roberta Smith and Brydon Smith, Donald Judd: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Objects and WoodBlocks 1960-1974, Ottawa, 1975, no. 217 (another example illustrated, p. 214; installation view, Pasadena Museum, 1971 of another example illustrated, p. 303; installation view, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, 1972-1973 of another example illustrated, p. 305)
Color and space converge in Donald Judd’s untitled, 1970, an example from the artist’s corpus of progressions that revolutionized the feld of art making in the mid1960s. Stretching over six feet, the wall-mounted work consists of a rectangular brass tube that connects to a progression of fve blue aluminum segments – characteristically separated at intervals that gradually increase as the width of the segments correspondingly decrease. Untitled perfectly encapsulates Judd’s redefnition of the relationship between art object, viewer and surrounding space: regarding the object from all sides reveals that these blue boxes in fact are L-shaped forms that cradle the upper tube, efectively doubling the height and depth of the work and achieving a polarized integration of volume and space. Executed in 1970 as one of three examples, untitled marks the jubilant moment in Judd’s career when, following the survey of his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1968, his groundbreaking practice was celebrated in the seminal 1970 solo exhibition at the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven which travelled to the Folkwang Museum, Essen, the Kunstverein Hannover, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.
The present work’s storied provenance captures a unique snapshot in time. Shortly afer its execution in March 1970, untitled was exhibited in The Helman Gallery in Saint Louis, which was run by the collectorcum-dealer Joseph Helman. Formerly a real estate developer, he discovered collecting via Leo Castelli, Judd’s primary dealer. When Helman decided to open his own gallery in Saint-Louis in 1969, he became part of what Irving Blum described as Castelli’s “group of ‘lieutenants’: Joe Helman in St. Louis, Bruno [Bischoferger] in Switzerland, Ileana [Sonnabend] in Paris, Robert Fraser in England, Gian Enzo Sperone in Italy”, with Blum becoming “Leo’s guy on the West Coast” (Irving Blum, quoted in Peter M. Brant, “Irving Blum”, Interview, March 30, 2012, online). Afer residing in the St. Louis collection of artist and critic Mary King Swayzee, untitled returned to Helman, then at the BlumHelman Gallery in New York that he co-founded with Blum in 1974. Executed in 1970, the present work was built on the innovations that had garnered Judd critical acclaim as one of the key progenitors of the new movement of minimalism in the mid-1960s, though he himself adamantly rejected any such afliation. It relates directly to one of the very frst progressions Judd created in 1964, a red and purple work consisting of fve wooden forms aligned at intervals to an aluminum square pipe that would form the prototype for the untitled progression from 1965 that now resides in the Phoenix Art Museum. Conceived concurrently to his rounded, so-called “bull nosed” progressions, this format would inspire Judd to explore variances in scale, interval sequences, colors and materials in the ensuing years. In March 1970, he returned to this early confguration in two very similar editions that demonstrated the same scale and sequencing of forms: the frst consisting of brass and red enameled aluminum; the second, to which the present work belongs, consisting of brass and blue anodized aluminum. Only twice thereafer, in 1974, did Judd return to this early format that had ushered in his celebrated series of progressions. Resembling neither painting nor traditional relief sculpture, Judd’s progressions convey the vision that had guided him away from painting in the early 1960s,
Barnett Newman, Uriel, 1955. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Barnett Newman Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Donald Judd, Untitled, 1970. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Image Art Resouce, NY, Artwork © 2018 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
namely that “actual space is intrinsically more powerful and specifc than paint on a fat surface” (Donald Judd, “Specifc Objects”, 1965, in Donald Judd: Complete Writings, New York, 1975, p. 181). Made in collaboration with fabricators and new industrial materials, Judd’s three-dimensional objects challenge traditional notions of art making and composition. With his progressions, Judd based the repetition of serial forms and spaces on an internal, mathematical logic. In addition to Fibonacci and inverse natural numbers sequences, for shorter objects such as the present one, Judd applied an additive progression whereby the values of both solid form and void alike continually double. Space then becomes a tangible formal element of the work; no longer a void, it becomes instead a positive entity that guides the viewer’s perception. “The space between,” as Judd postulated, “can be even more defnite than the two objects which establish it” (Donald Judd, “Some Aspects of Color in General and Red and Black in Particular”, in Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works, New Haven, 2014, p. 265). Space, shape, surface and color coalesce in untitled, conveying Judd’s conception of “the thing as a whole”. The cobalt blue and gleaming brass that comprise the work speaks to Judd’s detailed study of color in the works of such artistic forebears as Rogier van der Weyden, Titian, Henri Matisse, Josef Albers, and Mark Rothko, yet it is incorporated with a very specifc purpose in mind. Judd’s early color combinations almost always consist of one or more highly refective, as well as colored, surfaces, derived from a ready-made palette of commercial color samples in order to avoid any metaphorical associations. Color here is assimilated as an inherent, rather than superfcial, quality to the work. True to Judd’s espousal of sensory wholeness, color is then freed from traditional connotations and rendered three-dimensional – so that ultimately, as Judd postulated, “color and space occur together” (Donald Judd, “Some Aspects of Color in General and Red and Black in Particular”, in Donald Judd: The Multicolored Works, New Haven, 2014, p. 275).
Mario Merz, Untitled (A Real Sum is a Sum of People), 1972. Tate Gallery, London, Image Tate, Artwork © Fondazione Merz
Property from a Distinguished American Collection
34. Carmen Herrera
Blanco y Verde signed, titled and dated ““BLANCO Y VERDE” Carmen Herrera.- 1966” on the overlap. acrylic on canvas. 40 1/8 x 45 1/4 in. (101.9 x 114.9 cm.). Painted in 1966. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance Collection of the Artist Latincollector Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2008 Exhibited Dusseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Carmen Herrera – Lines of Sight, December 2, 2017 - April 8, 2018, no. 46, p. 147 (illustrated) Literature Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2016, no. 39, p. 28 (illustrated, p. 139)
The most signifcant painting by Carmen Herrera yet to come to auction, Blanco y Verde exemplifes the achievements the pioneering artist attained in the 1960s. Painted in 1966, this work is one of only 14 known extant versions of Herrera’s seminal Blanco y Verde series that she created between 1959 and 1971. The coveted series is now widely regarded as Herrera’s most signifcant body of work in her nearly 80 year career, with such revered institutions as Tate, London, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, acquiring examples for their permanent
“…to me it was white, beautiful white, and then the white was shrieking for the green, and the little triangle created a force feld.” Carmen Herrera
collections in the past seven years. Remaining in Herrera’s personal collection for over four decades, Blanco y Verde made its public debut at the Kunstsammlung NordrheinWestfalen, Dusseldorf, in 2017 as one of the major highlights featured in Herrera’s watershed retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. This December, Herrera’s undisputed place within the annals of post-war abstraction will be further highlighted in the aptly titled exhibition Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. A perfectly calibrated force feld of pure form and color, Blanco y Verde exemplifes how Herrera broke ground at the same time as artists like Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly. The series presents the culmination of Herrera’s “process of purifcation” that she had commenced 16 years earlier, with her decisive move to geometric abstraction in 1950. Afer discovering the movements of Bauhaus and Russian Suprematism in Paris, Herrera returned to New York in 1954, a city she had frst moved to 15 years prior, and continued to hone her distilled geometric compositions characterized by a precision of line and a dichromatic color palette. Herrera had been highly respected in the cosmopolitan Parisian milieu, exhibiting work alongside Theo van Doesburg, Max Bill and Piet Mondrian, but found it harder to fnd a footing in the male-dominated New York art world as a female, Cuban immigrant artist. Despite close friendships with Barnett Newman and Leon Polk Smith, she worked in relative isolation and obscurity. She was occasionally included in exhibitions with a Latin American focus, yet, as she later stated, she felt “terrible about it. I don’t want to be a Latin American painter or a woman painter…I’m a painter” (Carmen Herrera, quoted in Carmen Herrera, Lines of Sight, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2016, p. 24).
Lef: Carmen Herrera in Paris, circa late 1940s from the flm The 100 Years Show. Image Alison Klayman © Carmen Herrera
Installation view of Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight at The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K20, at Grabbeplatz, Dusseldorf, December 2, 2017–April 8, 2018 (present work exhibited). Image Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf, Artwork © Carmen Herrera
And yet, as Hilton Kramer pointed out in 1968 upon seeing Herrera’s work at the Center for Inter-American Relations in New York, “Though the purpose of this group exhibition is to report on the accomplishments of Latin-American artists living in New York, it is the New York rather than the Latin-American aspect of the enterprise that remains uppermost in the eye of the spectator…Miss Herrera works in a severe, very concise geometrical idiom with complete authority.” One particular work, a Blanco y Verde, specifcally led him to assert that it “is quite the best picture she has yet exhibited” (Hilton Kramer, “Art: Beckman in Black and Black and White”, The New York Times, January 6, 1968, online).
Verde paintings unfold in the same way sculpture does when circumnavigated; they only reveal themselves when seen in person” (Dana Miller, Carmen Herrera, Lines of Sight, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2016, p. 28). Subtle variations in the shape, scale and placement of green and white triangular forms pervade the series, with the compositions wrapping around all four edges of canvas. While demonstrating Herrera’s goal of focusing the viewer’s attention on the materiality of the painting-as-object, the triangular forms, as the artist recently allowed, also appear like cuts in the canvas – suggesting a three-dimensionality that projects outside the confnes of the picture plane.
More than 50 years later this series is now widely celebrated, particularly as it relates to Herrera’s lifelong fascination with three-dimensional structures. As curator Dana Miller indeed observed, “These particular Blanco y
Employing the central tenets of drafing she had learnt in her architecture classes at the Universidad de La Habana in Cuba, Herrera typically based the visual execution of her paintings on arithmetic calculations and meticulous preparatory drawings. The rectangular forms with wedge-shaped slices she imagined on paper clearly correlate to her Blanco y Verde series, as well as anticipate the rare group of Estructuras (Structures). Receiving her second grant from the CINTAS Foundation in 1968, Herrera hired a carpenter to help her actualize the “objectness” of her paintings in three dimensions, yet was forced to abandon the project in 1971 as funds began running low. Only very recently, starting in 2012, has Herrera once again been able to continue this sculptural vision.
Piet Mondrian, Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray, 1921. The Art Institute of Chicago, Image Art Resource, NY
Works such as the present one remained in obscurity for over four decades, carefully selected by Herrera to remain in her small home studio in New York. Unseen to the larger public for more than 50 years, Blanco y Verde exalts the unwavering vision of one of the hitherto most under recognized abstract painters of the past century.
35. Dan Flavin
untitled (to Philip Johnson) pink, green, blue and red fuorescent light. 96 x 8 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (243.8 x 22.2 x 11.4 cm.). Executed in 1964, this work is number 2 from an edition of 3, and is accompanied by a certifcate of authenticity signed by the artist. Estimate $800,000-1,200,000
Provenance Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner Exhibited Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Dan Flavin: Lights, December 16, 2012 March 3, 2013 (another example exhibited) Literature Michael Govan and Tifany Bell, Dan Flavin: The Complete Lights 1961-1996, New York, 2004, no. 46, p. 231 (another example illustrated)
Few artists have defned a particular medium as Dan Flavin, whose pioneering work from the early 1960s to his death in 1996 almost entirely consisted of light in the form of commercially available fuorescent tubes. Executed in 1964 in an edition of three, untitled (to Philip Johnson) was created only one year afer Flavin achieved his artistic breakthrough of employing this industrial readymade to create installations of light and color, or “situations,” as he preferred to call them. Composed of a single vertical fxture with four fuorescent lamps each in pink, green, blue and red, it is among the frst handful
Philip Johnson in front of his “Glass House”, New Canaan, 1964. Image © Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos
of multi-colored works Flavin ever created. Dedicated to the architect Philip Johnson, an early collector of Flavin’s work, this composition held such signifcance to Flavin that he would create another smaller version of it six years later, untitled (to Jean-Christophe), 1972, an example of which is held in the Museum Folkwang, Essen. Drawing the viewer in with its sufused fuorescent glow that shimmers in a spectrum of luminous pastels until it reaches its crescendo in elegiac red, the present work beautifully epitomizes Flavin’s pioneering phenomenological investigation of color and light that would forever alter the course of artmaking in the 1960s. Striving to strip art from its reliance on illusionism, allegory, and narrative, and reduce it to its most essential form, Flavin in 1960 conceived of the groundbreaking idea to make sculptures incorporating electric light. Within the course of just three years, he gave form to this idea by initially juxtaposing light onto monochromatic canvas and then radically removing the canvas altogether with his seminal May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi), an homage to the formal simplicity and potential endlessness he admired in Brancusi’s work. With this single diagonal, fuorescent lamp, Flavin had found the formal and conceptual touchstone that would inform the next 30 years of his artistic practice. Despite Flavin’s deep awareness of the historical and religious symbolism of light in art and his ofen personal dedication of his untitled works, he resolutely refused to attach any symbolic or narrative signifcance to his work. In this he was importantly joined by his close friend Donald Judd, together with whom Flavin became known as one of the progenitors of “Minimal Art”, the term coined by Richard Wollheim in 1965 to describe this new tendency, though Flavin and his colleagues opposed this label. Following shortly afer Flavin’s discovery of the medium of light, untitled (to Philip Johnson) was created in a period of radical research and experimentation. As Michael Govan observed of the works Flavin created in 1964, “Many particular aspects of color in light, and of commercial fuorescent light in particular, were incorporated in Flavin’s work as he gained confdence and experience with his medium” (Michael Govan, Dan Flavin: A Retrospective, exh. cat., Dia Beacon, Beacon, 2004, p. 59). In that year Flavin began to explore the efects of placing multiple,
vertical fuorescent tubes next to each other, resulting in a discrete group of eight multi-colored works comprised of four tubes each measuring eight feet tall. While the majority of these are characterized by the use of his “primary” colors of green, blue, pink and yellow, as evidenced most famously in untitled (to Henri Matisse), 1964, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the present work is unique for its inclusion of the color red. untitled (to Philip Johnson) takes a signifcant position in Flavin’s investigation into the subtle chromatic and perceptual possibilities aforded by commercially available utilitarian fuorescent light. Abutted against one another, each 8-foot tube asserts its own vibrant chromatic quality while simultaneously fusing together to produce an entirely new color on the spectrum. In works such as untitled (to Henri Matisse) Flavin had discovered how the addition of green produces an overall white glow, a surprising efect given that in painting this would result in black. A similar white glow emanates from the present work, yet the addition of red introduces a distinct variation of luminescence. Unable to fuoresce, the color red is produced by coating the inside of the glass tube with pigment — reducing the overall amount of light emitted and giving the elegiac appearance of a subdued, almost solid light source. Adding a forceful, material presence
Dan Flavin at his exhibition Dan Flavin: alternating pink and ‘gold’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1967–68. Image © Stephen Flavin, Artwork Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Barnett Newman, Adam, 1951-1952. Tate Gallery, London, Artwork © 2018 Barnett Newman Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
to the work, the red light both divides and unites the composition in a way that recalls Barnett Newman’s “zips”. Like Newman or Mark Rothko, Flavin thereby creates a new pictorial space that is meant not merely to be looked at, but is to experience. Flavin, who described practice “as a sequence of implicit decisions to combine traditions of painting and sculpture in architecture with acts of electric light defning space”, considered himself within a lineage of historical precursors. Despite his drastic break with conventions of art making, he essentially took the central tenets of his predecessors one signifcant step further by activating space through color and light. As light bleeds into the surrounding ambient space, the work of art comes to encompass both the fuorescent tubes and the space they illuminate. As such, the present work is situated at a crucial infection point in this artistic pursuit, anticipating how Flavin’s interest in the interaction of colored light in architectural space would manifest itself in his seminal room-flling “barrier” installations just two years later. This is particularly underscored in the present work’s title dedication to Philip Johnson. A true paragon of Flavin’s oeuvre, untitled (to Philip Johnson) invites us to revel in the conceptual depth and beauty the artist found in what others overlooked — ofering us an experience that is as all-encompassing as it is transformative.
Property from The Over Holland Collection
36. David Hammons
African American Flag signed, numbered and dated “No. 4 Hammons 90” along the recto header. dyed cotton. This work can be hung in either orientation. 85 3/4 x 55 5/8 in. (217.8 x 141.3 cm.). Executed in 1990, this work is number 4 from an edition of 5. Another example from the edition is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Estimate $1,500,000-2,000,000
Provenance Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner Exhibited Amsterdam, Museum Overholland, Black USA, April 7 - July 29, 1990 (another example exhibited) New York, The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA2000, Open Ends: Pop and Afer, September 28, 2000 - January 2, 2001, no. 287, pp. 273, 545 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 272) New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Contemporary Art from the Collection, June 30, 2010 - September 19, 2011 (another example exhibited)
One of the most iconic works in David Hammons’ oeuvre to date, African American Flag, 1990, confronts the viewer with a subversive reinterpretation of the United States fag in the colors of the Pan-African Flag. As such, it encapsulates Hammons’ persistent strategy of transforming highly charged found objects and materials into complex allegories. Conceived for the watershed Black USA exhibition at the Museum Overholland, Amsterdam in 1990, this work was created during a crucial infection point in Hammons’ career that solidifed his reputation as one of the most relevant and infuential living American artists. Created in an edition of fve, another example resides in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Ten years afer its debut, African American Flag entered the pantheon of art history when the Museum of Modern Art, New York, showcased their example next to Jasper Johns’ Flag, 1954-1955, in the Open Ends: Pop and Afer exhibition in 2000–2001. While there are parallels to Johns’ use of the public symbol, Hammons transformed it with a disruptive approach he described “somewhere between Marcel Duchamp, Outsider art, and Arte Povera” that he had been pursuing since moving to Harlem in the mid-1970s (David Hammons, quoted in Casinò fantasma, exh. cat., The Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S. 1, Venice, 1990, n.p.). Hammons disarms and deconstructs the symbol of the American fag, not to empty it of meaning, but to convey its expanded and fuid scope and imbue it with sharp socio-political commentary.
“I made my fag because I felt that they needed one like the U.S. fag but with black stars instead of white ones. But then who needs stars when we have Michael Jackson.” David Hammons
African American Flag represents Hammons’ return to the loaded motif that had featured two eventful decades earlier in his breakthrough series of body prints. Confronting the burgeoning climate of late 1960s and early 1970s black nationalism, Hammons assertively combined imprints of his body and the American fag. Unfinchingly throwing the virtues of
David Hammons, Injustice Case, 1970. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Image © 2018 Museum Associates/LACMA. Licensed by Art Resource, NY, Artwork © David Hammons
square. At that time, it had been just a few months since Nelson Mandela’s release from imprisonment under the South Africa’s Apartheid regime, a former Dutch colony, and the election of David Dinkins as the frst black mayor of New York City. Coinciding with Mandela’s visit to Amsterdam that year, African American Flag put into focus both American and global histories of institutionalized racism, colonialism, and the struggle for independence; but also ofered a novel symbol of transformation and possibility.
Installation view of MoMA2000, Open Ends: Pop and Afer at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, September 28, 2000January 2, 2001 (present work exhibited). Image Scala/Art Resource, NY
“liberty and the pursuit of happiness” into question, he indicted it, “as a symbol of America’s unkept promises to, and violence against African Americans” (Kellie Jones, David Hammons Rousing the Rubble, exh. cat., The Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S. 1, New York, 1991, p. 16). These undercurrents continue to inform the present work, yet the combination of the iconography of the United States fag with the symbolism of the Pan-African Flag’s colors transforms it into a more ambivalent emblem. Designed by Marcus Garvey to represent the African diaspora in the colors of its three horizontal bands, the Pan-African fag’s red and black signify the shared blood and skin color, while the green alludes to Africa’s natural abundance. Adopted by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League in 1920, it became a potent symbol afrming the existence of black diaspora as a nation, gaining popularity during the 1960s Black Liberation movement and serving as a model for the fags of newly independent countries such as Biafra and Kenya. Hammons’ visual and linguistic sleight of hand results in an open-ended work of art that generates new meanings as the time and place of the viewer’s experience change. When Hammons created African American Flag for the Museum Overholland in 1990, he presented it outside on a mast pole on the Museumplein. Harkening back to Hammons’ street interventions, the work represented a strategic pendant to the United States Consulate fag fanking the public
Nearly 30 years later, in times of racial injustice, inequality and growing nationalism, African American Flag maintains enduring, universal relevance. “It is not only an artwork,” as artist Thomas Hirschhorn indeed summarized, “it is a fag for a new nation, a fag for a new insight, it is a new fag for a new form and a new truth. David Hammons creates a new truth - what more can art do?” (Thomas Hirschhorn, Stifung Sommerakademie im Zentrum Paul Klee Reader, Bern, 2016, online).
Kerry James Marshall, Black Star 2, 2012. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Image Nathan Key, Artwork © Kerry James Marshall
Property from a Prominent Midwest Collection
37. Kerry James Marshall
We Mourn Our Loss #1 signed, inscribed and dated “#1 Kerry James Marshall ‘97” on the reverse. acrylic and glitter on Masonite. 48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm.). Executed in 1997. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance Jack Shainman Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Andover, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Kerry Marshall: New Paintings, March 29 - May 19, 1997 (titled as Elegy For What We Had) Chicago, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago; New York, Brooklyn Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Art; Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art; Los Angeles, Santa Monica Museum of Art; Boise Art Museum, Kerry James Marshall: Mementos, May 6, 1998 – July 30, 2000, pp. 33, 60 Literature Charles Gaines, Greg Tate and Laurence Rassel, Kerry James Marshall, London, 2017, p. 158 (illustrated, p. 63)
Dr. Martin Luther King We mourn our loss commemmorative pin. Image VintageCorner/Alamy Stock Photo
“...a lot of energy was put into changing things to get us to the point where we are now. But being where we are now doesn’t mean that we don’t have to put in the same kind of energy to get us to a place where we ought to be.” Kerry James Marshall
A striking example of Kerry James Marshall’s distinct approach to history painting, We Mourn Our Loss #1 is an iconic painting from the artist’s body of work exploring the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Painted in 1997, this work was a hallmark of the artist’s career-defning solo exhibition Kerry James Marshall: Mementos that opened at the Renaissance Society, Chicago, and travelled to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the Santa Monica Museum and the Boise Art Museum between 1998 and 2000. Exemplary of the recurring theme of commemoration in Marshall’s oeuvre, this tribute to “The Holy Trinity of the Civil Rights Movement”, with We Mourn Our Loss #1, Marshall has created a trompe-l’oeil painting of the very gold-tasseled banners honoring heroes of the civil rights movement such as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, President John F. Kennedy, and Senator Robert Kennedy. The composition has been excised from the domestic scenes of Souvenir I, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Souvenir II, Addison Gallery of American Art. Following on the heels of Marshall’s inclusion in Documenta X in Kassel and the Whitney Biennial both in 1997, the 1998 Mementos exhibition represented the most comprehensive survey of Marshall’s work and frmly announced his self-identifcation as a history painter. Marshall conceived this exhibition as a requiem to the 1960s, yet rather than construct overly historical or political accounts, he characteristically delved into the private and domestic dimensions of this legacy, as
Lef to right: Kerry James Marshall, Souvenir I, 1997. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Image Nathan Keay, Artwork © Kerry James Marshall Kerry James Marshall, Souvenir II, 1997. Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Kerry James Marshall
evidenced in the two interrelated series We Mourn Our Loss and Souvenir. The frst of fve We Mourn Our Loss paintings, the present work sets the visual foundation that Marshall would explore in ensuing compositions. Portraits of King and the two Kennedy brother foat across the black expanse presented in stylized ovals not unlike religious mandorla. Embellished with gold glitter tassels and emblazoned with the words “We mourn our loss”, the work formally mimics the kind of objects sold in the months following their respective assassinations, which, in combination with the widely held belief that they had died serving the disenfranchised, fueled their status as martyrs to the cause. Commemorative banners were a familiar presence in many African American households in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a fact Marshall vividly illustrates when depicting them within his Souvenir paintings within living room settings next to elaborate marble tables and fower vases. These paintings exemplify Marshall’s mash-up of styles, genres and tropes from broader visual culture that subvert distinctions between “low” and “high” art. We Mourn Our Loss #1 is one of the frst instances where Marshall uses glitter, as evidenced both in the tassels and the edges of the panel. In doing
so, Marshall heightens the devotional aspect and commercial sentimentality of these objects, as well as infusing the paintings with concrete allusions to the “decorating-the-decoration aesthetic…observed in African-American homes over sixty years ago” (Richard Powell, “Lamentations, from the ‘Hood”, Kerry James Marshall: Mementos, exh. cat., Renaissance Society of Chicago, Chicago, 1998, p. 32). While emphasizing the objecthood of the work, he also invites the viewer to revel in its undeniable visual pleasure. While derived from this specifc historical context, the We Mourn Our Loss series shows how Marshall decontextualizes and transforms these banners to explore the multivalent nature of commemoration. As Marshall explained, “In the We Mourn Our Loss paintings I lef a blank oval in which viewers can write something that inspires a sense of loss in them. The commemorative banners suggest how the process can be opened up, so that other people can participate in it” (Kerry James Marshall, quoted in “How Kerry James Marshall kept MLK’s memory alive”, Phaidon, online). We Mourn Our Loss #1 introduces this conceptual underpinning in the form of a silhouetted hand that ominously hovers over the white oval, its implied action
Installation view of Kerry James Marshall: Mementos at the Brooklyn Museum, September 11, 1998–November 29, 1998 (present work exhibited). Artwork © Kerry James Marshall
resulting in variably politically and personally charged inscriptions such as “S.N.C.C. O.A.U. Panthers” and “Daddy” in ensuing compositions. The seemingly straightforward phrase “we mourn our loss” suddenly raises the question of whose loss we mourn, who “we” even refers to. There are no easy answers. As Susanne Ghez pointedly asked, “Is it a legacy in which whatever gains towards racial equality…are threatened with becoming tokens? Or is it a legacy in which we have failed to live up to certain aspirations as AfricanAmericans continue to share a disproportionate share of the nation’s socio-economic hardship?” (Susanne Ghez, Kerry James Marshall: Mementos, exh. cat., Renaissance Society of Chicago, Chicago, 1998, p. 5).
Marshall’s work forces us to take another look, not simply at the event themselves, but at the act of remembering. “It is almost as if Marshall’s strategy… is to employ black cultural nostalgia in tandem with the unavoidable blurring, distorting, and fading of memory, so that what is lef are…poignant, evocative histories” (Richard J. Powell, “Lamentations, from the ‘Hood”, in Kerry James Marshall: Mementos, exh. cat., Renaissance Society of Chicago, Chicago, 1998, p. 36). Confronting us with the vicissitudes of memory and history, We Mourn Our Loss #1 is a powerful work that is as relevant today as it will, undoubtedly, be tomorrow.
It is perhaps only apt that Marshall chose to complete the body of work initiated with the Mementos exhibition with Memento #5, 2003, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. A black angel stands at the center of a living room in this painting, symbolically concluding a fraught decade as she draws close a silver curtain that partially obscures portraits of the Kennedy brothers, King as well as Malcolm X — the words “Remember” and “What a Time What a Time” retaining an emphatic presence that echoes into the present moment.
Civil Rights demonstration in Alabama, 1963. Image Bridgeman
Property from an Important German Collection
38. Cady Noland
SLA Group Shot With Floating Head incised with the artist’s initials and date “CN ‘91” on the reverse. silkscreen on aluminum. 75 1/2 x 60 5/8 in. (191.8 x 154 cm.) installed 74 1/4 x 60 5/8 x 10 3/4 in. (188.6 x 154 x 27.3 cm.). Executed in 1991, this work is unique. We thank Cady Noland for reviewing the cataloging for this work. Estimate $600,000-800,000
Provenance Paula Cooper Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1993
Patty Hearst on the cover of the New York Daily News, September 19, 1975
Exhibited Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Emotion - Junge britische und amerikanische Kunst aus der Sammlung Goetz, October 30, 1998 - January 17, 1999, p. 185 Prague, Galerie Rudolfnum, The Centre of Contemporary Art, American Art from the Goetz Collection, Munich, May 24 September 2, 2001, p. 79 Hamburg, Sammlung Falckenberg, Goetz meets Falckenberg, November 4, 2004 - April 30, 2006 (illustrated, p. 32; installation view illustrated, p. 46)
SLA Group Shot with Floating Head explores a hallmark of Cady Noland’s conceptual practice: the media’s distortion of and infuence on America’s collective history. Executed in 1991, a year following the artist’s inclusion in the 44th Venice Biennale, the work was acquired shortly afer its creation and has remained in the same esteemed private collection for over 25 years. The subject matter is Patty Hearst—beloved granddaughter of American publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, whose fall from grace to the domestic terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) dominated American tabloids in the 1970s and 1980s. The unique iteration of this subject matter, which the artist continually explored in the early 1990s, belongs to a series of silkscreen enlargements Noland printed on aluminum for which she obtained source imagery from repurposed, mass-circulated news clippings. Other related works feature notorious political celebrities like Martha Mitchell, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Charles Manson, the latter of which is the subject of Noland’s Mr. Sir, 1993, a cornerstone of the Broad’s renowned collection in Los Angeles. None of these individuals better encapsulate post-war America than Patty Hearst, whose story Noland revisited time and time again. Editioned variants of this unique work are currently housed in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The present work features an indiscernible black and white image, screenprinted atop a minimalist,
aluminum slab which leans against the wall. Blurring the boundaries between three-dimensional sculpture and two-dimensional imagery, the work recalls the minimalist art objects of Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, fusing their formal language with the vernacular of mass media. As espoused by Robert Nickas, “beyond the notion of ‘specifc objects’, as established by Judd and the Minimalists, and site-specifcity…when one looks at the work of Cady Noland one inevitably thinks in terms of specifc subjects” (Robert Nickas, MONO: Olivier Mosset, Cady Noland, exh. cat., Migros Museum, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Zürich, Zurich, 1999, n.p.). Patty Hearst, Noland’s specifc subject for this work, became infamous for her kidnapping by the SLA in 1973. Soon afer her disappearance, the princess of journalism became intimately involved with the SLA’s armed thefs, explosive attempts, and car hijackings across Northern California. Throughout an arduous battle with the courts afer her arrest for a bank robbery in 1976, her reputation oscillated between criminal and victim, making Hearst the perfect anti-heroine—a product of a post-war America characterized by rebellion and radicalism. Indeed, the
Andy Warhol, Tunafsh Disaster, 1963. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Image SF MoMA, Artwork © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
James Rondeau and Andrea Miller-Keller, Cady Noland / MATRIX 130, exh. cat., Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 1996, p. 3).
imagery chosen by Noland depicts Hearst in complete alignment with her captors, armed with weapons and staring straight ahead at the viewer. Born in Washington D.C. and living and working in New York, Noland became increasingly preoccupied with the downfall of American celebrities like Hearst. For the artist, it was not the specifc narrative that Noland was drawn to, but rather Hearst’s objectifcation by the media in a time defned by political unrest, following events such as the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, the Kennedy assassinations, and in turn, a general, growing distrust of government leaders. Of her inspiration for the tabloid works, the artist explained, “I became interested in how…people treat other people like objects. I became interested in psychopaths, in particular, because they objectify people in order to manipulate them. By extension they represent the extreme embodiments of a culture’s proclivities; so psychopathic behavior provides useful…models to use in search of cultural norms” (Cady Noland, quoted in
Over a decade afer Hearst’s release from prison, Noland came across the distressed newspaper clipping depicting Hearst and her fellow SLA members. With silkscreen, Noland printed the image repeatedly onto large sheets of aluminum measuring over 6 feet tall. The present work’s composition is distinct for the foating head of the SLA’s leader Donald “Cinque Mtume” DeFreeze, located in the upper lef quadrant. This leaves the central fgure faceless, surrounded only by the SLA symbol of a seven-headed cobra. The artist’s hand is evident not only in this manipulation of the source image, but also along the right side of the composition, where Noland has dragged her fnger through the white silkscreened ink while wet in a curvilinear line. Similar to Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster paintings of the 1960s, Noland’s tabloid works, and their execution in silkscreen, highlight the challenges surrounding the dissemination of information in late 20th century America, begging the viewer to question where the truth ultimately lies. By using the repetitive medium of silkscreen to illustrate already masscirculated images in multiple iterations, both artists have further exploited the subject matters chosen. Indeed, the series of works to which the present work belongs “stand as…the most potent—and darkest— American pop since Warhol’s ‘Disaster’ paintings of the mid-‘60s” (Robert Nickas, MONO: Olivier Mosset, Cady Noland, exh. cat., Migros Museum, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst Zurich, 1999, n.p.), solidifying their place in the trajectory of post-war art.
Donald Judd, To Susan Buckwalter, 1965. Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
39. Andreas Gursky
May Day II signed, titled, numbered and dated “Mayday II ‘98 4/6 A. Gursky” on the reverse. color coupler print face-mounted to Plexiglas, in artist’s frame. 73 1/4 x 88 7/8 in. (186 x 226 cm.). Executed in 1998, this work is number 4 from an edition of 6. Estimate $400,000-600,000
Provenance Private Collection, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 2008 Exhibited Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Andreas Gursky - Photographs from 1984 to the Present, August 29 - October 18, 1998, p. 18 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 34) New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Speaking with Hands: Photographs from The Buhl Collection, June 4 September 8, 2004, p. 165 (another example exhibited and illustrated, pp. 166, 222) West Palm Beach, Norton Museum of Art, A Show of Hands: Photographs and Sculpture from the Buhl Collection, January 12 - March 25, 2008 (another example exhibited)
Pulsing with palpable energy, May Day II, 1998 is a key example of Andreas Gursky’s pioneering photographic oeuvre. Forming the artist’s iconic May Day series conceived between 1997 and 2006, the work portrays the teeming crowds of Germany’s oldest and most well-known electronic music festivals. The eponymous series not only attests to the artist’s passion for the musical genre, but is a prime example of his continued fascination with the collective structures that shape our behavior. Rendering an idiosyncratically aerial, highly-controlled vision of a cramped concert venue, the May Day series expands upon Gursky’s earlier photographic explorations of the same subject matter with Union Rave, 1995. Stretching over six feet wide, May Day II immerses the viewer in an otherworldly
“I stand at a distance, like a person who comes from another world. I just record what I see.” Andreas Gursky
scene: a shaf of light punctuates a throng of people, the mass thrumming with the vibrations of the bass. Gursky presents his God’s Eye view in almost painterly chiaroscuro, the subtle play on contrast drawing the viewer’s eye to smaller vignettes and details hidden within the broader mass. Other examples of the series are housed in the Kunstmuseum NRW, Dusseldorf, the Kistefos Museet, Oslo and the Castello di Rivoli, Turin, and have been displayed at the Hayward Gallery’s recent Gurksy career retrospective. A former pupil of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Gurksy’s practice has ofen been spoken of within the broader context of the seminal group of artists the Bechers cultivated at the Kunstakademie, later known as the Dusseldorf School. Expanding on the Bechers’ documentarian impulse, Gursky’s investigations focused on the subjects of order, nature, and the human species, delving deep into the exponential capacities of the photographic object. Gursky’s subjects of choice were the pedestrian spaces in which we live our everyday lives: supermarkets, stock exchanges, stores, concert venues, and airports. With May Day II, Gursky efectively puts forward an impossible image; using digital manipulation techniques, he has merged multiple shots to skillfully generate a vast panorama encompassing multiple perspectives – enabling the viewer to encounter scenes ordinarily beyond reach. What ostensibly appear as chance encounters of place and time are in actuality highly curated scenes composed by the artist with a sensitivity to light and rhythm as though he were painting from his own mind’s eye. Executed on a panoramic scale, these scenes take on seeming importance that likens them to the grand tradition of history painting, while the resultant “all-over composition” simultaneously exudes the grandeur of Jackson Pollock’s paintings.
Hieronymus Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights, 1503-1515 (detail). Museo del Prado, Madrid, Image Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
Alongside his stock exchanges, May Day II takes its places within Gursky’s pantheon of imagery that explores humanity as a collective rather than a group of individuals. May Day II presents the uniquely contemporary global phenomenon of music festivals, which bring together people of various nationalities to experience a single moment or event collectively in a way that recalls spiritual pilgrimages. The artist was specifcally drawn to large-scale music events for what he calls their “modern paradox”: while “mass entertainment favors individuality” in the present work, no one face from the crowd can be identifed: individuals gain presence through their proximity to and association with other individuals, creating an amoebalike mass. “Everybody dances alone,” Gursky declared, addressing the inherent paradox contained within collective experiences. “It is an individual experience, but also collective” (Andreas Gursky, quoted in Calvin
Above: Jackson Pollock, Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 PollockKrasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Right: Caravaggio, The Calling of Matthew, 1599. San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, Image Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
Tomkins, “The Big Picture”, The New Yorker, January 22, 2001, online). While Gursky’s May Day series centers on the eponymous music festival, its title also alludes to the politically-charged German holiday equivalent of Labor Day that sees large crowds march the streets to champion workers’ rights. This doublemeaning is heightened with the present work in its decontextualized depiction of the crowd of people. Gursky elides specifcity in favor of a broader investigation into human subjectivity in the age of globalization. This undercurrent is refected in Ralph Rugof’s observation: “This photograph…conveys an eerie sense of hundreds of subjective moments and individual time zones co-existing simultaneously within the all-encompassing framework of the crowd” (Ralph Rugof, “Andreas Gursky: Four Decades”, Andreas Gursky, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 2017, n.p.). May Day II invites us into a multi-sensory space that at once magnifes in intensity as it dissolves into the ephemerality of music, movement, light and space. Blurring the line between the real and the perceived, the individual and the collective, May Day II is as enticing as it is evocative. As Kunstmuseum Basel curator Dr. Nina Zimmer identifes: “few artists have managed to distil the specifc characteristics of a certain culture, the mindset of a generation, or the zeitgeist of an era into a single work. Just as a handful of iconic paintings have shaped our view of the Renaissance, so too has Andreas Gursky captured the essence of the economic and social situation of the late twentieth century” (Nina Zimmer, Andreas Gursky, exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, 2007, p. 69).
Property from a Distinguished Private Asian Collection
40. Marlene Dumas
Cultural Exchange (Mummie wants to go home) titled “Cultural Exchange” lower right; further signed, titled and dated “M Dumas 2008-2009 Cultural Exchange (Mummie wants to go home)” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 39 3/8 x 78 3/4 in. (100 x 200 cm.). Painted in 2008-2009. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam Acquired from the above by the present owner
Art, Los Angeles, in 2008 and travelled to The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and The Menil Collection, Houston.
Exhibited Amsterdam, Galerie Paul Andriesse, 25 or 30 Years Gallery, December 18, 2009 - February 7, 2010
Confronting the viewer with its indelible presence, Cultural Exchange (Mummie wants to go home), 20082009, demonstrates Dumas’s career-long investigation of the human condition. Delicate veils of translucent paint give form to the luminescent body of an unwrapped mummy, its larger-than-life fgure stretching across the narrow expanse of the nearly seven foot long canvas. Touching upon issues of cultural repatriation and ethics of representation, the painting powerfully epitomizes Dumas’ extraordinary ability to explore some of the most challenging issues of our time with painterly virtuosity. Painted between 2008 and 2009, Cultural Exchange (Mummie wants to go home), was created concurrently to Dumas’s preparation for her frst major United States museum exhibition Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave, which opened at The Museum of Contemporary
The present work epitomizes Dumas’s acclaimed ability to explore the fraught relationship between representation and interpretation, particularly as it relates to the photographic image and mass media. Her conceptual painting practice takes as a starting point the images she has collected in her vast visual archive, encompassing art historical reproductions, recent and old news clippings, Polaroids and other photographic imagery. The photographic source image for the present work was derived from a newspaper article published in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant on June 15, 2007, which discussed the dilemma of repatriation surrounding the unwrapped mummy of an Egyptian boy in the collection of the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, a subject the museum itself was then addressing in a series of exhibitions and symposia. Dumas deliberately draws attention to the complicated ethics surrounding historical artifacts such as these, alluding to the article’s headline “Als een mummie naar huis wil” (“If a mummy wants to go home”) and additionally adding “Cultural Exchange” to the work’s title. Much of the debate surrounding Leiden’s mummy was centered on its sacrilegious state of being unwrapped, likely the result of a controversial 19th century practice in Europe. As the de Volkskrant article pointedly asked, “Can people simply marvel at the death of another – in this case the bare and naked death?” (Eric Hendricks, “Als een mummie naar huis wil”, de Volkskrant, June 15, 2007, online). This is a question that Dumas has long been dealing with in painting since the beginning of her career in the 1980s. Again and again, Dumas has been compelled to tackle the representation of death – from works such as A Dead Man, 1988, to more recently throughout the 2000s with close-up portraits of such deceased fgures as Ulrike Meinhof and Marilyn Monroe.
Bust of Nefertiti, 1350 BC. The Neues Museum, Berlin, Image Art Resource, NY
While exploring issues of cultural repatriation and ethics, Dumas ultimately puts forth an image that is beref of any original narrative context. It simultaneously seems to ofer a larger meditation on death and the aferlife that Dumas had explored in such paintings as Snow White and the Broken Art, 1988, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, and her large-scale drawings from 2003, which includes Afer
Hans Holbein the Younger, The Dead Christ in the Tomb, 1521. Kunstmuseum Basel. Image Bridgeman
Photography, The Art Institute of Chicago and Afer All (is Said and Done), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Like Cultural Exchange (Mummie wants to go home), all these works portray full-length fgures in an unusual vertical format that correlates to the dimensions of Hans Holbein’s The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, 1521. While Dumas initially seems to be walking in the conceptual footsteps of Gerhard Richter, her paintings diferentiate themselves from the emotional distance of Richter’s blurred, photo-realist paintings. Dumas’ painting process is transformative rather than mimetic, allowing the physicality of painting itself to undermine the original photographic source material. Relishing in the materiality of paint, Dumas allows her subjects to transcend their origins by transforming the pre-existing source image with delicate brushwork – here rendering the mummy in a shimmering and sumptuous kaleidoscope of pastel color. In doing so, Dumas seems to touch upon the notion, “Death is the eidos of [the] Photograph” that Roland Barthes put forth in Camera Lucida (Roland Barthes,
Camera Lucida, New York, 1981, p. 15). In choosing photographs of death, Dumas takes upon the paradox Barthes recognized in photographing corpses, which results in “the living image of a dead thing” (Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, New York, 1981, p. 79). Dumas appears to take this notion as a point of departure to approach of-proclaimed “death of painting”. As Richard Schif argued in relation to her practice, “When the subject is death, painting is more alive than photography, because it contributes to its own animation” (Richard Schif, “Less Dead”, Marlene Dumas, Measuring Your Own Grave, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2008, p. 146). Painting is a decisive moral act for Dumas. Through it, she achieves in returning her subjects “to a state of something like tenderness, something like life” (Adrian Searle, 2004, in The Image as Burden, exh. cat., Tate, London, 2014, p. 120). It is in works such as Cultural Exchange (Mummie wants to go home) that Dumas shows us the meaning, profundity and potency of painting in an era dominated by the proliferation of images.
The Leiden Mummy, 30 BC–395 AD. National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden
41. Karin Mamma Andersson
The Blank Memories Always Open From the South signed, titled and dated â€œThe blank memories always opens from South [in English and Swedish] Karin Mamma Andersson 2002â€? on the reverse. oil on canvas. 31 5/8 x 110 3/8 in. (80.3 x 280.4 cm.). Painted in 2002. Estimate $250,000-350,000
Provenance Stephen Friedman Gallery, London Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2002 Exhibited London, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Mamma Andersson, October 23 - November 23, 2002 Venice, The Nordic Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia: The 50th International Art Exhibition, Devil-may-care, June 15 November 2, 2003, p. 78 (illustrated) Stockholm, Moderna Museet; Kunsthalle Helsinki; London, Camden Arts Centre, Mamma Andersson, May 5 November 25, 2007, n.p. (illustrated) Literature Eric Pauli Fylkeson, Hinna före kvällen, Lund, 2003 (detail illustrated on front and back cover) Christian Hawkey, “Mamma Andersson by Christian Hawkey”, BOMB Magazine, no. 100, July 1, 2007, online Who is sleeping on my pillow: Mamma Andersson and Jockum Nordström, exh. cat., David Zwirner, New York, 2010, pp. 158-159 (illustrated)
“Mamma Andersson’s paintings present the vision of a familiar world in a progressive state of decomposition.” Midori Matsui
Featured at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003, The Blank Memories Always Open From the South, 2002, is one of Karin Mamma Andersson’s largest and most accomplished panoramic landscape paintings. Summoning a commanding presence, the over nine-foot wide canvas presents the vista of an ostensibly Delf or Scandinavian shore, punctuated by a line of ancient buildings. Setting the foundation for her celebrated painting Heimat Land, 2004, the present work marked the breakthrough moment in the painter’s career that preceded her award of the prestigious Carnegie Art Award three years later. A cornerstone work in Andersson’s œuvre, The Blank Memories Always Open From the South was included in the artist’s solo exhibition at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 2007 that traveled to the Kunsthalle, Helsinki, and the Camden Arts Centre, London. With a nod to the grand tradition of landscape painting, Andersson constructs a sublime and psychologically charged landscape that denotes a vision more dreamlike than real. Grounded in a Scandinavian landscape tradition that encompasses artists such as Ernst Josephson, Edvard Munch and Dick Bengtsson, Andersson’s distinct conceptual painting capitalizes on the confation of real and fctitious images in a manner that strikes similar tones to Peter Doig’s otherworldly paintings. Closer consideration of the present work reveals how Andersson works from appropriated imagery, mostly photographic, as evidenced in the repeated fragments of buildings that unfold akin to a flmstrip, but also in the insertion of Picassoesque sculptures at the lower right. As art critic Fisun Guner observed, highlighting The Blank Memories Always Open From the South as the standout work in Andersson’s exhibition at the Camden Arts Center, the painting “might resemble a 17th-century Delf landscape were it not for the dilapidated buildings on the horizon and the silhouette of the Picasso sculpture in the foreground. These fnely tuned paintings are both dreamily seductive and beautifully melancholic” (Fisun Guner, “Perfectly Packaged Art”, The Standard, October 4, 2007, online).
Peter Doig, Ski Jacket, 1994. Tate Gallery, London, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 Peter Doig/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Pieter Brueghel the Elder, The Census at Bethlehem, 1610–1620. Palais des Beaux Arts, Lille, Image © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY
Inspired by Nordic painting, photography and cinema, Andersson imbues seemingly familiar landscapes with a sense of the uncanny through her distinct handling of paint, unnatural colors and disorienting perspective. Form eludes content as Andersson meticulously details the ancient buildings’ contours with thin, delicate gestures, and shrouds the sky above and water below in washes of gauzy color. Smoother and hazier than the urban elements they surround, the tiers above and below the horizon take on sofer shades: faded yellows, washed out pinks and blues, difusing an air of mystery throughout. Merging the objectiveness of the camera lens with the subjectiveness of the artist’s hand, Andersson employs a contrejour technique as she turns objects into shadowy forms dimmed by their luminous backdrop — mimicking photography’s capacity to capture light. It is telling that Ann-Sof Noring employed photographic terms to describe The Blank Memories Always Open From the South, noting how “The moment is freeze-framed. The ridges of cloud are no longer moving, they are as immobile as the breathless water. The view of a possible classical city proves on closer inspection to consist of symmetrical repetitions” (Ann-Sof Noring, Mamma Andersson, exh. cat., Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2007, n.p.). Andersson’s doubling within this painting – both vertically within the townscape itself, and horizontally
in its refection in the water – is a familiar strategy the artist employs. As American poet Christian Hawkey observed of its efect, “The repetition of mirrored space provides the ghost of a narrative, but one that is open, open-ended, incomplete. It is a space cut in half, a halfspace, one that invites the viewer into an awareness that they are positioned…in a between-space, a space between here and there—a theater” (Christian Hawkey, “Mamma Andersson by Christian Hawkey”, BOMB Magazine, July 1, 2007, online). Liminality is key in Andersson’s work. In both her ominous landscapes and staged interiors, Andersson blurs the line between here and there, reality and imagination. As such, The Blank Memories Always Open From the South encapsulates Andersson’s atmospheric, vaguely anachronistic, universe, one in which, as Jennifer Higgie poetically put in a nutshell, “beauty and confusion go hand in hand, and then dance until they’re dizzy” (Jennifer Higgie, “Morning stands on tiptoe”, frieze, Issue 68, JuneAugust 2002, pp. 68-71).
Edvard Munch, Starry Night, 1923–1924. Munch Museum, Oslo, Image Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2018 The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Sale Information Sale begins at 5pm
Auction & Viewing Location 450 Park Avenue New York 10022
20th Century & Contemporary Art Department
Auction License 2013224
Auction Thursday, 15 November 2018 Admission to this sale is by ticket only. Please call +1 212 940 1236 or email email@example.com
Head of Sale Amanda Lo Iacono +1 212 940 1278 firstname.lastname@example.org
Auctioneers Hugues Joffre - 2028495 Sarah Krueger - 1460468 Henry Highley - 2008889 Adam Clay - 2039323 Jonathan Crockett - 2056239 Kaeli Deane - 2058810 Samuel Mansour - 2059023 Rebecca Tooby-Desmond - 2058901
Viewing 2 – 15 November Monday-Saturday 10am – 6pm Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Researcher/Writer Patrizia Koenig +1 212 940 1279 email@example.com Cataloguer Annie Dolan +1 212 940 1288 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sale Designation When sending in written bids or making enquiries please refer to this sale as NY010718 or 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale.
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Absentee and Telephone Bids tel +1 212 940 1228 fax +1 212 924 1749 firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright & Special Catalogues Coordinator Roselyn Mathews +1 212 940 1319 email@example.com Property Manager Ryan Falkowitz +1 212 940 1376 firstname.lastname@example.org Photography Jean Bourbon Matt Kroenig Kent Pell Marta Zagozdzon
Front cover Jackson Pollock, Number 16, 1950, lot 23 © 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Frontispieces Joan Miró, Femme dans la nuit, 1945, lot 4 (detail) © 2018 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1981, lot 12 (detail) © 2018 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Alberto Burri, Grande Legno e Rosso, 1957–1959, lot 6 (detail) © 2018/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome George Condo, Dreaming Nude, 2006, lot 3 (detail) © 2018 George Condo/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Jonas Wood, Michael and Leslie, 2013, lot 30 (detail) © Jonas Wood
Catalogues Danielle Polovets +1 212 940 1240 email@example.com $35/€25/£22 at the gallery Client Accounting Sylvia Leitao +1 212 940 1231 Michael Carretta +1 212 940 1232 Buyer Accounts Dawniel Perry +1 212 940 1371 Seller Accounts Carolina Swan +1 212 940 1253 Client Services 450 Park Avenue +1 212 940 1200 Shipping Steve Orridge +1 212 940 1370 Oscar Samingoen +1 212 940 1373 Anaar Desai +1 212 940 1320 Daren Khan +1 212 940 1335
KAWS, UNTITLED (FATAL GROUP), 2005, lot 2 (detail) © KAWS Andy Warhol, Gun, 1981–1982, lot 13 (detail) © 2018 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Femme dans la nuit spread © 2018 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris Number 16 spread © 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Inside back cover David Hockney, Ron Kitaj Reading, 1974, lot 28 (detail) © David Hockney Back cover Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982, lot 15 (detail) © 2018 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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Guide for Prospective Buyers
1 Prior to Auction
Condition of Lots Our catalogues include references to condition only in the descriptions of multiple works (e.g., prints). Such references, though, do not amount to a full description of condition. The absence of reference to the condition of a lot in the catalogue entry does not imply that the lot is free from faults or imperfections. Solely as a convenience to clients, Phillips may provide condition reports. In preparing such reports, our specialists assess the condition in a manner appropriate to the estimated value of the property and the nature of the auction in which it is included. While condition reports are prepared honestly and carefully, our staf are not professional restorers or trained conservators. We therefore encourage all prospective buyers to inspect the property at the pre-sale exhibitions and recommend, particularly in the case of any lot of signifcant value, that you retain your own restorer or professional advisor to report to you on the property’s condition prior to bidding. Any prospective buyer of photographs or prints should always request a condition report because all such property is sold unframed, unless otherwise indicated in the condition report. If a lot is sold framed, Phillips accepts no liability for the condition of the frame. If we sell any lot unframed, we will be pleased to refer the purchaser to a professional framer.
Catalogue Subscriptions If you would like to purchase a catalogue for this auction or any other Phillips sale, please contact us at +1 212 940 1240 or +44 20 7318 4010.
Pre-Auction Viewing Pre-auction viewings are open to the public and free of charge. Our specialists are available to give advice and condition reports at viewings or by appointment.
Pre-Sale Estimates Pre-sale estimates are intended as a guide for prospective buyers. Any bid within the high and low estimate range should, in our opinion, ofer a chance of success. However, many lots achieve prices below or above the pre-sale estimates. Where “Estimate on Request” appears, please contact the specialist department for further information. It is advisable to contact us closer to the time of the auction as estimates can be subject to revision. Pre-sale estimates do not include the buyer’s premium or any applicable taxes.
Electrical and Mechanical Lots All lots with electrical and/or mechanical features are sold on the basis of their decorative value only and should not be assumed to be operative. It is essential that, prior to any intended use, the electrical system is verifed and approved by a qualifed electrician.
∑ Regulated Species Lots with this symbol have been identifed at the time of cataloguing as containing endangered or other protected species of wildlife which may be subject to restrictions regarding export or import and which may require permits for export as well as import. Please refer to Paragraph 4 of the Guide for Prospective Buyers and Paragraph 11 of the Conditions of Sale.
Symbol Key The following key explains the symbols you may see inside this catalogue.
2 Bidding in the Sale
Buying at Auction The following pages are designed to ofer you information on how to buy at auction at Phillips. Our staf will be happy to assist you. Conditions of Sale The Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty which appear later in this catalogue govern the auction. Bidders are strongly encouraged to read them as they outline the legal relationship among Phillips, the seller and the buyer and describe the terms upon which property is bought at auction. Please be advised that Phillips generally acts as agent for the seller. Buyer’s Premium Phillips charges the successful bidder a commission, or buyer’s premium, on the hammer price of each lot sold. The buyer’s premium is payable by the buyer as part of the total purchase price at the following rates: 25% of the hammer price up to and including $300,000, 20% of the portion of the hammer price above $300,000 up to and including $4,000,000 and 12.5% of the portion of the hammer price above $4,000,000.
Pre-Sale Estimates in Pounds Sterling and Euros Although the sale is conducted in US dollars, the pre-sale estimates in the auction catalogues may also be printed in pounds sterling and/or euros. Since the exchange rate is that at the time of catalogue production and not at the date of auction, you should treat estimates in pounds sterling or euros as a guide only. Catalogue Entries Phillips may print in the catalogue entry the history of ownership of a work of art, as well as the exhibition history of the property and references to the work in art publications. While we are careful in the cataloguing process, provenance, exhibition and literature references may not be exhaustive and in some cases we may intentionally refrain from disclosing the identity of previous owners. Please note that all dimensions of the property set forth in the catalogue entry are approximate.
O Guaranteed Property Lots designated with the symbol O are the subject of a minimum price guarantee. In such cases Phillips has guaranteed to the seller of the lot that regardless of the outcome of the sale the seller shall receive no less than a minimum sum. This guarantee may be provided solely by Phillips or jointly with a third party. ♦ Third Party Guarantee Where Phillips has agreed to a minimum price guarantee it assumes the fnancial risk of a lot failing to sell or selling for less than the minimum price guarantee. Because the sums involved can be signifcant Phillips may choose to share the burden of that fnancial risk with a third party. The third party shares the risk by committing in advance of the sale, usually by way of a written bid, to buy the lot for an agreed amount whether or not there are competing bidders for the lot. If there are competing bidders third party guarantors may also bid above any written bid. In this way the third party guarantor assumes the risk of the bidding not reaching the amount of the minimum price guarantee.
In return for underwriting or sharing this risk Phillips will usually compensate the third party. The compensation may be in the form of a fxed fee or an amount calculated by reference to the hammer price of the lot. If the third party guarantor is the successful bidder Phillips will report the purchase price net of any fees paid to the third party guarantor.
Disclosure of fnancial interest by third parties Phillips requires third party guarantors to disclose their fnancial interest in the lot to anyone whom they are advising. If you are contemplating bidding on a lot which is the subject of a third party guarantee and you are being advised by someone or if you have asked someone to bid on your behalf you should always ask them to confrm whether or not they have a fnancial interest in the lot. ∆ Property in Which Phillips Has an Ownership Interest Lots with this symbol indicate that Phillips owns the lot in whole or in part or has an economic interest in the lot equivalent to an ownership interest. No Reserve •Unless indicated by a •, all lots in this catalogue are ofered subject to a reserve. A reserve is the confdential value established between Phillips and the seller and below which a lot may not be sold. The reserve for each lot is generally set at a percentage of the low estimate and will not exceed the low pre-sale estimate.
Bidding at Auction Bids may be executed during the auction in person by paddle, by telephone, online or prior to the sale in writing by absentee bid. Proof of identity in the form of government issued identifcation will be required, as will an original signature. We may also require that you furnish us with a bank reference. Bidding in Person To bid in person, you will need to register for and collect a paddle before the auction begins. New clients are encouraged to register at least 48 hours in advance of a sale to allow sufcient time for us to process your information. All lots sold will be invoiced to the name and address to which the paddle has been registered and invoices cannot be transferred to other names and addresses. Please do not misplace your paddle. In the event you lose it, inform a Phillips staf member immediately. At the end of the auction, please return your paddle to the registration desk.
Wifredo Lam 1901-1982 Sur les traces (also known as Transformation) oil on canvas 31 x 22.2 x 22.2 cm. 155 x 125 cm. (61 x 49 1/4 in.) Executed in 1945. Estimate HK$ 12,000,000 – 16,000,000 US$ 1,529,000 – 2,039,000 © Wifredo Lam / ADAGP, Paris - SACK, Seoul, 2018
Art. Design. Hong Kong. 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Hong Kong, 25 November 2018 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong, 26 November 2018 Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong 5 Connaught Road, Central Enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org +852 2318 2000
Visit us at phillips.com Auctioneers since 1796.
Bidding by Telephone If you cannot attend the auction, you may bid live on the telephone with one of our multi-lingual staf members. This service must be arranged at least 24 hours in advance of the sale and is available for lots whose low pre-sale estimate is at least $1,000. Telephone bids may be recorded. By bidding on the telephone, you consent to the recording of your conversation. We suggest that you leave a maximum bid, excluding the buyer’s premium and any applicable taxes, which we can execute on your behalf in the event we are unable to reach you by telephone.
$5,000 to $10,000 $10,000 to $20,000 $20,000 to $30,000 $30,000 to $50,000
Online Bidding If you cannot attend the auction in person, you may bid online on our online live bidding platform available on our website at www.phillips.com. The digital saleroom is optimized to run on Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer browsers. Clients who wish to run the platform on Safari will need to install Adobe FlashPlayer. Follow the links to ‘Auctions’ and ‘Digital Saleroom’ and then pre-register by clicking on ‘Register to Bid Live.’ The frst time you register you will be required to create an account; thereafer you will only need to register for each sale. You must pre-register at least 24 hours before the start of the auction in order to be approved by our bid department. Please note that corporate frewalls may cause difculties for online bidders.
3 The Auction
Absentee Bids If you are unable to attend the auction and cannot participate by telephone, Phillips will be happy to execute written bids on your behalf. A bidding form can be found at the back of this catalogue. This service is free and confdential. Bids must be placed in the currency of the sale. Our staf will attempt to execute an absentee bid at the lowest possible price taking into account the reserve and other bidders. Always indicate a maximum bid, excluding the buyer’s premium and any applicable taxes. Unlimited bids will not be accepted. Any absentee bid must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the sale. In the event of identical bids, the earliest bid received will take precedence.
Consecutive and Responsive Bidding; No Reserve Lots The auctioneer may open the bidding on any lot by placing a bid on behalf of the seller. The auctioneer may further bid on behalf of the seller up to the amount of the reserve by placing consecutive bids or bids in response to other bidders. If a lot is ofered without reserve, unless there are already competing absentee bids, the auctioneer will generally open the bidding at 50% of the lot’s low pre-sale estimate. In the absence of a bid at that level, the auctioneer will proceed backwards at his or her discretion until a bid is recognized and will then advance the bidding from that amount. Absentee bids on no reserve lots will, in the absence of a higher bid, be executed at approximately 50% of the low pre-sale estimate or at the amount of the bid if it is less than 50% of the low pre-sale estimate. If there is no bid whatsoever on a no reserve lot, the auctioneer may deem such lot unsold.
Employee Bidding Employees of Phillips and our afliated companies, including the auctioneer, may bid at the auction by placing absentee bids so long as they do not know the reserve when submitting their absentee bids and otherwise comply with our employee bidding procedures. Bidding Increments Bidding generally opens below the low estimate and advances in increments of up to 10%, subject to the auctioneer’s discretion. Absentee bids that do not conform to the increments set below may be lowered to the next bidding increment. $50 to $1,000 $1,000 to $2,000 $2,000 to $3,000 $3,000 to $5,000 (i.e., $4,200, 4,500, 4,800)
by $50s by $100s by $200s by $200s, 500, 800
$50,000 to $100,000 $100,000 to $200,000 above $200,000
by $500s by $1,000s by $2,000s by $2,000s, 5,000, 8,000 by $5,000s by $10,000s auctioneer’s discretion
The auctioneer may vary the increments during the course of the auction at his or her own discretion.
Conditions of Sale As noted above, the auction is governed by the Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty. All prospective bidders should read them carefully. They may be amended by saleroom addendum or auctioneer’s announcement. Interested Parties Announcement In situations where a person allowed to bid on a lot has a direct or indirect interest in such lot, such as the benefciary or executor of an estate selling the lot, a joint owner of the lot or a party providing or participating in a guarantee on the lot, Phillips will make an announcement in the saleroom that interested parties may bid on the lot.
4 Afer the Auction
Collection It is our policy to request proof of identity on collection of a lot. A lot will be released to the buyer or the buyer’s authorized representative when Phillips has received full and cleared payment and we are not owed any other amount by the buyer. Promptly afer the auction, we will transfer all lots to our warehouse located at 29-09 37th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, New York. All purchased lots should be collected at this location during our regular weekday business hours. As a courtesy to clients, we will upon request transfer purchased lots suitable for hand carry back to our premises at 450 Park Avenue, New York, New York for collection within 30 days following the date of the auction. We will levy removal, interest, storage and handling charges on uncollected lots. Loss or Damage Buyers are reminded that Phillips accepts liability for loss or damage to lots for a maximum of seven days following the auction. Transport and Shipping As a free service for buyers, Phillips will wrap purchased lots for hand carry only. Alternatively, we will either provide packing, handling and shipping services or coordinate with shipping agents in order to facilitate such services for property purchased at Phillips. In the event that the property is collected in New York by the buyer or the buyer’s designee (including any private carrier) for subsequent transport out of state, Phillips may be required by law to collect New York sales tax, regardless of the lot’s ultimate destination. Please refer to Paragraph 17 of the Conditions of Sale for more information. Export and Import Licenses Before bidding for any property, prospective bidders are advised to make independent inquiries as to whether a license is required to export the property from the United States or to import it into another country. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to comply with all import and export laws and to obtain any necessary licenses or permits. The denial of any required license or permit or any delay in obtaining such documentation will not justify the cancellation of the sale or any delay in making full payment for the lot. Regulated Species Items made of or incorporating plant or animal material,
Payment Buyers are required to pay for purchases immediately following the auction unless other arrangements are agreed with Phillips in writing in advance of the sale. Payment must be made in US dollars either by cash, check drawn on a US bank or wire transfer, as noted in Paragraph 6 of the Conditions of Sale. It is our corporate policy not to make or accept single or multiple payments in cash or cash equivalents in excess of US$10,000.
such as coral, crocodile, ivory, whalebone, Brazilian rosewood, rhinoceros horn or tortoiseshell, irrespective of age, percentage or value, may require a license or certifcate prior to exportation and additional licenses or certifcates upon importation to any foreign country. Please note that the ability to obtain an export license or certifcate does not ensure the ability to obtain an import license or certifcate in another country, and vice versa. We suggest that prospective bidders check with their
Credit Cards As a courtesy to clients, Phillips will accept American Express, Visa and Mastercard to pay for invoices of $50,000 or less.
own government regarding wildlife import requirements prior to placing a bid. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to obtain any necessary export or import licenses or certifcates as well as any other required documentation.
Conditions of Sale The Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty set forth below govern the relationship between bidders and buyers, on the one hand, and Phillips and sellers, on the other hand. All prospective buyers should read these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty carefully before bidding. 1 Introduction Each lot in this catalogue is ofered for sale and sold subject to: (a) the Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty; (b) additional notices and terms printed in other places in this catalogue, including the Guide for Prospective Buyers, and (c) supplements to this catalogue or other written material posted by Phillips in the saleroom, in each case as amended by any addendum or announcement by the auctioneer prior to the auction. By bidding at the auction, whether in person, through an agent, by written bid, by telephone bid or other means, bidders and buyers agree to be bound by these Conditions of Sale, as so changed or supplemented, and Authorship Warranty. These Conditions of Sale, as so changed or supplemented, and Authorship Warranty contain all the terms on which Phillips and the seller contract with the buyer. 2 Phillips as Agent Phillips acts as an agent for the seller, unless otherwise indicated in this catalogue or at the time of auction. On occasion, Phillips may own a lot directly, in which case we will act in a principal capacity as a consignor, or a company afliated with Phillips may own a lot, in which case we will act as agent for that company, or Phillips or an afliated company may have a legal, benefcial or fnancial interest in a lot as a secured creditor or otherwise. 3 Catalogue Descriptions and Condition of Property Lots are sold subject to the Authorship Warranty, as described in the catalogue (unless such description is changed or supplemented, as provided in Paragraph 1 above) and in the condition that they are in at the time of the sale on the following basis. (a) The knowledge of Phillips in relation to each lot is partially dependent on information provided to us by the seller, and Phillips is not able to and does not carry out exhaustive due diligence on each lot. Prospective buyers acknowledge this fact and accept responsibility for carrying out inspections and investigations to satisfy themselves as to the lots in which they may be interested. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we shall exercise such reasonable care when making express statements in catalogue descriptions or condition reports as is consistent with our role as auctioneer of lots in this sale and in light of (i) the information provided to us by the seller, (ii) scholarship and technical knowledge and (iii) the generally accepted opinions of relevant experts, in each case at the time any such express statement is made. (b) Each lot ofered for sale at Phillips is available for inspection by prospective buyers prior to the auction. Phillips accepts bids on lots on the basis that bidders
(and independent experts on their behalf, to the extent appropriate given the nature and value of the lot and the bidder’s own expertise) have fully inspected the lot prior to bidding and have satisfed themselves as to both the condition of the lot and the accuracy of its description. (c) Prospective buyers acknowledge that many lots are of an age and type which means that they are not in perfect condition. As a courtesy to clients, Phillips may prepare and provide condition reports to assist prospective buyers when they are inspecting lots. Catalogue descriptions and condition reports may make reference to particular imperfections of a lot, but bidders should note that lots may have other faults not expressly referred to in the catalogue or condition report. All dimensions are approximate. Illustrations are for identifcation purposes only and cannot be used as precise indications of size or to convey full information as to the actual condition of lots. (d) Information provided to prospective buyers in respect of any lot, including any pre-sale estimate, whether written or oral, and information in any catalogue, condition or other report, commentary or valuation, is not a representation of fact but rather a statement of opinion held by Phillips. Any pre-sale estimate may not be relied on as a prediction of the selling price or value of the lot and may be revised from time to time by Phillips in our absolute discretion. Neither Phillips nor any of our afliated companies shall be liable for any diference between the pre-sale estimates for any lot and the actual price achieved at auction or upon resale. 4 Bidding at Auction (a) Phillips has absolute discretion to refuse admission to the auction or participation in the sale. All bidders must register for a paddle prior to bidding, supplying such information and references as required by Phillips. (b) As a convenience to bidders who cannot attend the auction in person, Phillips may, if so instructed by the bidder, execute written absentee bids on a bidder’s behalf. Absentee bidders are required to submit bids on the Absentee Bid Form, a copy of which is printed in this catalogue or otherwise available from Phillips. Bids must be placed in the currency of the sale. The bidder must clearly indicate the maximum amount he or she intends to bid, excluding the buyer’s premium and any applicable sales or use taxes. The auctioneer will not accept an instruction to execute an absentee bid which does not indicate such maximum bid. Our staf will attempt to execute an absentee bid at the lowest possible price taking into account the reserve and other bidders. Any absentee bid must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the sale. In the event of identical bids, the earliest bid received will take precedence. (c) Telephone bidders are required to submit bids on the Telephone Bid Form, a copy of which is printed in this catalogue or otherwise available from Phillips. Telephone bidding is available for lots whose low pre-sale estimate is at least $1,000. Phillips reserves the right to require written confrmation of a successful bid from a telephone bidder by fax or otherwise immediately afer such bid
is accepted by the auctioneer. Telephone bids may be recorded and, by bidding on the telephone, a bidder consents to the recording of the conversation. (d) Bidders may participate in an auction by bidding online through Phillips’s online live bidding platform available on our website at www.phillips.com. To bid online, bidders must register online at least 24 hours before the start of the auction. Online bidding is subject to approval by Phillips’s bid department in our sole discretion. As noted in Paragraph 3 above, Phillips encourages online bidders to inspect prior to the auction any lot(s) on which they may bid, and condition reports are available upon request. Bidding in a live auction can progress quickly. To ensure that online bidders are not placed at a disadvantage when bidding against bidders in the room or on the telephone, the procedure for placing bids through Phillips’s online bidding platform is a one-step process. By clicking the bid button on the computer screen, a bidder submits a bid. Online bidders acknowledge and agree that bids so submitted are fnal and may not under any circumstances be amended or retracted. During a live auction, when bids other than online bids are placed, they will be displayed on the online bidder’s computer screen as ‘foor’ bids. ‘Floor’ bids include bids made by the auctioneer to protect the reserve. In the event that an online bid and a ‘foor’ or ‘phone’ bid are identical, the ‘foor’ bid may take precedence at the auctioneer’s discretion. The next bidding increment is shown for the convenience of online bidders in the bid button. The bidding increment available to online bidders may vary from the next bid actually taken by the auctioneer, as the auctioneer may deviate from Phillips’s standard increments at any time at his or her discretion, but an online bidder may only place a bid in a whole bidding increment. Phillips’s bidding increments are published in the Guide for Prospective Buyers. (e) When making a bid, whether in person, by absentee bid, on the telephone or online, a bidder accepts personal liability to pay the purchase price, as described more fully in Paragraph 6 (a) below, plus all other applicable charges unless it has been explicitly agreed in writing with Phillips before the commencement of the auction that the bidder is acting as agent on behalf of an identifed third party acceptable to Phillips and that we will only look to the principal for such payment. (f) By participating in the auction, whether in person, by absentee bid, on the telephone or online, each prospective buyer represents and warrants that any bids placed by such person, or on such person’s behalf, are not the product of any collusive or other anti-competitive agreement and are otherwise consistent with federal and state antitrust law. (g) Arranging absentee, telephone and online bids is a free service provided by Phillips to prospective buyers. While we undertake to exercise reasonable care in undertaking such activity, we cannot accept liability for failure to execute such bids except where such failure is caused by our willful misconduct.
Watches. New York. Now. STYLED. Timeless Watches and How to Wear Them New York Auction 5 December 2018, 6pm Viewing 30 November – 5 December 450 Park Avenue New York, NY 10022 Enquiries Paul Boutros email@example.com
Patek Philippe ‘Tasti Tondi’ Chronograph, reference 1463, a very rare, highly attractive, and well preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with two-tone dial, circa 1946. Estimate $300,000-500,000
Visit us at phillips.com/watches
(h) Employees of Phillips and our afliated companies, including the auctioneer, may bid at the auction by placing absentee bids so long as they do not know the reserve when submitting their absentee bids and otherwise comply with our employee bidding procedures. 5 Conduct of the Auction (a) Unless otherwise indicated by the symbol •, each lot is ofered subject to a reserve, which is the confdential minimum selling price agreed by Phillips with the seller. The reserve will not exceed the low pre-sale estimate at the time of the auction. (b) The auctioneer has discretion at any time to refuse any bid, withdraw any lot, re-ofer a lot for sale (including afer the fall of the hammer) if he or she believes there may be error or dispute and take such other action as he or she deems reasonably appropriate. Phillips shall have no liability whatsoever for any such action taken by the auctioneer. If any dispute arises afer the sale, our sale record is conclusive. The auctioneer may accept bids made by a company afliated with Phillips provided that the bidder does not know the reserve placed on the lot. (c) The auctioneer will commence and advance the bidding at levels and in increments he or she considers appropriate. In order to protect the reserve on any lot, the auctioneer may place one or more bids on behalf of the seller up to the reserve without indicating he or she is doing so, either by placing consecutive bids or bids in response to other bidders. If a lot is ofered without reserve, unless there are already competing absentee bids, the auctioneer will generally open the bidding at 50% of the lot’s low pre-sale estimate. In the absence of a bid at that level, the auctioneer will proceed backwards at his or her discretion until a bid is recognized and will then advance the bidding from that amount. Absentee bids on no reserve lots will, in the absence of a higher bid, be executed at approximately 50% of the low pre-sale estimate or at the amount of the bid if it is less than 50% of the low pre-sale estimate. If there is no bid whatsoever on a no reserve lot, the auctioneer may deem such lot unsold. (d) The sale will be conducted in US dollars and payment is due in US dollars. For the beneft of international clients, pre-sale estimates in the auction catalogue may be shown in pounds sterling and/or euros and, if so, will refect approximate exchange rates. Accordingly, estimates in pounds sterling or euros should be treated only as a guide. If a currency converter is operated during the sale, it is done so as a courtesy to bidders, but Phillips accepts no responsibility for any errors in currency conversion calculation. (e) Subject to the auctioneer’s reasonable discretion, the highest bidder accepted by the auctioneer will be the buyer and the striking of the hammer marks the acceptance of the highest bid and the conclusion of a contract for sale between the seller and the buyer. Risk and responsibility for the lot passes to the buyer as set forth in Paragraph 7 below.
(f) If a lot is not sold, the auctioneer will announce that it has been “passed,” “withdrawn,” “returned to owner” or “bought-in.”
(d) As a courtesy to clients, Phillips will accept American Express, Visa and Mastercard to pay for invoices of $50,000 or less.
(g) Any post-auction sale of lots ofered at auction shall incorporate these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty as if sold in the auction.
(e) Title in a purchased lot will not pass until Phillips has received the Purchase Price for that lot in cleared funds. Phillips is not obliged to release a lot to the buyer until title in the lot has passed and appropriate identifcation has been provided, and any earlier release does not afect the passing of title or the buyer’s unconditional obligation to pay the Purchase Price.
6 Purchase Price and Payment (a) The buyer agrees to pay us, in addition to the hammer price of the lot, the buyer’s premium and any applicable sales tax (the “Purchase Price”). The buyer’s premium is 25% of the hammer price up to and including $300,000, 20% of the portion of the hammer price above $300,000 up to and including $4,000,000 and 12.5% of the portion of the hammer price above $4,000,000. Phillips reserves the right to pay from our compensation an introductory commission to one or more third parties for assisting in the sale of property ofered and sold at auction.
(b) Sales tax, use tax and excise and other taxes are payable in accordance with applicable law. All prices, fees, charges and expenses set out in these Conditions of Sale are quoted exclusive of applicable taxes. Phillips will only accept valid resale certifcates from US dealers as proof of exemption from sales tax. All foreign buyers should contact the Client Accounting Department about tax matters. (c) Unless otherwise agreed, a buyer is required to pay for a purchased lot immediately following the auction regardless of any intention to obtain an export or import license or other permit for such lot. Payments must be made by the invoiced party in US dollars either by cash, check drawn on a US bank or wire transfer, as follows: (i) Phillips will accept payment in cash provided that the total amount paid in cash or cash equivalents does not exceed US$10,000. Buyers paying in cash should do so in person at our Client Accounting Desk at 450 Park Avenue during regular weekday business hours. (ii) Personal checks and banker’s draf s are accepted if drawn on a US bank and the buyer provides to us acceptable government issued identifcation. Checks and banker’s draf s should be made payable to “Phillips.” If payment is sent by mail, please send the check or banker’s draf to the attention of the Client Accounting Department at 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022 and make sure that the sale and lot number is written on the check. Checks or banker’s draf s drawn by third parties will not be accepted. (iii) Payment by wire transfer may be sent directly to Phillips. Bank transfer details: Citibank 322 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011 SWIFT Code: CITIUS33 ABA Routing: 021 000 089 For the account of Phillips Account no.: 58347736 Please reference the relevant sale and lot number.
7 Collection of Property (a) Phillips will not release a lot to the buyer until we have received payment of its Purchase Price in full in cleared funds, the buyer has paid all outstanding amounts due to Phillips or any of our afliated companies, including any charges payable pursuant to Paragraph 8 (a) below, and the buyer has satisfed such other terms as we in our sole discretion shall require, including completing any antimoney laundering or anti-terrorism fnancing checks. As soon as a buyer has satisfed all of the foregoing conditions, he or she should contact our Shipping Department at +1 212 940 1372 or +1 212 940 1373 to arrange for collection of purchased property. (b) The buyer must arrange for collection of a purchased lot within seven days of the date of the auction. Promptly afer the auction, we will transfer all lots to our warehouse located at 29-09 37th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, New York. All purchased lots should be collected at this location during our regular weekday business hours. As a courtesy to clients, Phillips will upon request transfer on a bi-weekly basis purchased lots suitable for hand-carry back to our premises at 450 Park Avenue, New York, New York for collection within 30 days following the date of the auction. Purchased lots are at the buyer’s risk, including the responsibility for insurance, from the earlier to occur of (i) the date of collection or (ii) seven days afer the auction. Until risk passes, Phillips will compensate the buyer for any loss or damage to a purchased lot up to a maximum of the Purchase Price paid, subject to our usual exclusions for loss or damage to property. (c) As a courtesy to clients, Phillips will, without charge, wrap purchased lots for hand-carry only. We will, at the buyer’s expense, either provide packing, handling, insurance and shipping services or coordinate with shipping agents instructed by the buyer in order to facilitate such services for property bought at Phillips. Any such instruction, whether or not made at our recommendation, is entirely at the buyer’s risk and responsibility, and we will not be liable for acts or omissions of third party packers or shippers. Third party shippers should contact us by telephone at +1 212 940 1376 or by fax at +1 212 924 6477 at least 24 hours in advance of collection in order to schedule pickup. (d) Phillips will require presentation of government issued identifcation prior to release of a lot to the buyer or the buyer’s authorized representative. 8 Failure to Collect Purchases (a) If the buyer pays the Purchase Price but fails to collect
a purchased lot within 30 days of the auction, the buyer will incur a late collection fee of $10 per day for each uncollected lot. Additional charges may apply to oversized lots. We will not release purchased lots to the buyer until all such charges have been paid in full. (b) If a purchased lot is paid for but not collected within six months of the auction, the buyer authorizes Phillips, upon notice, to arrange a resale of the item by auction or private sale, with estimates and a reserve set at Phillips’s reasonable discretion. The proceeds of such sale will be applied to pay for storage charges and any other outstanding costs and expenses owed by the buyer to Phillips or our afliated companies and the remainder will be forfeited unless collected by the buyer within two years of the original auction. 9 Remedies for Non-Payment (a) Without prejudice to any rights the seller may have, if the buyer without prior agreement fails to make payment of the Purchase Price for a lot in cleared funds within seven days of the auction, Phillips may in our sole discretion exercise one or more of the following remedies: (i) store the lot at Phillips’s premises or elsewhere at the buyer’s sole risk and expense at the same rates as set forth in Paragraph 8 (a) above; (ii) cancel the sale of the lot, retaining any partial payment of the Purchase Price as liquidated damages; (iii) reject future bids from the buyer or render such bids subject to payment of a deposit; (iv) charge interest at 12% per annum from the date payment became due until the date the Purchase Price is received in cleared funds; (v) subject to notifcation of the buyer, exercise a lien over any of the buyer’s property which is in the possession of Phillips and instruct our afliated companies to exercise a lien over any of the buyer’s property which is in their possession and, in each case, no earlier than 30 days from the date of such notice, arrange the sale of such property and apply the proceeds to the amount owed to Phillips or any of our afliated companies afer the deduction from sale proceeds of our standard vendor’s commission and all sale-related expenses; (vi) resell the lot by auction or private sale, with estimates and a reserve set at Phillips reasonable discretion, it being understood that in the event such resale is for less than the original hammer price and buyer’s premium for that lot, the buyer will remain liable for the shortfall together with all costs incurred in such resale; (vii) commence legal proceedings to recover the hammer price and buyer’s premium for that lot, together with interest and the costs of such proceedings; (viii) set of the outstanding amount remaining unpaid by the buyer against any amounts which we or any of our afliated companies may owe the buyer in any other transactions; (ix) release the name and address of the buyer to the seller to enable the seller to commence legal proceedings to recover the amounts due and legal costs or (x) take such other action as we deem necessary or appropriate. (b) As security to us for full payment by the buyer of all outstanding amounts due to Phillips and our afliated companies, Phillips retains, and the buyer grants to us, a security interest in each lot purchased at auction by the buyer and in any other property or money of the buyer in,
payment of interest on the Purchase Price to the fullest extent permitted by law. (e) No provision in these Conditions of Sale shall be deemed to exclude or limit the liability of Phillips or any of our afliated companies to the buyer in respect of any fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation made by any of us or in respect of death or personal injury caused by our negligent acts or omissions. 14 Copyright The copyright in all images, illustrations and written materials produced by or for Phillips relating to a lot, including the contents of this catalogue, is and shall remain at all times the property of Phillips and such images and materials may not be used by the buyer or any other party without our prior written consent. Phillips and the seller make no representations or warranties that the buyer of a lot will acquire any copyright or other reproduction rights in it. 15 General (a) These Conditions of Sale, as changed or supplemented as provided in Paragraph 1 above, and Authorship Warranty set out the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the transactions contemplated herein and supersede all prior and contemporaneous written, oral or implied understandings, representations and agreements. (b) Notices to Phillips shall be in writing and addressed to the department in charge of the sale, quoting the reference number specifed at the beginning of the sale catalogue. Notices to clients shall be addressed to the last address notifed by them in writing to Phillips. (c) These Conditions of Sale are not assignable by any buyer without our prior written consent but are binding on the buyer’s successors, assigns and representatives. (d) Should any provision of these Conditions of Sale be held void, invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and efect. No failure by any party to exercise, nor any delay in exercising, any right or remedy under these Conditions of Sale shall act as a waiver or release thereof in whole or in part. 16 Law and Jurisdiction (a) The rights and obligations of the parties with respect to these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty, the conduct of the auction and any matters related to any of the foregoing shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with laws of the State of New York, excluding its conficts of law rules. (b) Phillips, all bidders and all sellers agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the (i) state courts of the State of New York located in New York City and (ii) the federal courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York to settle all disputes arising in connection with all aspects of all matters or transactions to which these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty relate or apply.
(c) All bidders and sellers irrevocably consent to service of process or any other documents in connection with proceedings in any court by facsimile transmission, personal service, delivery by mail or in any other manner permitted by New York law or the law of the place of service, at the last address of the bidder or seller known to Phillips. 17 Sales Tax (a) Unless the buyer has delivered a valid certifcate evidencing exemption from tax, the buyer shall pay applicable sales tax on any lot picked up or delivered anywhere in the United States. (b) If the point of delivery or transfer of possession for any purchased lot to the buyer or the buyer’s designee (including any private carrier) occurs in New York, then the sale is subject to New York sales tax at the existing rate of 8.875%. (c) If the buyer arranges shipping for any purchased lot in New York by a common carrier (such as the United States Postal Service, United Parcel Service, or FedEx) that does not operate under a private agreement or contract with negotiated terms to be delivered to an out of state destination, then the sale is not subject to New York sales tax.
Authorship Warranty Phillips warrants the authorship of property in this auction catalogue described in headings in bold or CAPITALIZED type for a period of fve years from date of sale by Phillips, subject to the exclusions and limitations set forth below. (a) Phillips gives this Authorship Warranty only to the original buyer of record (i.e., the registered successful bidder) of any lot. This Authorship Warranty does not extend to (i) subsequent owners of the property, including purchasers or recipients by way of gif from the original buyer, heirs, successors, benefciaries and assigns; (ii) property where the description in the catalogue states that there is a confict of opinion on the authorship of the property; (iii) property where our attribution of authorship was on the date of sale consistent with the generally accepted opinions of specialists, scholars or other experts; (iv) property whose description or dating is proved inaccurate by means of scientifc methods or tests not generally accepted for use at the time of the publication of the catalogue or which were at such time deemed unreasonably expensive or impractical to use or likely in our reasonable opinion to have caused damage or loss in value to the lot or (v) property where there has been no material loss in value from the value of the lot had it been as described in the heading of the catalogue entry.
shall not be bound by any expert report produced by the buyer and reserve the right to consult our own experts at our expense. If Phillips agrees to rescind a sale under the Authorship Warranty, we shall refund to the buyer the reasonable costs charged by the experts commissioned by the buyer and approved in advance by us. (c) Subject to the exclusions set forth in subparagraph (a) above, the buyer may bring a claim for breach of the Authorship Warranty provided that (i) he or she has notifed Phillips in writing within three months of receiving any information which causes the buyer to question the authorship of the lot, specifying the auction in which the property was included, the lot number in the auction catalogue and the reasons why the authorship of the lot is being questioned and (ii) the buyer returns the lot to Phillips to the saleroom in which it was purchased in the same condition as at the time of its auction and is able to transfer good and marketable title in the lot free from any third party claim arising afer the date of the auction. Phillips has discretion to waive any of the foregoing requirements set forth in this subparagraph (c) or subparagraph (b) above. (d) The buyer understands and agrees that the exclusive remedy for any breach of the Authorship Warranty shall be rescission of the sale and refund of the original Purchase Price paid. This remedy shall constitute the sole remedy and recourse of the buyer against Phillips, any of our afliated companies and the seller and is in lieu of any other remedy available as a matter of law or equity. This means that none of Phillips, any of our afliated companies or the seller shall be liable for loss or damage beyond the remedy expressly provided in this Authorship Warranty, whether such loss or damage is characterized as direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential, or for the payment of interest on the original Purchase Price.
(b) In any claim for breach of the Authorship Warranty, Phillips reserves the right, as a condition to rescinding any sale under this warranty, to require the buyer to provide to us at the buyer’s expense the written opinions of two recognized experts approved in advance by Phillips. We
450 Park Avenue New York 10022 phillips.com +1 212 940 1200 firstname.lastname@example.org Please return this form by email to email@example.com at least 24 hours before the sale. Please read carefully the information in the right column and note that it is important that you indicate whether you are applying as an individual or on behalf of a company. Please select the type of bid you wish to make with this form (please select one): Paddle Number
In-person Absentee Bidding Telephone Bidding
• Company purchases: If you are buying under a business entity we require a copy of government-issued identification (such as a resale certificate, corporate bank information or the certificate of incorporation) to verify the status of the company. • Conditions of Sale: All bids are placed and executed, and all lots are sold and purchased, subject to the Conditions of Sale printed in the catalogue. Please read them carefully before placing a bid. Your attention is drawn to Paragraph 4 of the Conditions of Sale.
Please indicate in what capacity you will be bidding (please select one):
As a private individual On behalf of a company
• If you cannot attend the sale, we can execute bids confidentially on your behalf.
Sale Title Title
• Private purchases: Proof of identity in the form of government-issued identification will be required.
Sale Number First Name
Surname Account Number
Company (if applicable) Address
• Phillips charges the successful bidder a commission, or buyer’s premium, on the hammer price of each lot sold. The buyer’s premium is payable by the buyer as part of the total purchase price at the following rates: 25% of the hammer price up to and including $300,000, 20% of the portion of the hammer price above $300,000 up to and including $4,000,000 and 12.5% of the portion of the hammer price above $4,000,000 on each lot sold.
• “Buy” or unlimited bids will not be accepted. Alternative bids can be placed by using the word “OR” between lot numbers.
• For absentee bids, indicate your maximum limit for each lot, excluding the buyer’s premium and any applicable sales or use tax. Your bid will be executed at the lowest price taking into account the reserve and other bidders. On no reserve lots, in the absence of other bids, your bid will be executed at approximately 50% of the low pre-sale estimate or at the amount specified, if less than 50% of the low estimate.
Zip Code Phone
• Your bid must be submitted in the currency of the sale and will be rounded down to the nearest amount consistent with the auctioneer’s bidding increments.
Phone (for Phone Bidding only)
• If we receive identical bids, the first bid received will take precedence.
Phone number to call at the time of sale (for Phone Bidding only) 1.
Please complete the following section for telephone and absentee bids only Lot Number
In Consecutive Order
US $ Limit* Absentee Bids Only
* Excluding Buyer’s Premium and sales or use taxes
By checking this box, you confrm your registration/bid(s) as above and accept the Conditions of Sale of Phillips as stated in our catalogues and on our website.
Index Andersson, K. M. 41 Basquiat, J.-M. 12, 15 Bonnard, P. 25 Bugatti, R. 26 Burri, A. 6 Calder, A. 5 Clark, Ed 21 Condo, G. 3 Dubufet, J. 10, 11 Dumas, M. 40 Flavin, D. 35 Gursky, A. 39 Hammons, D. 36 Herrera, C. 34 Hockney, D. 28, 29 Judd, D. 33 KAWS 2, 27 Laurens, H. 24 Marshall, K. J. 14, 37 Mirรณ, J. 4 Morandi, G. 31 Motherwell, R. 7 Nauman, B. 8, 9 Noland, C. 38 Oehlen, A. 17 Pollock, J. 23 Quarles, C. 1 Richter, G. 16 Rothko, M. 22 Scully, S. 20 Sillman, A. 19 Thiebaud, W. 32 Warhol, A. 13 Wood, J. 30 Wool, C. 18
28. 00. David artistHockney
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Phillips presents the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 15 November 2018 in New York.