Cecily Brown - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Although Cecily Brown was born in London and graduated from the Slade Art School in 1993, she has since moved to New York where she has rapidly received critical acclaim through two sell-out shows at Deitch Projects in 1997 and 1998. She has now established herself as one of today’s leading figures of the new wave of young painters.

    The present lot, The Torment of St. Anthony, 2010, is from Brown’s series of smaller scale works inspired by Michelangelo’s earliest attributed painting also titled The Torment of St. Anthony (c. 1487–88). Like many of her recent works, this painting shows the increasingly abstract nature of her painting. Those familiar with her earlier, more figurative works, in which the fusion of abstraction with the figuration can render the often sexual imagery visually uncertain, may well be searching for the ghosts of similar imagery in the flesh-toned impasto juxtaposed against the dark greens and browns in this more abstract work. This is something the artist herself has recognised in her audience: “I sometimes wonder, looking back on the paintings with lots of sexual content, whether I was setting things up so that later I could be less explicit…People familiar with the more graphic work will bring that content to the more ambiguous paintings” (the artist in conversation with Lari Pittman, in Cecily Brown, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2008).

Ο ◆8

The Torment of St. Anthony

Oil on linen.
104.1 x 114.3 cm (40 7/8 x 45 in).

£250,000 - 350,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £265,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 October 2011