Adam McEwen - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Art Concept, Paris

  • Catalogue Essay

    Bigelow forms part of McEwen’s Graphite series that exemplifies his endeavours to re-invigorate familiar objects by re-appropriating them in his art. Graphite, similar to its allotrope diamond, is a form of carbon. Yet, unlike diamond, it is stable and malleable under high temperatures, rendering it integral in industry but also exploitable in art installation. 'Everything I choose is some kind of object that is generally rooted and thread into our daily life …You take something very familiar that we all know and make it yours. It makes you feel alive.' (Adam McEwen) By reinventing the purpose of an object, the artist encourages the viewer to re-consider the material and its properties. Aesthetic and functionality are intertwined and interchanged in an effort to question both object and representation.

    Composed of large pieces of machined graphite fixed onto aluminium panels, the present lot conveys a sense of weightiness whilst still alluding to a certain element of lightness. The reflected rays visible in the silver intersections between slabs alleviate the otherwise highly dense composition and provide the lot with a multi-faceted appeal. This layering effect is emphasised by the raised and varied surface of the lot that is highly evocative and palpable: tempting and inviting touch. The tactility of Bigelow highlights the importance of medium and its effect on perception and reaction.

    The monochrome grey employed in Bigelow expresses a neutral objectivity that forms an impartial and unlimited base for viewer appreciation and contemplation. The large scale work, an amalgamation of neutrality and potential, removes the banality of the original object. 'A series of minor adjustments to apparently inconsequential everyday objects ensures that the familiarity of the ordinary fails to inure us to its peculiarity. This peculiarity triggers the set of alienating devices, which in turn throw into question the thinking behind the fabrication behind the artwork.' (Adam McEwen by Angus Cook, Bomb – Artists in Conversation)



graphite on aluminium panel
229 x 178 cm (90 x 70 in.)
Signed and dated 'A. McEwen 2013' on the reverse.

£120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £122,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 15 October 2014 7pm