David Wiseman - Design New York Wednesday, December 9, 2020 | Phillips

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    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

    • Literature

      Mayer Rus, David Wiseman, and Susan Weberp, David Wiseman, New York, 2020, pp. 104-05, 149-52

    • Catalogue Essay

      David Wiseman has described his practice’s raison d’être, saying, “My goal is to speak to nature’s primacy and to introduce its beauty to our built environments, to be embraced by its sublime lessons, and recognize its fragile beauty.” Wiseman clearly achieved this goal in the four present vases, which all take their form from shapes present in nature. Though these intimate objects merge interior and exterior worlds, they do not attempt to domesticate the outdoors. They instead meditate on the beauty of nature’s organic forms and their connection to the transcendent and eternal. The use of a reflective bronze does not result in lifelike representations of rocks or waves but underscores Wiseman’s reverence for the natural world. There is a sense of surprise and sublimity in the work—for example, the interruption of the smooth, hexagonal surface on the “Geode” vase with what appears to be a crystalline deposit—that calls to mind design antecedents such as Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne.

      Wiseman’s work also often draws on a history of ornamentation—design historian Susan Weber has called his work a “three-dimensional glossary of ornament”—whether that be a Japanese cherry blossom or a Gothic quatrefoil motif. His reference points are global in their scope and vast in their chronological sweep, and, yet, they converge to forge a formidable and unique path within contemporary art and design. This is evident not only through his success with editioned works and in private commissions but also through his recognition by institutions such the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and the Corning Museum of Glass, all of which include his work in their permanent collections.


Group of four vases

Polished bronze, patinated bronze.
Tallest: 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm) high
Numbers 1, 3, 9, and 23 from separate editions of 25 plus 4 artist's proofs. Underside of each impressed with artist's cipher and 1, DW 3, 9, and 23, respectively. Comprising two "Marine" vases, a "Geode" vase, and a "Tufted" vase.

Full Cataloguing

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $25,200

Contact Specialist

+1 212 940 1265


New York Auction 9 December 2020