Francesco Vezzoli - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 17, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Penetration, 6 June - 15 August, 2002; Naples, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina, People, Volti, Corpi e Segni Contemporanei dalla Collezione di Ernesto Esposito, June - August, 2006

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina, People, Volti, Corpi e Signi Contemporanei dalla Collezione di Ernesto Esposito, Naples, 2006 (illustrated) 

  • Catalogue Essay

    The art of embroidery, for Francesco Vezzoli is the measure of a distance, the link to a forgotten past and the obsessive scheme of his desires. Vezzoli restores the faces of cinematic divas with petit point by drowning and submerging the faces of the melancholic icons of a lost splendor. With his needle and thread, he traces the vestiges of tears and the blood onto the canvas. These gestures transform the artist into a new Theseus, overcoming the labyrinth’s deceits through Ariadne’s precious gift. The instance of Vezzoli’s thread is a refined strategy that reunites him with a path leading back to a yearned world. The beauty of the characters staged in Vezzoli’s nostalgic and imaginary world – whether borrowed from the pages of a magazine or gleaned from a film still – both violated and enriched by a revelatory parade of torments and languishes. Rather than portraits, they appear to be phantoms captured by the taut strength of the thread. Through the needle’s multiple turns and jumps over the canvas, the artist links the images to characters from films, novels or operas whose biographical details begin to intertwine with his own. He uncovers those elements that for an embroidered are not mere coincidences, but revelatory points of a weft. Vezzoli realizes that the practice of embroidery is both serial and discreet, almost like an esoteric code emerging through flashes like scenes in a Luchino Visconti film. (G. Franco taken from J.Winkelman, ed., The Needleworks of Francesco Vezzoli, Ostifildren-Ruit 2003, p. 57)
    Embroidering Veruschka was here is the product of a performance that Vezzoli staged when invited to represent Italy in the Venice Biennale in 2001.The performance consisted of the iconic supermodel Veruschka von Lehndorff on display embroidering tears into images of her prime. Vezzoli exposed private human emotions and sensitivities of the woman creating a sense of vulnerability so tense and painful that it became difficult and uncomfortable, bringing the viewer closer to the icon than they could ever want to be. The result of these performances is embodied in the embroideries, they reveal a woman and her emotions, but more than that they present to us notions of time, loneliness, and the fragility of beauty as well as forcing us to confront our views of the archetype of fame.  


Embroidering Veruschka was Here

Black and white laser print on canvas with metallic embroidery in the artist's painted wooden frame.
59 x 49 cm. (23 1/4 x 19 1/4 in).
This work is unique.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £44,450

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

18 Oct 2008, 7pm