Caroline Walker - New Now London Thursday, April 28, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'I find other people’s lives and the visual details of the spaces in which we live and work fascinating. It’s not the big moments of drama, but the small in between things that make up much of something […] about how we live both on an individual and societal level.'
    —Caroline Walker

    Reminiscent of the artist’s Palm Springs and Downtown LA series, Scottish artist Caroline Walker’s Doggy Paddle is a heart-warming example of the artist’s fascination with the beauty of everyday scenes and distinctions between public and private. Inspired by Edgard Degas’ and Edouard Manet’s painterly ruminations on contemporary Parisian life, Walker’s practice seeks to draw our attention back to the quotidian moments of the 21st century day-to-day. Her work is often a reflection of the lived experiences of women, providing the viewer with a glimpse into the scenes, emotions, and everyday reality of their domestic and professional lives, a perspective that she shares as a woman artist. In opposition to the historical focus on the male artist as a portrayer of passive muses and models, Walker stimulates a phenomenological gaze, inviting the viewer to consider how a female perspective in art might offer different insights into the embodied experiences of women to that of her male peers.

     

    Capturing a moment of unguarded innocence, Doggy Paddle belongs to a suite of paintings featuring a former Miss Colorado, who collaborated with Walker in staging a series of photographs in and around the striking modernist home nestled in the Hollywood Hills upon which the paintings are based. Here, our protagonist is shown at ease, holding her dog affectionately at the edge of the pool, her feet dangling in the water. The composition and colour palette of the work are evocative of David Hockney’s iconic pool paintings, capturing a similar feeling of blissful domesticity. Seen from a slightly elevated position, the viewer suddenly finds themselves caught in an act of unintended voyeurism, intruding into this private scene of carefree serenity in a manner that recalls Edward Hopper’s most iconic works.

     

    Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. Image: The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY/ Scala, Florence, Artwork: © Heirs of Josephine Hopper/ Licensed by ARS, NY/DACS, London 2022
    Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. Image: The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY/ Scala, Florence, Artwork: © Heirs of Josephine Hopper/ Licensed by ARS, NY/DACS, London 2022

    Not imposing any clear narrative on her subjects, the artist prompts her audiences to reconsider the way they understand women’s role in contemporary society. As Walker explains, ‘I am interested in whether the knowledge that something has been painted by a woman might change the way you feel about what you are looking at, or challenge your assumptions about a relationship between artist and model’.i Fascinated by the psychological depths of her subjects, Walker also draws our attention to the capacity of painting to make us stop and notice the less visible, both in the context of our physical and psychological realities, as well as that which exists, unseen, in the public and private spaces that surround us.

     

    i Caroline Walker, quoted in ‘Caroline Walker: “Who we perceive to be the maker of an image affects how we consume it”’, Studio International, April 10, 2017, online.

    • Provenance

      Enitharmon Editions, London
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

1

Doggy Paddle

signed, titled and dated 'DOGGY PADDLE Caroline Walker 2018' on the reverse
oil on paper
45.3 x 64.2 cm (17 7/8 x 25 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
£25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for £81,900

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now
+44 20 7901 7993
[email protected]

New Now

London Auction 28 April 2022