Bill Viola - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Haunch of Venison, London

  • Exhibited

    London, Anthony d'Offay Gallery, Five Angels for the Millennium and Other New Works, 2 May – 21 July, 2001 (another example exhibited); Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, 24 January – 27 April, 2003; London, The National Gallery, 22 October, 2003 – 4 January, 2004; Bill Viola: The Passions (another example exhibited); Seoul, Kujke Gallery, Bill Viola, 19 March – 30 April, 2003 (another example exhibited); Skovvej, Arken Museum for Modern Kunst, The ARKEN Collection-New Acquisitions, February – December, 2004 (another example exhibited); Ibaraki, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, Lonely Planet, April 10, 2003 – June 6, 2004 (another example exhibited); London, Haunch of Venison, Changes of Mind: Belief and Transformation, 7 July – 25 August, 2005 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    J. Walsh, ed., Bill Viola: The Passions, Los Angeles, 2003, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Unspoken (Silver & Gold) is a projected image diptych in which the material substance of the image and the emotional stability of two individuals are viewed at their limits. Video sequences of a woman and a man are projected onto two adjacent wood panels of silver and gold leaf, respectively. The two precious materials have special optical properties, and their highly textured surfaces reflect and color the projected light, greatly altering the appearance of the image. The man and woman are seen in close-up as grainy, indistinct images recorded under very low light conditions. They each silently endure states of extreme anguish as waves of emotion wash over them in unrelenting succession. Subtle changes in light and shadow continually push the visual image to the threshold of visibility while the two reach their emotional extremes, locked in a relationship of continual suffering with no apparent beginning or end.
    I've been looking at the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, when making art drastically changed.You not only had the development of vantage-point perspective, but you also had a population that was becoming increasingly mobile thanks to the money generated by a rising merchant class. People were hitting the roads, and all of a sudden there was a demand for private, devotional illustrated prayer books. So artists started making little panel paintings that were latched and hinged, that you could close and take with you.When you got to your inn, you could open it up and do your prayers it was everyone getting their own laptop, basically.(BillViola as quoted in Anthony d'Offay, London press release, 2001)



Unspoken (Silver & Gold)

Black and white video projected diptych on one gold and one silver-leaf panelmounted on wall.
62.3 x 193.1 x 5.7 cm. (24.5 x 76 2.2 in).
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist. This work is from an edition of five plus one artist proof.

£70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for £145,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm