Avery Singer - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Friday, March 4, 2022 | Phillips
  • Born and raised in New York, Avery Singer is daughter to the artists Janet Kusmierski and Greg Singer. Named after the American modern artist, Milton Avery, Singer was destined for a career in the arts. Her significant rise to success and critical acclaim has recently been celebrated with the artist’s solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth (2021) and will see her take place in a multitude of group exhibitions this year.


    During her studies Singer participated in performance art and video making, along with sculpture - experimenting with carpentry, metal casting, and welding. Upon graduating, a pivotal moment in the artist’s career came with the discovery and application of computer programmes in her artistic practice. This breakthrough allowed Singer to play with form and geometry and explore the multitude of possibilities this enabled.


    Avery Singer in her studio talking about her practice, Art21, New York Close Up

    At the outset, Singer experimented with Photoshop to create flattened digital images that would then be sketched by hand. She then progressed to designing architecture and exhibition spaces. Singer projects her intricate designs onto a conventionally gesso-primed canvases, marking out the forms with masking tape before applying paint through an airbrush. The digital qualities of the computer programme are balanced alongside the perfected surface achieved through airbrushing, a technique that removes the trace of the artist’s hand. The resulting mix of techniques and styles references painting’s modern history, from Surrealism to Cubism to Russian constructivists such as Gobo. Singer effectively balances modern design capabilities whilst still engaging in the tradition of painting and legacy of Modernism.
    'If you’re going to make an original statement in painting, you also have to address its history. All artists, but especially painters, have to deal with the issue of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.' —Avery Singer

    Prada Mask showcases the Cubist influence of Picasso, a recurring theme in this early body of Avery Singer’s work. The viewer is presented with a variety of optical impossibilities. The altering surfaces of the object are abstracted and flattened, brought into sharp focus enabled and enhanced by the architectural design modelling software. Reminiscent of Picasso’s paintings of African masks, the present example is executed in a melee of stylised forms, almost entirely in black and white tones. Characteristically for the artist it treads the line between abstraction and figuration.


    Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman (Study for Nude with Drapery), 1907, The Metropolican Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence, Artwork: © Succession Picasso / DACS, London 2022
    Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman (Study for Nude with Drapery), 1907, The Metropolican Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence, Artwork: © Succession Picasso / DACS, London 2022

    Manipulating new technologies to illustrate historical artistic references, the present work is an elegant and power expression of the artist’s engagement with Modernism that lies at the very heart of Avery Singers practice. Pushing the limitation of painting, Singer successfully reimagines the mediums future. She has discovered its uncharted potential by concurrently studying the past and investigating the possibilities of the future. Singer creates her own way of seeing and introduces the viewer to a new world of possibility.


    Collector's Digest


    •    Avery Singer has continued to achieve record prices at auction, most recently beating her previous auction record for Untitled (Tuesday) which sold for $4,498,549 in December 2021. 


    •    At just 35 years old, Singer has been the subject of significant international attention, with solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Vienna’s Secession and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. 


    •    After joining Hauser & Wirth at the end of 2019, in September 2021 the artist opened her first major show ‘Reality Ender’ at the gallery’s New York location. 


    •    Her paintings currently reside in the public collections of the Museum Ludwig, Stedelijk Museum, MoMA, The Whitney Museum and the Hammer Museum.

    • Provenance

      Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin
      Private Collection, Belgium


Prada Mask

signed and dated 'AVERY SINGER 2012' on the stretcher
acrylic on board
91.7 x 91.6 cm (36 1/8 x 36 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2012.

Full Cataloguing

£150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for £252,000

Contact Specialist

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Specialist, Associate Director, Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art
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20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 4 March 2022