Banks Violette - Under the Influence London Sunday, April 12, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Team Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Banks Violette: Untitled, 27 May - 2 October 2005
    London, The Royal Academy, Dark Materials, 13 December 2008 - 19 January 2009

  • Literature

    The New York Times, Master of the Dark Arts, 15 May 2005

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I think the condition of something can be shifted by its proximity to a crime or an event and then it does become haunted and inhabited by something.” -BANKS VIOLETTE

    The immersive installation by American artist Banks Violette is a testament to the artists continued exploration of youth counterculture and the search for – in the artist’s words – a “lived-experience.” Harrowing in its form, rooted in an act of violence attuned to the melodies of Norwegian Death Metal, Untitled (Church) embodies what Violette powerfully describes as, “the idea that this aesthetic thing could instil dread in people."

    The present lot is based upon the Norwegian Fantoft church near Bergen, which was burned to the ground by a nineteen-year old Varg Virernes in 1992. He was the lead in a metal band, Burzum, and was later linked to several other acts of arson and used a photograph of the burnt church as an album cover. Violette, whose own adolescence was markedly rebellious, continually finds inspiration in lived experience, especially that of counterculture. The work itself is not made from the traditional wood, but salt – the artist’s own nod to late sixties American post-Minimalism. Violette used molds made from wooden beams, which were burned with a blow-torch, the process, as the artist describes as “the fun part.” The installation became the crux of the Violette’s first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2005. Embodying the Neo-Gothic, Violette’s church is an ethereal and romantic. In its completion, the haunting skeleton of the church, charred, evokes the gothic wholeheartedly.



Untitled (Church)

bonded salt, salt, polyurethane, polymer medium, ash, epoxy, wood, galvanized steel, steel hardware
366 x 488 x 732 cm (144 1/8 x 192 1/8 x 288 1/4 in.)

£10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for £23,750

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Head of Under the Influence, London
+44 207 318 4065

Under the Influence

London Auction 13 April 2015  4pm