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  • Provenance

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

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I like how these materials take some control away from me, allowing for a more uncertain future and yet a more finished piece.” DANCOLEN

    The work Happy Accidents Happy Endings by New York-based artist Dan Colen was executed with used chewing gum in 2010. It demonstrates how clearly, even palpably so, how Colen has learned to work with lowly matter and materials by investigating their individual histories and exposing their latent energy through the process of painting. In doing so, he addresses the gestural approach of the Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, undermining their formalism by the application of used chewing gum to the blank canvas, and so reconceptualising the process of painting. Colen thus pursues postmodern strategies by drawing for his material and subject from urban sub-culture, the mass media, personal experience and a mixture of highbrow and lowbrow. In 2006, Dan Colen took a picture of the Bubble Gum alley in Los Angeles, known for its accumulation of used bubble gum on the walls. Titled In love with Life, the photograph marks the beginning of Colen’s interest in using chewing gum as a medium of expression.

  • 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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2

Happy Accidents, Happy Endings

2010
chewing gum on canvas
121 x 91 cm (47 5/8 x 35 7/8 in)
Signed, titled and dated ‘Dan Colen 2010 “Happy Accidents, Happy Endings”’ on the overlap. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

Estimate
£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £145,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

10 October 2012
London