Danica Lundy - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Tuesday, November 15, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "Growing up on contact sports, I was given a window to my own anatomy through cuts, injuries, bruises, and a close proximity to fellow teammates. Painting is a physical undertaking, and inevitably, I’ve also come to understand it as a contact sport."
    —Danica Lundy 
    Danica Lundy’s Miss Fist Kiss, 2019, brims with the nervous energy of an athlete’s anticipation. The claustrophobic composition feels like being in the bull pen of a road race; the viewer is crowded in by bodies, the person in front of them tying back her hair, another cracking their knuckles. A pair of hands, wrapping themselves in bandages, are so close, they could be the viewer’s. It is hard to see, in a sea of transparencies and overlapping limbs, where one body ends and another begins. As art critic John Yau writes, exactly “whose body has Lundy placed us in?”i

    And yet, for all of the anticipation, there is a sense that the action of Miss Fist Kiss has already passed; the viewer has missed the first (fist) kiss. Tired bodies drink water and slump against the central wooden post. A figure to the right catches the viewer’s gaze with one bright yellow eye; the other is bruised and bandaged, retreated into the shadows of other bodies. And at the back of the composition, the bright, spot-lit ring is conspicuously empty, stained with red spots, perhaps blood, peeling tape, and puffs of white, maybe chalk. 


    Leonardo da Vinci, The superficial anatomy of the shoulder and neck, c. 1510, Royal Collection Trust. Image: Heritage Image Partnership Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo


    Danica Lundy’s body of work draws upon a long, painterly interest in the human body and perspective in art history. She has cited the Italian Renaissance as an early reference point, recalling that she first learned to draw the body by copying Renaissance sculptures from a book.ii Like Lundy, Renaissance masters such as Leonardo da Vinci were captivated by the human body, and how its mechanisms moved together. Lundy’s figures, with half-transparent limbs and eerily pale, discolored parts, recall da Vinci’s exercises in dissection; both artists are interested in the limits of the skin. 
    "We live in bodies we can’t usually see into, so why shouldn’t painting be a forum for that imaginary observation?"
    —Danica Lundy 

    Lundy also shares Renaissance artists’ interest in perspective, but unlike Italian masters such as Leon Battista Alberti, she seeks to move beyond a rational, two-point, linear point of view. As she says, “Albertian perspective is just one way to organize the picture plane. It isn’t necessarily an intuitive organization to show how we actually experience the world.”iii

    Rather, the artist is interested in the sensations of being: how does it feel to be in a room of sweating, breathing bodies? How does it feel to look down from a set of ribs, from the tunnel vision of a hooded sweatshirt, from the underside of a toilet bowl? How does it feel to see the world from a boxer’s hands, whose hands may also be your own? 


    Lundy plays the permeability of the body into her work, inspired by paintings such as Dana Schutz's Sneeze, 2002, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. The ideas of “paint as snot, paint as an explosion, paint exposing messes,” all hold true for Lundy.iv Her medium of choice, oil paint, lends its mucusy sheen to her meaning; she describes how her paint “moves along behind the brush like a slug…”v


    Unlike her Renaissance inspirations, who sought order and harmony in their compositions, Lundy’s paintings lean into the chaos of bodily existence, moving and oozing, sweating and breathing. Miss Fist Kiss asks the viewer to consider, “what does it mean to inhabit something that is constantly changing, and over which you do not have complete control?”vi


    Collector’s Digest


    • After showing work in solo shows across Europe, South Africa, and Canada, Lundy had her first solo show in the United States with New York, Magenta Plains, Three Hole Punch, February 5 - March 10, 2022.

    •  Miss Fist Kiss is the first of Lundy’s works to come to auction.

    i John Yau, “A ‘Boobs-Eye’ View and Other Perspectives on the Body,” Hyperallergic, March 3, 2022, online.
    ii Danica Lundy, interviewed for Artoday, February 2, 2019, online.
    iii Danica Lundy, quoted in Annabel Keenan, “Danica Lundy Paints the Drama, Chaos, and Reckless Abandon of Adolescence,” Cultured, February 8, 2022, online.
    iv Danica Lundy, quoted in Layla Leiman, “Painting as Contact Sport: In Conversation with Danica Lundy,” ART MAZE Mag, February 3, 2020, online
    v Ibid.
    vi Yau.

    • Provenance

      C+N Canepaneri, Milan
      Private Collection
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York, Sugarlift, Call Me When You Get This, April 25, 2019

    • Literature

      "Danica Lundy," Artoday, February 2, 2019, online (the present work in progress with the artist in the artist's studio illustrated)


Miss Fist Kiss

signed and dated "D Lundy 2019" on the overlap; further signed and dated "D Lundy 2019" on the reverse
oil on canvas
74 7/8 x 95 1/2 in. (190.2 x 242.6 cm)
Painted in 2019.

Full Cataloguing

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $189,000

Contact Specialist

Amanda Lo Iacono
Global Managing Director and Specialist, Head of Evening Sale, New York
+1 212 940 1278

Carolyn Mayer
Associate Specialist, Associate Head of Evening Sale, New York
+1 212 940 1206


20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 15 November 2022