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  • Provenance

    Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
    Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    New York, The New Museum, The Ungovernables, 2012 New Museum Triennial, February 15 - April 22, 2012, n.p. (illustrated)
    New York, Public Art Fund, Danh Vo: We The People, May 17, 2014 - December 5, 2014

  • Literature

    Holland Cotter, "Quiet Disobedience," New York Times, February 16, 2012 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    I wanted to do something that everyone had a relationship to, and make it a bit unfamiliar. It’s kind of like creating a Frankenstein that gets its own life.

    An elegant and undulating patchwork of copper, conceptual artist Danh Vo’s We the people (detail), 2011, is as subtle as it is monumental. Part of the artist’s most ambitious project to date, the present lot is one of around 400 unique detail objects cast from an exact replica of the leviathan Statue of Liberty, an icon that has watched over New York Harbor for over 120 years. As much a symbol of New York City as it is of Western democracy, the dismembered goddess has been transformed into an impossible puzzle of gleaming abstractions. Danh Vo’s We the people project is a characteristic example of the artist’s sophisticated and nuanced interpretation of the Duchampian ready-made. A transplant from Vietnam to Denmark, Vo’s own history manifests, as it does for many, as a series of individual vignettes, discrete pieces of a puzzle, unified by the physical body present therein. Understanding this fragmented history and exploring it has been a constant motif throughout Vo’s oeuvre. Indeed, even in the production of We the people – the original sculpture was fabricated in France and erected in New York whereas Vo’s was fabricated in Shanghai, dissected, and installed the world over in private and public collections alike – Vo has established a continuity through disconnect. The physical, material beauty of We the people (detail) belies its tortured conceptual existence, and yet, this beauty is similarly integral to the nature of the work itself. The undulating folds of the original Statue’s robes both harken back to a time of Grecian and Roman democratic idealism and also seem to reference the welcoming nature of a mother’s nightgown. Monumental, personal, fluid and static, Vo’s We the people (detail) is an enigmatic and stunning work by one of the most intellectually rigorous artists working today.

14

We the people (detail)

2011
copper
76 1/2 x 104 x 55 in. (194.3 x 264.2 x 139.7 cm)

Estimate
$200,000 - 300,000 

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250

New Now Evening Sale

New York Auction 29 February 2016 6pm