A way to share and manage lots.
Maccarone Gallery, New York
Private Collection, New York
Nate Lowman’s Bullet Holes are some of the most iconic artworks to be created in the first decades of the twenty-first century. These shaped canvas works pull equally from art historical precedents and pop-cultural references to create an entirely new way of looking at and thinking about the world. Endowed with an explosive and elegant energy the rare and highly desired works from this series capture an important moment in the shift of our culture. As much a comment on American political and media culture as it is a continuation of art history, Lowman’s work, and especially his series of bullet holes are as erudite as they are bombastic. Formally masterful and conceptually powerful the works burst of the wall with a powerful, Pop Art punch. Iconic works such as White Maxima of 2005 operate not only as bold visual statements but also as a mirror to our present moment and our histories. The bullet hole that Lowman has based this series on is not from comic books or cinema but from adhesive decals—stickers—sold in gas stations and novelty shops across the United States and the world. These stickers are meant to be applied to automobiles, creating an optical illusion, a tromp l’oil as it were to make it seem though the owners car had been shot up – as though in a car chase, the get away from a robbery or other such violent and cinematic event. By appropriating this element of sub-popular culture Lowman is interrogating a world where in it seems “cool” or resonate—desirable even—to make it seem as though one had been in a terribly violent altercation. Lowman is using a stunning visual moment to highlight our culture’s obsession with a certain type of violence, bringing to mind the notion of the American anti-hero, the lone cowboy, the proverbial Bonnie and Clyde figures that have for so long captured and driven our national and increasingly international imaginations.
In the present lot, White Maxima of 2005 Lowman manages to extend the concerns of and refine the craft of his artistic ancestors. There is a clear lineage from Warhol to Lowman’s work – the use of researched and found images and the silkscreen-like effects most notably. And like the impresario of the factory, Lowman indeed has the ability to create works with a searing visual power. Yet while Warhol is mining the more obviously notable and iconic figures and events of from the mass-media, Lowman is more interested in the margins, the sub-cultures and the forgotten visual peccadillos of our world. Technically, while Lowman’s most important works such as the present lot employ tropes of Warhol – such as the use of silkscreen ink, in actuality Nate Lowman is panting these found images with a brush, playing with our expectations and creating a work that is both an appropriation and a unique painting.
New York Evening Sale 14 May 2015 7pm