Dan Colen - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Peres Projects, Los Angeles

  • Catalogue Essay

    Executed in 2005 this mythical painting by NewYork born artist Dan Colen re-examines the notions of symbolic objects within the context of contemporary art and culture.
    With its colour palette of misty shades of blues and browns the present lot, Untitled (going, going, go...,) is a primary example of Colen's ability to render a painterly scene most often encountered in the cannon of Old Master Painting, with a hint of contemporary imagery. Colen infuses his painting with symbolic attributes reminiscent of 17th century painting: the stillness of the wine cask, the quill resting in its ink-well and the candleholder with its recently extinguished flame.
    With Colen's heightened awareness for symbolic elements within the genre of painting, the artist creates a fantastical space in which he explores the aforementioned symbols as memento mori tools referencing art history in itself. On the other hand however, he simultaneously uses the lingering trails of smoke to form the conceptual aspect of the painting, underscoring the work's title and message with a pop logotype that reminds us of the semiotic pop paintings by Los Angeles born artist Ed Ruscha.
    It is with this knowledge that we as viewers are able to appreciate the present lot, as a visual exploration, fusing symbolism from two completely different periods, whilst allowing them to compliment each other, creating a painting that oozes a disjointed harmony.

  • Artist Biography

    Dan Colen

    American • 1979

    American artist Dan Colen has spent most of his career asking himself questions about the editorial decisions artists have to make when creating a scene from scratch on canvas. In his early work, Colen painted mundane interiors punctuated with fantastical elements. This manifested as part of a growing curiosity in the ethereal or divine intervention.

    Colen subsequently stepped away from paint as material and started using found objects as mediums with which to paint. Among these, Colen has used chewing gum, street trash, confetti, feathers, flowers and dirt. This methodology allows Colen to abandon control and create in a more free-form, subconscious manner.

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Untitled (going, going, go...)

Oil on canvas.
96.5 x 96.5 cm. (38 x 38 in).
Signed and dated ‘Dan Colen 2005' on the overlap.

£25,000 - 35,000 ≠ †

Sold for £93,650

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm