Avery Singer - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "I'm interested in the ways in which artists have removed the hand from painting using technology...Something where there is no start and no understanding of where the artist’s hand was."
    —Avery Singer

    Executed in 2011, Ise Gropius is a definitive example of Avery Singer’s early monochromatic portraits that garnered the young artist critical acclaim. With this work, Singer offers a tongue-in-cheek homage to “Mrs. Bauhaus”–the titular writer, editor and artist married to Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius–here depicted in a stylized bust. Singer characteristically dramatizes her subject in a bricolage of styles, rendering a collage-like grisaille. Singer nods to art historical movements contemporary to her subject like Constructivism, Futurism and Cubism through exaggerated, schematic and discretely fashioned facial features all the while casting the figure in a 21st century lens. By rendering her initial sketches in 3-D modeling programs like SketchUp, Singer retains distinctly digital handprints, such as amplified gradients, in her meticulously executed paintings.


    "Singer’s paintings testify to her great fascination with the visual rhetoric of the historical avant-gardes by reactivating the formal aesthetics of Constructivism, Futurism, and Vorticism and the somber palette of grisaille."
    —Isabelle Graw
    Ise Gropius anticipates many of the themes that Singer would shortly thereafter pursue in the distinct body of work produced for her first solo exhibition The Artists at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, in 2013. Exploring the stereotypes of how artists live, work, and socialize, these works similarly featured staged figures–their human forms skewed through geometric stylization. As put forth in the exhibition’s press release, “Contemporary media, meshing with bygone trends of the historical avant-garde, produces a perspective of aesthetics that falters to find a foothold on the accepted timeline of art history.”i

    Throughout her oeuvre, Singer has engaged with the modernist credo of distinguishing art from nature. Adapting this with a contemporary lens, she utilizes technology as her mode of intervention into the traditional medium of painting. Having developed a unique technical process to produce her underdrawings, Avery then paints the image onto the canvas with an airbrush. On her unequaled painting process, Avery reflects, “In painting, we have become used to seeing process, to seeing how paintings are made...being able to tie your own subjective experience of perceiving the first to the last stroke of the brush.”ii Singer’s works, on the other hand, remove this connection to remain enigmatic, seemingly historical and contemporary, deeply reverent of their art historical antecedents and trailblazing in their seamless meld of digital and physical media.

    i “Avery Singer: The Artists,” Press Release, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, 2013, online
    ii Avery Singer in Orit Gat, “Venice Biennale artist, Avery Singer talks processes, robots, and post-human painting,” Art Basel Stories, 2019, online

    • Provenance

      Know More Games, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Ise Gropius

signed and dated "AVERY SINGER 2011" on the reverse
acrylic on panel
36 x 36 in. (91.4 x 91.4 cm)
Painted in 2011.

Full Cataloguing

$200,000 - 300,000 

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
+1 212 940 1279

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 16 November 2022