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  • Provenance

    Ramis Barquet, New York

  • Literature

    T. Vischer, ed., Francis Alÿs, Sign Painting Project, Göttingen: Steidl, 2011, p. 94/L11.2.1

  • 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.

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185

Desk (Provided Promisses)

1993
Oil on masking tape on panel. 
19 × 24 cm (7 1/2 × 9 1/2 in).
Signed and dated ‘Francis Alÿs 1993’ on the reverse and titled ‘Provided Promisses’ lower left. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Estimate
£40,000 - 60,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £79,250

Contemporary Art Day Sale

17 February 2012
London