Caroline Walker - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale Hong Kong Friday, October 6, 2023 | Phillips
  • “The subject of my paintings in its broadest sense is women’s experience, whether that is the imagined interior life of a glimpsed shop worker, a closely observed portrayal of my mother working in the family home, or women I’ve had the privilege of spending time with, in their place of work. From the anonymous to the highly personal, what links all these subjects is an investigation of an experience which is specifically female.”
    — Caroline Walker

    Instantly recognisable as a painting by Scottish artist Caroline Walker, the present work was created as a preparatory study for the artist’s large-scale painting Bathroom, Stanley Room which was featured in Walker’s solo exhibition Caroline Walker: Women’s Work at the Midlands Art Centre in 2021.


    Visually captivating and imbued with a sense of complexity and humanity, viewers are offered a glimpse through the artist’s lens of an intimate and domestic scene. Using her photographic materials as a starting point, Study for Bathroom, Stanley Room is a brilliant example showcasing Walker’s technical ability in implementing a one-point perspective. Taking a closer look at the present work, the composition converges toward a single vanishing point, drawing the viewer’s gaze to focus on the anonymous figure staged at the centre of the composition.


    Walker’s most significant works explore the theme of women and how they achieve their own position in a patriarchal society. In particular, the present work recalls Johannes Vermeer’s most widely recognised masterpiece, The Milkmaid – drawing parallels to the representation of women and encouraging the audience to reconsider their roles which are often overlooked and undervalued. The artist considers these women as endless subjects to portray, and she often finds the most joy in capturing the ‘in-between’ moments – when a subject is fully absorbed in a task or unaware of being observed.


    Study for Bathroom, Stanley Room presents a voyeuristic view of the protagonist’s lifestyle and the way in which Walker implements her smooth buttery brushstrokes onto the surface imbues the work with a cinematic quality. As if peering through a window yet not in a threatening manner, the present work encourages viewers to question the roles of women from an outsider’s perspective – to reflect on the conflicts imposed by both their career and personal life. 


    Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c.1660
    Collection of the Rijksmuseum


    Born 1982 in Scotland, Walker currently resides and works in London. Walker attended Glasgow School of Art before completing her MA at the Royal College of Art, London, and has been honoured with solo exhibitions at the Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham and KM21, The Hague, 2021; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 2018; as well as the Fitzrovia Chapel, London.


    Having received widespread critical acclaim over the past decade, her works are represented in important collections around the world including KM21 Kunstmuseum, The Hague, The UK Government Art Collection, London, National Museum Wales, Cardiff and Pérez Art Museum Miami.


    The artist talks about the theme of her solo exhibition at MAC, Caroline Walker: Women’s Work, 25 May – 5 September 2021.
    Video courtesy of Midlands Art Centre – MAC


    • Provenance

      GRIMM, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Study for Bathroom, Stanley Room

signed, titled and dated '"Study for bathroom, Stanley Room" 2018 Caroline Walker' on the reverse
oil on paper
46 x 61 cm. (18 1/8 x 24 in.)
Executed in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$349,250

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Head of Day Sale, Associate Specialist
+852 2318 2014

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 7 October 2023