Francis Alÿs - Contemporary Art Part II New York Friday, May 15, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Lisson Gallery, London

  • Exhibited

    Barcelona, Fundacio La Caixa, Francis Alÿs: The Last Clown, June - July 2000 (another example exhibited) 

  • Literature

    D. G. Torres, ed., Francis Alÿs: The Last Clown, Barcelona, 2000; M. Desilets, "Francis Alÿs: The Last Clown," Parachute: Contemporary Art Magazine, July 2000  

  • Artist Biography

    Francis Alÿs

    Belgian / Mexican • 1959

    Born in Belgium, Francis Alÿs traveled to Mexico in 1986 as part of a French program to assist in the aftermath of the tragic 1985 earthquake, and has lived there ever since. Throughout his career, the artist has analyzed facets of everyday urban life using a variety of media including video, drawing, installation and public action. Sign Painting Project (1993-'97) is a prime example of the artist's interest in the sprawling urbanization of Mexico City. In this early series, Alÿs drew inspiration from professional Mexican sign painters (rotúlistas) who painted large billboard advertisements throughout the city. In response to these large colorful compositions, Alÿs employed a similar style in creating small-scale paintings of familiar objects and places.  Alÿs asked various rotúlistas to copy and enlarge his paintings, displaying his work and that of the rotúlista side-by-side. This series, like many of Alÿs' other works, illustrates the artist's concerns with such themes as collaboration, banality and originality.

    View More Works


The Last Clown

Black and white video projection and an acrylic and graphite work on paper. 
Installation dimensions variable. Video 10 minute looped duration; drawing 10 7/8 x 13 7/8 in. (27.6 x 35.2 cm).
Drawing signed "F. Alÿs" lower right and titled "Study for 'The Last Clown'" lower left.  This work is from an edition of four. 

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $74,500

Contemporary Art Part II

15 May 2009, 10am
New York