Adam McEwen - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 5, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Art : Concept, Paris
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    A notable work from Adam McEwen’s illustrious graphite series, Untitled visually blurs the boundaries between object and representation and reveals the artist’s wide interest in producing outcomes that cannot be plainly defined as either sculpture or painting.

    For the extensive use of graphite, a medium traditionally adopted for writing and drawing, Untitled calls to mind McEwen's former career as an obituary writer for the Daily Telegraph and addresses the banality of both material and substance. In his constant endeavour of re-appropriating familiar objects and re-interpreting them with new multi-faceted meanings, the present lot McEwen invites the viewer to re-evaluate the aesthetic and functional properties of this industrial by-product of carbon. Herein the attention is drawn to the physical surface: while the mineral arouses by its own nature feelings of weight and density, the reflective hues subtly emerging from the silver intersections enrich the visual dimension and make Untitled achieve a tactile and evocative sense of lightness. In like manner the monochrome grey and machine finish are fundamental in conveying a touch of neutral objectivity. Creating an impartial base for the viewer to unchain the unlimited potential of his imagination and thus attain a richer comprehension of the work and its articulated forms.

    As for other vestiges of the mass consumerism culture, such as ATM machines or credit cards, employed by the British artist in the graphite series, undermining their functionality consequently implies highlighting the qualities and texture of the graphite, a very unlikely material to encounter on such a grand scale. By this means any trace of banality is removed and the seemingly ordinary medium of graphite finally accesses the art sphere.



signed and dated 'A. McEwen 2013' on the reverse
graphite mounted on aluminium
diameter: 121.9 cm (47 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2013.

£40,000 - 60,000 

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Tamila Kerimova
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20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 6 October 2016