Doris Salcedo - Contemporary Art London Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, São Paolo

  • Exhibited

    Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Modern Art, Carnegie International 1995, 1995

  • Literature

    N. Princenthal, et. Al., Doris Salcedo, London, 2000, pp. 57 & 70 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In The Aesthetics of Disappearance, theorist Paul Virilio states that advanced culture is characterized by a degree and prevalence of speed—he refers to the velocity of projected imagery (cinema), of transmitted information (digital communication) and of ever more accelerated travel itself—that has progressively eroded perceptual stability; Virilio argues, in fact, that contemporary culture not only allows for, but is ultimately defined by this new order of visibility. ‘Speed treats vision like its basic element’, Virilio writes. Salcedo, too, is deeply and increasingly interested in the 'aesthetics of disappearance', in threshold conditions of perceptibility. And the violence that is implicit in Virilio's discussion of speed (elsewhere, he makes it explicit) strengthens the connection between his consideration of the urge towards invisibility and hers. But in her recent untitled furniture it is a kind of absolute zero of movement, an impossibly frozen moment of unending impact expressed as immutable stasis—an immobility to which the stiffened shirts, blocked doors, and embalmed shoes of her earlier work had pointed — that makes things tend to disappear into a state of altogether paradoxical dreaminess. Here a relevant body of public work can be found, perhaps in Felix Gonzalez-Torres' untitled stacks of offset prints, offered to exhibition visitors at no charge. Images, often, of emptiness—blue skies, unbroken expanses of sand—they run eternity and mortality together, with ephemera given away freely, forever. The generosity of this work, as much as its transcendent serenity in the face of unending loss, seems close in spirit to that of Salcedo's sculptures which transform the most obdurate of materials into visions as blank and yielding as clear sky.
    N. Princenthal, Doris Salcedo, London, 2000, p. 81

  • Artist Biography

    Doris Salcedo

    Colombian • 1958

    Colombian-born sculptor Doris Salcedo studied at New York University before returning to her hometown of Bogotá to teach in 1980. Her work revolves around themes of suffering and loss, inspired by both personal and collective experience of trauma in Colombia. Composed of commonplace items such as wooden furniture, clothing and grass, her sculptures give form to the emptiness left in the wake of the death or disappearance of a loved one. By acknowledging and making manifest the void, her works probe its potential to be reappropriated as a space of mourning. She has become predominantly famous for her installation artwork, in which she incorporates the physicality of space, creating historically and politically charged environments.

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ca. 1990
Concrete, glass, iron and wood.
38 1/4 x 46 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (97.2 x 118.7 x 41.9 cm).

£250,000 - 350,000 

Contemporary Art

22 June 2007, 4pm & 5pm