Cory Arcangel - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Team Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Brimming with vibrant hues of blue, red and yellow, Photoshop CS: 72 by 110 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient "Blue, Red, Yellow" mousedown y=11050 x=3350, mouseup y=16300 x=19900, 2009, is a quintessential example of Cory Arcangel’s salient Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations. With each title disclosing the specific x and y coordinates of pre-set colours in the graphics-editing programme Adobe Photoshop, Arcangel’s series of glossy c-prints examines the relationship between art history and modern technology. Utilising digitally concocted pigments and technical printing, the present work becomes an algebraic readymade that pays irreverent homage to Marcel Duchamp and the American Colour Field painters.

    Discovering high-speed internet connection whilst studying at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1996, Arcangel became fascinated with the myriad possibilities surrounding the realm of contemporary technology. Pairing his classical guitar studies with courses in music technology and coding, the artist developed an exceptional practice spanning internet-based interventions that saw him repurpose digital tools such as Youtube, Garageband and Photoshop. He remarked, ‘I wait for culture to swim by me, and then I snap it up’ (Cory Arcangel, quoted in Miranda Siegel, ‘The Joys of Obsolescence’, New York Magazine, 15 May 2011, online).

    First garnering critical acclaim in the early 2000s with tongue-in-cheek works that reworked the mechanisms of old computer games, Arcangel became one of the leading contemporary artists to explore the intersection between artistic creation and the digital. As noted by Christiane Paul on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Arcangel’s works ‘ultimately do not evaluate technology itself but the human perspective on it—the ways in which we play with tools to engage the world’ (Christiane Paul, Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools, exh. brochure, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2011, p. 28). Layering primary colours in a way that is redolent of a colour temperature chart, the present work touches precisely upon this notion of phenomenological human perspective.


Photoshop CS: 72 by 110 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient "Blue, Red, Yellow", mousedown y=11050 x=3350, mouseup y=16300 x=19900

Diasec mounted c-print, in artist’s frame
image 181.1 x 278 cm (71 1/4 x 109 1/2 in.)
overall 190.2 x 286.7 cm (74 7/8 x 112 7/8 in.)

Executed in 2009.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £300,000

Contact Specialist
Rosanna Widén
Senior Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4060

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 7 March 2019