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  • Provenance

    Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica

  • Catalogue Essay

    Throughout his career, French conceptual artist Christian Boltanski has relied on readymade objects, from worn clothing articles to used suitcases and perhaps most poignantly—old photographs, to address notions of loss and memory. Boltanski has described his method by stating: “I never take photographs myself. I don’t feel like a photographer, more like a recycler.” By utilizing photographs that had been taken by anonymous photographers of anonymous children, all of whom predate his existence, Boltanski masterfully invokes the forgotten. In Untitled, 1989, Boltanski presents four blurred photographs of children. “I try to find images that are sufficiently imprecise to be as widely shared as possible,” Boltanski has stated, “vague images that spectators can embroider as they see fit.” Indeed, by removing the specific identity of the subjects, the children depicted transcend their own individuality and become metaphoric emblems of childhood. Their pyramidal composition, the interwoven lights strewn within them and their perch above a biscuit box collectively produce a makeshift shrine to innocence and a bygone era. The work is as respectful and somber as it is awe-inspiring.

226

Untitled

1989
Mixed media installation comprised of 4 gelatin silver prints, 18 electric lights and biscuit tin with enclosed handkerchief.
72 x 48 x 9 in. (182.9 x 121.9 x 22.9 cm)
Signed and dated in pencil on an installation illustration accompanying the work.

Estimate
$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $77,500

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs
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Shlomi Rabi
Head of Sale, New York
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General Enquiries:
+1 212 940 1245

Photographs

New York Auction 1 April 10am & 2pm