Cecily Brown - Contemporary Art Part I New York Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    A. Lindemann, Collecting Contemporary, Cologne/New York, 2006, p. 65 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “My male painter friends who are a bit older tell me I’m lucky. They say they spent their art school years trying to paint de Koonings, but they could never get away with what I did. As white American males they couldn’t paint like an Abstract Expressionist because it was too close, too recent, too American and too macho, but as an English girl I could.” (Cecily Brown in an interview with R. Enright, “Paint Whisperer: An Interview with Cecily Brown”, Border Crossings, Volume 4, No. 1, Issue No. 93, p. 40).

    By evoking the figurative in deliberate brushstrokes, Cecily Brown harkens to 19th century and Baroque painterly traditions—Romantic ideals of constructing canvases-- to act as a ‘carpenter’ in combining narrative with the abstract. The artist is comfortable incorporating a wide range of visual sources. In the present lot, Black Painting No. 6, from 2003, a quiet domestic activity of a nude reclining in repose, lays witness to the artist’s employment of sexual suggestion, a tendency many critics have noted in her body of work at large. Navigating through combinations of expression, the artist does not refrain from improvisation despite her heavily worked canvas. At once hectic and controlled, Brown’s painting understands the need to rely on the intuitive nature of the medium she employs. What we see is at once rooted in the art historical canons from which she finds inspiration and her own reliance on creativity.


Black Painting No. 6

Oil on linen.
48 x 50 in. (121.9 x 127 cm).
Signed and dated “Cecily Brown 2003” on the reverse.

$300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for $992,000

Contemporary Art Part I

17 May 2007
7pm New York