David Hockney - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 19, 2022 | Phillips

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  •  The monumental photographic drawing, Viewers Looking at a Ready-made with Skull and Mirrors, depicts a white cube exhibition space in which three enormous mirrors hang on the walls reflecting a formation of standing and seated figures encircling a ‘ready-made’ sculpture. The assemblage is comprised of variously sized, metal carts stacked upon one another with a skull placed at the pinnacle. Hockney used advanced camera technology to meticulously photograph each person and object from every angle and perspective so that he could digitally alter and stitch the images together to create a fictional scene. The audience consists of friends and colleagues, many of whom make repeat appearances in his other works, but at slightly altered angles, thus emphasizing the impressive capability of the camera. 

    "In a humorous fashion, he depicted viewers observing an apparent piece of conceptual art to make a comment on contemporary spectatorship and the institutionalized exhibiting models."
    —Balasz Takac, Wide Walls Magazine 
    The presence and angles of the mirrors when paired with the composition of the scene presents the idea of viewers as participants. We observe the seven figures, observing themselves, observing the sculpture and as a result, we join them as active participants when we inhabit the position of observing the work as a whole. 

    • Provenance

      L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, California


Viewers Looking at a Ready-made with Skull and Mirrors

Monumental photographic drawing in colors, on four sheets of wove paper, mounted on Dibond (as issued).
S. 71 1/2 x 42 1/2 in. (181.6 x 108 cm)
Signed, dated and numbered 25/25 in black ink, published by the artist, framed.

Full Cataloguing

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $157,500

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212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 19 - 21 April 2022