Doron Langberg - New Now London Thursday, April 28, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'Painting has such an ability to communicate emotionally and empathically in a way that just resonates with me since I can remember.' —Doron Langberg

    Recently debuted at auction with Philips in March 2022, Doron Langberg represents an increasingly visible generation of figurative painters working with highly charged and deeply personal narratives. The present work, Nisan and Idan in the Studio exemplifies the artist’s elected use of luminous colours coated in translucent layers of orange, navy, brown, and black. This interior scene is dominated by two figures, Nisan and Idan, at ease in the foreground. Often depicting himself, his family, friends, and partner, Langberg’s work emphasises the importance of touch in both technique and subject matter, placing modes of queer intimacy, community, and the everyday at the heart of his practice. The artist notes, ‘Queerness for me is not just a sexual experience, but a way of being in the world which affects every aspect of my life. Using intense colours and different paint textures and marks to create these everyday scenes, I want to connect with a viewer by speaking to our most basic commonalities - our bodies, our relationships, our interiority - rather than the social categories that may separate us. In creating this connection, I want to make our queer pleasure, friendship and intimacy feel expansive and generative, embodying the full range of human experiences.’i


    Pierre Bonnard, Le déjeuner (Breakfast), c. 1932, Musée du Petit Palais, Paris. Image: akg-images / Maurice Babey

    Langberg refers to art historical precedents and makes plain the influences he received from Pierre Bonnard, Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh, amongst others: ‘This is not the first time that I’ve quoted Bonnard directly, or tried to take his palette. I think what’s masterful about him is that he really uses every colour in every painting and trying to balance this rainbow palette is really almost impossible- or was impossible for me.’ii The use of colours and sense of closeness between figures, their surroundings and the landscape as a whole fascinates Langberg as he incorporates these artist’s styles into his own. The artist works in fast and broad strokes with a light touch, mixing in a variety of textures and gestures to create a dreamlike surface, almost inviting the viewer to contemplate on the process of creating a work. Nisan and Idan in the Studio beautifully manifest this style as this scene freezes a moment in time, emphasising an emotional resonance between the sitters and the artist himself.

    'If you think of so many artists - Degas, Picasso, Delacroix, Courbet or Ingres - the nature of their desire really dictates a lot of the choices that they make. And realising that as an artist, I’m thinking about how my desire leads me in different ways and insisting on a certain specificity.' 
    —Doron Langberg

    Being aware of the politics of heterosexuality within the art historical canon, Langberg tries to subvert its omnipresence by developing what he describes as ‘a queer subjectivity’ across his practice.’iii This sensitivity is applied to his entire body of work and not only to the tender scenes of eroticism. By tapping into this painterly impulse, the artist is able to engage with the viewer by encouraging insightful conversations on socially constructed assumptions and so-called norms. Addressing these issues within domestic and working spaces such as the home and studio, and within the intimate dynamics of the family and our closest relationships, Langberg explores the ways in which desire is activated and operates in painting.


    Doron Langberg started painting at the age of 6 and resided in Israel where he was born until the age of 21. Represented by Victoria Miro, he now lives and works in New York. Langberg received his BFA from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and his MFA from Yale University, New Haven. The artist was celebrated in key shows hosted by the Schwules Museum, Berlin in 2021, Public Art Fund, New York in 2020, and BRIC, Brooklyn in 2019. Most recently, Langberg was awarded his first solo exhibition Give Me Love with Victoria Miro in London, which ran from September to November, 2021.


    Doron Langberg discusses his practice for ArtDrunk's series 'Why I Paint'.


    i About the Artist¸ Victoria Miro, online
    ii Ben Luke, ‘‘‘It’s more than just queering the canon’’: artist Doron Langberg on his latest works,’ The Art Newspaper, 29 October 2021, online
    iii Ben Luke, ‘‘‘It’s more than just queering the canon’’: artist Doron Langberg on his latest works,’ The Art Newspaper, 29 October 2021, online

    • Provenance

      Francesco Pantaleone Arte Contemporanea, Milan
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Milan, Francesco Pantaleone Arte Contemporanea, Outside In, 12 April — 31 May 2018


Nisan and Idan in the Studio

signed with the artist's initials and dated 'DL 2015' on the overlap
oil on canvas
144.2 x 116.8 cm (56 3/4 x 45 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2015.

Full Cataloguing

£30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for £138,600

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now
+44 20 7901 7993

New Now

London Auction 28 April 2022