A very quick review on the Contemporary Art Sale preview in Phillips de Pury. The Evening and the Day Sales will take place on the 16th and the 17th of February, 2012.
I will start with the so-called superstar of the sale Damien Hirst and his Sensation. A painted bronze sculpture, which was first executed in 2003, represents a giant diagram of the largest human organ - the skin. Frankly speaking, Hirst is too commercial for me and my understanding of art. Therefore, I will leave this work to your judgment.
Damien Hirst. Wretched War, 2004. Bronze. 158 × 70 × 86 cm
Edgar Degas. A Little Dancer, Age Fourteen, 1880-1. Painted bronze. 984 x 419 x 365 mm
Another work by Hirst, Wretched War, seemed more attractive, for it recalls Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer, Age Fourteen, its posture, feet and the arms. Hirst’s interest in maternity and the human body is also seen in his Virgin Mother, representing a pregnant woman in cast and painted bronze with the left half of her body showing the stripped skin, cranial head, muscular and circulatory system of her breast and arm, and an inverted baby in her womb. Hirst also created a male figure with exposed organs, and numerous paintings and sculptures emphasizing his interest in the relationship between life, sickness and death.
Luciano Fontana. Concetto spaziale, Attese, 1960.
Waterpaint on canvas. 93 x 138 cm
Damien Hirst. The Virgin Mother, 2005. Painted Bronze.
Plaza of Lever House, NY.
“It doesn’t matter to us if a gesture, once accomplished, lives for a second or a millennium, for we are convinced that, having accomplished it, it is eternal.” (First Spatial Manifesto)
Good old Luciano Fontana has never looked more classical than here, among these very contemporary and extra abstract works of art. I had a feeling that it was the only work to have a true history behind it. His slashed with a razor blade canvas in the present context attracts you not for its aggressive basis or the whole idea of Spatialism - a physical act in art, performed by an artist (in this case slashing the surface of the canvas with razor blade or knife), but for its hypnotising quality, warmth and surprisingly enough serenity, features of a true piece of art.
Robert Indiana. LOVE, 1966-99. Polychrome aluminium. 243 × 243 × 121.9 cm
Robert Indiana’s Pop-art works in the style of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein are very popular and I don’t blame anyone who falls in Love with them. “Some people like to paint trees. I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than painting trees”, said Indiana. His Love is all about Love and I love it, too!And finally, David La Chappelle with his contemporary analysis of Bible subject matter. Sometimes visual comparison is more effective than words.
David La Chappelle. Pieta with Courtney Love, 2006. Digital colour coupler print.152.4 x 127 cm
Michelangelo. The Pieta, 1498-99. Marble, 174 by 195 cm. St Peter's Basilica, Vatican.
Annibale Carracci. Pieta, 1599-1600. Oil on canvas, 149 x 156 cm. Museo NAzionale di Capo.
Jacopo Tintoretto. Christ washing the feet of the Disciples, 1575-80. Oil on canvas, 204.5 × 420.2cm. National Gallery, London.
David La Chappelle. Anointing, 2003. Digital colour coupler print. 127 × 152.4 cm
First Image: Damien Hirst. Sensation, 2003. Acrylic paint on bronze. 198.1 × 316.2 × 165.1 cm