Banks Violette - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Team Gallery, New York; Private collection, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    "At 31, with a master's degree in fine arts from Columbia University and the theory-laced vocabulary of a literature professor, Mr. Violette does not seem particularly dark. But behind him in the studio loomed a huge spectral structure that testified at the very least to his abiding fascination with the chaos of the world. It was a 12-foot-tall replica of a church, or more accurately the charred beams and gables left standing after a church had been burned. Instead of wood, however, the entire structure was made from salt, creating an architectural skeleton that at once evokes high Minimalism, gothic creepiness and a kind of ethereal ice-palace beauty."(R. Kennedy, "Master of the Dark Arts" in The New York Times: Art Review, May 15, 2005)
    Sculptor, painter, and Goth enthusiast Banks Violette delivers works which take inspiration from the dark side of American culture. Death metal, ritual murder and teenage suicide are mere starting points. His violent references and dark contextual connotations are shuttered by the subtle beauty which his works unveil.
    In the present lot, the artist has painted on paper what looks like a burning church in a negative light. The black spaces created through the effect reveal demonesque faces, the building standing like a mirage being engulfed by the black flames. Ghostly, twisted and heavy like the music which he makes reference to, this cathedral piece is a recreation of a nightmarish teenage psyche, a dreamlike vision, like most of Banks' work this can best be described as ‘both a symptom and cause of individual immorality and social breakdown.'



Graphite on paper.
105 x 152 cm. (41 3/8 x 59 7/8 in).
Signed, titled and dated ‘Banks Violette “Church” 2005’ on the reverse.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £73,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2008, 5pm