Baldur Helgason - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | Phillips

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  • “With painting, I don’t have to tell a specific story. I can be free in what I’m doing and have it happen on its own.”
    — Baldur Helgason

    Brimming with satirical, sardonic commentaries on modern society, the works of Icelandic artist Baldur Helgason are the stuff of vintage cartoons and hallucinogenic dreams. Depicting his own alter-ego, a cartoonish caricature with springy limbs and exaggerated, plasticine features, the Chicago-based artist references various movements throughout art history with a humorous and modern twist.


    Expectations are subverted in the present work, Cubist in Room— here, the artist becomes the art. Dressed in a nautical shirt, the Cubist in question seems to be Picasso, who famously donned a Breton shirt. While this outfit is a clear tribute to the Cubist master, Helgason explains that there is more to this choice in clothing— the artist himself dresses in a similar fashion: ‘ I started wearing [the Breton shirt] when I was in art school in Iceland to look Bohemian. I read once that Andy Warhol wore striped shirts because Picasso wore striped shirts, so that’s what artists do. I like how the simplicity of a modest garment signifies you’re an artist. People make fun of the fact that I wear them all the time. So when I started playing around with this alter-ego/self-portrait figure, that had to be a part of it.’ i Channelling the spirits of modern art legends, the current work is a homage to Helgason’s inspirations as well as a playful reflection of his own painterly process.




    i Baldur Helgason, quoted in Joey Garfield, ‘Baldur Helgason: ICELAND COMETH’, Juxtapoz Magazine, online

    • Provenance

      Padre Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York, Padre Gallery, Baldur Helgason: Tender, 23 January - 22 February 2020


Cubist in Room

signed 'BALDUR' lower right
oil on canvas
76 x 60.8 cm. (29 7/8 x 23 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

HK$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for HK$604,800

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022