Highlight Reel: Favorites From London

A round-up from our upcoming 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales.

A round-up from our upcoming 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales.

Frank Stella, Scramble: Ascending Spectrum / Ascending Green Values, 1977. Estimate £2,000,000 - 3,000,000. 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London.

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1. Frank Stella

Frank Stella, Scramble: Ascending Spectrum / Ascending Green Values, 1977. Estimate £2,000,000 - 3,000,000. 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London. 

Scramble: Ascending Spectrum / Ascending Green Values is energetic, rigorous, and, of course, colorful. This large-scale work is magnetic, drawing the viewer in via its repetitive, schematic rainbow gradation. Scramble: Ascending Spectrum / Ascending Green Values is a luminous example of Stella’s exploration of the square, a shape that the artist praised for its unpretentiousness and power. Of his Concentric Squares, the artist has said “Their simple, rather humbling effect—almost a numbing power—became a sort of ‘control’ against which my increasing tendency in the seventies to be extravagant could be measured.”

 


2. John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain, Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya, 1990. Estimate £400,000 - 600,000. 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London.

“In finding your place in sculpture, you need to find the material that offers you just the right resistance,” advised Chamberlain. “As it turns out, car metal offers me the correct resistance so that I can make a form—not overform it or underform it.” An example of the artists’ crumpled metallic sculptures, Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya was born from tossed-away car part and transformed by Chamberlain’s elaborate regenerative and destructive process. The works represents a kind of new life, simultaneously vibrant and tinged with a deleterious edge.

 


3. Mark Tansey

Mark Tansey, Study for Nocturne, 1998. Estimate £600,000 - 800,000. 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London.

Partly inspired by the work of René Magritte, Study for Nocturne dreamily and brilliantly challenges time and space. Endlessly enamoured with the power of words and images, Tansey frequently intertwines the two, in the present painting poring over the possibilities enabled by the word "Nocturne," both a sign of the time of day, and a musical quip echoing the composition’s oceanic harmony. Study for Nocturne’s reads like a sheet of music, with the hovering beam of light, nestled at the top, slowly trickling down and making sense of the composition. “Pictures should be able to function across the fullest range of content,” he said, “The conceptual should be able to mingle with the formal and subject matter should enjoy intimate relations with both.” 

 


4. El Anatsui

El Anatsui, Plot a Plan IV, 2007. Estimate £650,000 - 850,000. 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London.

Recently the subject the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first-ever virtual exhibition, El Anatsui has represented Ghana at the Venice Biennale and been the subject of several important exhibitions. With its copious metaphorical associations, Plot a Plan IV is a symbolic treasure imparted with spectacular physicality, telling the story of contemporary consumers and the tale of a people simultaneously.

 


5. George Condo

George Condo, Operatic Abstraction, 2017. Estimate £80,000 - 120,000. 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London. 

“Picasso painted a violin from four different perspectives at one moment. I do the same with psychological states. Four of them can occur simultaneously… hysteria, joy, sadness, and desperation,” explained George Condo. Operatic Abstraction explores this multiverse, in which recognizable elements collide and captivate. True to life, if not visual realism, Operatic Abstraction conveys multifaceted, often-changing, constantly adapting and reinventing human personalities. 

 

 

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