David Ostrowski - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, November 13, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Peres Projects, Los Angeles
    Private Family Collection, Geneva

  • Catalogue Essay

    “A painting means looking for sense in nonsense. I’m not interested in understanding – it’s more about not understanding.” David Ostrowski, 2014

    David Ostrowski’s multifaceted canvases result of a total analysis of the very nature of painting. Through his seemingly subtle and monochromatic paintings, Ostrowski strives to undermine style and composition by experimenting with layer and movement to create improbable and gloriously imperfect effects. By painting over pre-existing portions, he provokes compositional mistakes in order to achieve an uncommon sense of beauty. Every component of the finished work is composed by the artist himself. In fact, he builds the support for the work, stretches the canvas, prepares the coating of the canvas, and finally constructs the frame which encloses the work. While seemingly wild and chaotic in its lush surface, the final product is one completely controlled by the artist.

    The present lot, F (It’s Not Easy Being a Supermodel), 2012, presents a minimal, vacant surface with the faintest traces of artistic gestures. Upon viewing the canvas, it appears as though a much more finished and vibrant work lies below the thick curtain of white paint, leaving only a hint of the erased composition beneath. The surface of the canvas incorporates pieces of paper that the artist then covers with strokes of bright white paint, leaving some sections exposed while others concealed. Vibrant streaks of lilac and pink appear here and there as well as energetic lines of black that are applied with wisps of spray paint. These imprecise, overlapping and spontaneous washes of color not only serve to demarcate space but they also demonstrate the artist’s desire to play with each medium’s boundaries, exploring the infinite possibilities that exist in oil, lacquer, spray paint, paper and canvas. Inundated with drama and even aggression, the painting suggests a beautiful sense of endlessness, intriguing its viewers with its subtle yet divine surface.



F (It's not easy being a Supermodel)

oil, lacquer, paper on canvas in artist's wooden frame
87 x 67 3/8 in. (221 x 171.1 cm)

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $118,750

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 13 November 2014 7pm