LONDON.- Phillips de Pury & Company
, announces the highlights from Valencia Contemporary Art Collection that will feature in the London Contemporary Art Evening Sale on the 17th February. The single owner sale will take place on the 18th February prior to the Contemporary Art Day sale.
“We are very excited at the prospect of offering the Valencia Contemporary Art Collection at auction. The collection represents a remarkable selection of contemporary art with particular emphasis on exploring the medium of painting over the past two decades and the genres with which painting is traditionally associated.” Peter Sumner, Head of Contemporary Sales, London.
Ilia & Emilia Kabakov’s
, The Painting on an the Easel, 1998, estimated at £400,000-600,000. The Painting on an Easel is a powerful manifestation of Kabakov’s ability to question the history of artistic practice and challenge the traditional perspective. The painting appears to be effortlessly positioned at eye level, it shows a landscape: an idyllic Russian village on a summer’s day. However, typical to Kabakov it’s not what it seems and the viewer’s eye is pushed beyond the realm of the canvas to the easel that is suspended from the ceiling. The subject matter and the painting itself thus appears to lose substance or meaning as an object of contemplation and instead takes on an air of the unlikely or the absurd, the impossible existence of an ‘ideal’ Soviet landscape. To Kabakov, the installation aspect in The Painting on an Easel is the most important Installation aspect very important. The easel emphasizes the flatness of the painting and yet joined together, the three-dimensional element is difficult to ignore, as it allows the work to be viewed from all angles.
, Equality, 1993, estimated at £80,000-120,000. As a white South African born and raised during the tumultuous Apartheid years, Marlene Dumas has always been preoccupied in her work with questions of race and identity. Small in scale but executed with thick impastoed brushstrokes, Equality is a poignant and strong example of Dumas’ haunting portraits filled with multiple interpretations and meanings. Painted in 1993 along with two companion works titled Justice and Liberty, Equality represents the great virtue as embodied by a girl. However, unlike the numerous heroic representations of the virtues found throughout the history of art, there is nothing virtuous about this girl. Her skin colour and purpose are both highly ambiguous forcing the viewer to contemplate an unnerving scene where more questions are asked than answered.
Beyond the title and subject matter, the work’s date of execution, 1993, makes it clear that Dumas was toying with political ideologies as only a year later South Africa would hold its first democratic elections and elect a black president. As one of the finest examples of Dumas’ work, Equality presents the viewer with a certain unabashed psychological disparity between the real and the imaginary where morality, representation and social convention are questioned.
, Untitled, 1990, estimated at £40,000-60,000. Conceptually driven by rejecting traditional materials, German artist Georg Herold's artistic practice involves the creation of sculptures, assemblages and wall-based 'drawings' using bricks, baking powder, wood, vodka bottles, buttons and mattresses. The present lot is an early monumental painting from the Caviar series in which the artist laboriously lays countless Beluga eggs on the canvas and then meticulously numbers each and every one of them creating a haunting semi-abstracted composition that recalls the cosmos or a nuclear explosion. Having studied under the revolutionary German post war artists Werner Buttner, Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger, Herold has always rebelled against the established bourgeois art scene. In the spirit of Italian Arte Povera movement, Herold exalts the artistic qualities of raw, common materials. With the caviar paintings, Herold creates a striking abstracted landscape not from the traditional mediums of paint or watercolour but using an organic, edible material thereby provocatively reframing established categorizations found in art and everyday life.
, Untitled, 1988, estimated at £100,000-150,000. With its monumental scale and vivid brushwork this early Untitled canvas from 1989 is a prime example of Albert Oehlen's artistic repertoire. Driven by an explosive collision of line, colour and form, Oehlen's highly layered composition lies on the cusp between abstraction and figuration. Behind its chaotic appearance lies an intense investigation of the possibilities and limits of painting. Emerging with Martin Kippenberger in 1980s Germany, Oehlen created a painting and artistic style which confronted the evident rift between art, ideology and politics at the time. The stirring darkness of this unsettling composition challenges the preconceived notions and expectations of conventional abstract and figurative painting. Presenting the viewer with a web of unobtainable or definite information, Oehlen entangles his audience into the painting's surface encouraging the viewer to consider and reflect upon the juxtaposition between the two primary modes of expression available to a painter.
, Untitled, 2002, estimated at £300,000-500,000. Over the last three decades, Rudolf Stingel has built an impressive oeuvre demystifying the idea of the work of art and the creation process. Stingel challenges the viewer to reconsider their preconceived notions about what constitutes a legitimate source of art through the very act of its origin and creation. He challenges the idea of the hand of the artist by including others in the creation process in some of his works. Clearly influenced by Arte Povera, Stingel turns on its head the traditional structure of painting by using ordinary ubiquitous materials to create objects of fine art. The present lot is the result of a performative installation in which members of the public were allowed to deface the surface of temporary Celotex walls installed in public spaces. The resulting destruction and accumulation was then fragmented into many segments and then reassembled as a finished work of art to be exhibited in a gallery or museum. The additive and subtractive marks found across Stingel’s reflective surfaces become poignant tableaux of contemporary life elevating the mundane and the everyday to high art.
, Rude Boy, 1998, estimated at £70,000-90,000. Since the early seventies, American painter Mary Heilmann has been a pioneer of Abstract painting. Working at the cutting edge, she has continually injected the movement with elements from popular culture and craft traditions. Her straight forward, seemingly loose and casual approach belies a witty dialogue with art historical preconceptions. Her practice is often defined as a synthesis of geometric abstraction, color field painting and minimalism tinged with auto biographical references drawn from her up-bringing in California. Her brilliant and vibrant colour palette, her rhythmic compositions as well as her sense of boundless freedom are deeply influenced by Los Angeles area beaches and Bay Area beatnik clubs.
VIEWING: FEBRUARY 5- 17, 2011
CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING AUCTION: FEBRUARY 17, 7PM
VALENCIA CONTEMPORARY ART COLLECTION FEBRUARY 18, 11AM
CONTEMPORARY ART DAY AUCTION FEBRUARY 18, 2PM