Doug Aitken - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    303 Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    Humlebæk, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Metallic Sleep, February 17 - May 13, 2001, then traveled to Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (June 3 - September 20, 2002) (another example exhibited)
    Humlebæk, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Doug Aitken. RISE, June 4 - September 22, 2002 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    D. Aitken, Notes for New Religions - Notes for No Religions, Berlin: Hatje Cantz and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2001
    D. Birnbaum, A. Sharp, and J. Heiser, Doug Aitken, New York: Phaidon, 2001, p. 83 (another example illustrated)
    M.J. Holm,Doug Aitken. RISE, Humlebæk:Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,2002, p. 35

  • Catalogue Essay

    The city has long been a subject for artists seeking to capture the experience of the urban landscape, yet Doug Aitken differentiates his work by utilizing the industrial materials of the very realm he explores. Through shooting this aerial photograph of Los Angeles at night from a helicopter and mounting his transparency onto an LED lightbox, Aitken explores installation and photography and how they converge in Rise, 1998-2001. Aitken’s fabricated scenery has a cinematic quality, appearing almost other-worldly in its juxtaposition of the glowing night sky and the darkness left unlit. Aitken situates the current lot within its urban context through placing an emphasis on the mechanical. Aitken evokes the mood of the city by assimilating his photography into the city’s vernacular through the use of the lightbox, reminiscent of glowing signage, bright city lights, and advertising. Through this interplay of form and function, the city is literally and metaphorically illuminated.

    A predecessor to Iwan Baan’s The City and the Storm, the current lot emphasizes illumination rather than darkness, all the while creating a similar study in contrasts highlighting where the lights begin and end. With its galaxy of twinkling lights, the current lot draws comparisons to Ed Ruscha’s City Lights series of paintings, where grids of bright spots on dark backgrounds suggest aerial views of the city at night. Aitken’s technique of projection allows the lights depicted in the image of Los Angeles at night to brighten their surroundings as they do in reality.



Fujitran print, in aluminum lightbox
90 x 132 x 18 in. (228.6 x 335.3 x 45.7 cm.)
This work is number 1 from an edition of 6.

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $137,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 12 November 2013 11AM