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  • Provenance

    Janet Green, California
    D’Amelio Terras, New York
    Private collection, Paris

  • Exhibited

    Venice, Palazzo Grassi, Where Are We Going?, April 30-October 1, 2006

  • Literature

    A. M. Gingeras and J. Bankowsky, Where Are We Going?, Palazzo Grassi, Venice/Milan, 2006, p. 237 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    While notably reticent to present new artworks to the public, New York based, Cady Noland holds the record for the highest price achieved for an artwork by a living woman and has been included in the prestigious Whitney Biennale (1991) and Documenta 9. Her artistic practice continues to inspire, cited by a young generation of artists who choose to investigate the cultural landscape through debris, detritus, and throw-away objects. The present lot, Clip on Method, 1989, is a poignant contribution to art
    history bringing forth an artwork that operates through aesthetically staging a culmination of cultural artifacts. In this work as in Noland’s practice as a whole she reveals the underpinnings of how the narrative of historical or dramatic events shapes social behavior and how this narrative takes visual and material form. Clip on Method, 1989, mediates on loss and contemplation, allowing everyday objects to transform themselves in front of our very eyes, illuminating variations of moral, cultural, and economic
    value.

    Comprised of long metal rod, elevated by three brackets and adorned with various metal and wooden curtain clip-on rings, this sculpture is further adorned with seemingly random elements such as a shoe horn, a cowbell, two metal racks layered onto each other and affixed with silver rings, a bit, and a plastic plumbing tube, skewered toward the far end of the rod. Most of these objects are considered as post-industrial detritus, however, when presented in such a linear fashion, clipped along the metal rod, they
    are interpreted as a diagram, a fragmented time line, a cultural excavation through basic objects– objects that bind. In this way, Noland continues to address the problematic nature of modernity, wherein desired sociological transitions are seldom effective when implemented within–or in this case, clipped along– the same structure. Here, a calibrated cynicism is apparent: “there is as method in my work which has taken a pathological trend. From the point at which I was making work out of objects I became interested in how, actually, under which circumstances people treat other people like objects.” (Cady Noland, in M. Cone, “Cady Noland”, Journal of Contemporary Art, Fall/Winter, 1990).

    As evidenced in the inclusion of her piece, Mutated Pipe, 1989, in the exhibition Born to be Wild, at the Kunst Museum in St. Gallen, Switzerland, Noland’s rod-based sculptures are often found installed and hung from a gallery wall. Here however, the present lot, Clip on Method, 1989, was installed on the gallery floor when exhibited in Where are We Going? at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, in 2006. By situating the artwork in this way, the cold objects that comprise Noland’s Clip on Method, 1989, are in direct
    communication with the cold floor, implying a refusal of the hierarchical plane. Despite the fact that Clip on Method, 1989, is comprised of objects that blend into the fabric of the everyday, as a whole, it remains an aesthetically striking artwork, with its polished and sleek surfaces that would seem to adapt to any space. Evoking an unmonumental quality, the artwork stretches across the floor, positioned as small stubborn hurdle before a large freestanding cut-out figure of Lee Harvey Oswald, Oozewald, 1989. Oswald, infamously noted as John F. Kennedy’s assassin, is presented here with large holes throughout his body, one hole penetrates his mouth stuffed by an American flag. Noland employs a title that guides the viewer toward stories covered by tabloids and the popular media, publicizing the traumatic event into infinity; Oozewald, 1989 becomes the incarnation of American History’s unhealed wound. The artist is well known for taking on turning points in American history, evoking the tumultuous period of the 1960’s and 1970’s; addressing the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam war, the Manson family, as well as the transmission of images and imagery encapsulating these events– and by association, the transmission of fear. This transmission of imagery and fear is exemplified in
    Andy Warhol’s death and disaster series of 1963 – Tunafish Disaster and Car Crash – wherein the multiplied image reflects back onto an American economic structure: marketing fear just as it markets any other commodity; mapping out the manner in which fear (as a commodity) is consumed and internalized.

    Together, Clip on Method, 1989, and Oozewald, create a dialogue about violence, revenge, and the social-political obstacles that have faced generations of Americans. Clip on Method, 1989, reflects the kind of fragmentation that exists within cultural memory, a disenfranchisement in material form. This sculpture holds the potential to become a series of microhistorical accounts; referring to larger narratives and dramatic events as well as to small-scale histories. Each object, a talisman along the metal rod, oscillating between thing and symbol. The seeming randomness of the accumulated objects rejects back into the violence that shrouds Oozewald, a violence which, according to Noland, “has always been around. The seeming randomness of it now actually indicates the lack of political organization representing different interests.” (Cady Noland, in M. Cone, “Cady Noland”, Journal of Contemporary Art, Fall/Winter, 1990).

    The exhibition, Where are We Going?, featured Noland’s work in context with over two-hundred artworks by forty-nine artists ranging in movements from Art Informel, Arte Povera, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, and Pop Art. In good company, the exhibition included artists such as Lucio Fontana, Agnes Martin, Donald Judd, and Warhol, invoking sixty years worth of influential art movements stemming out of the post-war period; all of which have been punctuated with similar critical stances questioning the construction of social norm. Noland’s Clip on Method, 1989, proposes an arch over these movements, the accumulation of objects reflecting Duchampian assemblage with the misleading appearance of an informal approach. Noland appropriates objects with cool distinction. While there are many examples of artworks that comment on the fragment as a state of being, commodity culture, consumerism, and capitalism, Noland deliberately rejects the instant gratification that so commonly accompanies the consumption of fragments. Clip on Method, 1989, demands viewers to engage in the awareness of objects and through this, a reflection on the objecthood of history.

16

Clip on Method

1989
mixed media
overall: 144 x 29 x 4 in. (365.8 x 73.7 x 10.2 cm)

Estimate
$1,500,000 - 2,500,000 

Sold for $1,762,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

15 November 2012
New York