Trashed Mailbox

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  • Provenance

    Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London; Anon. sale, Christie’s New York, November 15, 1995, lot 287; Briest Paris, Sculptures à Bagatelle de 1880 à nos jours, September 18, 1999, lot 86; Pierre Huber Collection, Geneva (acquired from the above); Christie’s, New York, Beyond: Selections from the Pierre Huber Collection, February 26, 2007, lot 4

  • Exhibited


    Lausanne, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Private View 1980 – 2000: Collection Pierre Huber, June – September 2005

  • Catalogue Essay


    In the now familiar journey across this country’s highways, we cannot escape a primary connection to the collective experience of the frontiersman: the search for “The American Dream.” But we also cannot escape the dream’s failed attempts and, more poignantly, its long-forgotten successes. The roadside of this “Promised Land” is littered with chrome-plated hardware, rearview mirrors, oil containers, beer bottles, aluminum cans, American flags and ubiquitous Government-issue U.S. mailboxes. And these are but a few of the desperate objects that form the conceptual core and sculptural foundation of Cady Noland’s art. Trashed Mailbox, 1989, is one of Noland’s most complex and complete of the Accumulative Vessel Works. Part time capsule, part trash heap, this seminal “basket” sculpture is loaded with both anonymous and known objects that are simultaneously blank and iconographic. The result is an assemblage that’s wry as well as tragic, embodying the hopes and dreams at the heart of the American “can do” culture — be it the car culture, patriotism, consumerism, psychological control or violence.
     
    Through its contents and sculptural presence, Trashed Mailbox radiates an electric energy that challenges the viewer’s understanding of space, concept, and even the limitations of art. Not surprisingly, these are the formal aspects and physical energy that have caused Noland’s late-1980s works to assert a central impact on many artists working today, as they refer back to her mining of cultural flotsam, unconventional installation choices such as leaning, and use of silkscreen images and texts from news media. Cady Noland is one of the most celebrated and institutionally respected post-war sculptors, furthering notions of Robert Smithson’s esthetics of decay, Donald Judd’s understanding of material and form and Bruce Nauman’s channeling of underlying desires and the absurd.

30

Trashed Mailbox

Executed in 1989
Chrome-plated metal, aluminum, rubber, plastic, glass mirrors, printed paper, and printed fabric.
20 x 24 x 16 in. (50.8 x 61 x 40.6 cm).

Estimate
$250,000 - 350,000 

sold for $422,500

Carte Blanche

8 November 2010  6pm
New York