Fredrik Værslev - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, November 13, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Europe

  • Catalogue Essay

    "The vertical is in my mind. It helps me give my lines a precise direction and in my quick drawings I never indicate a curve – for example, that of a branch in a landscape – without an awareness of its relationship to the vertical." Henri Matisse

    In his series of Canopy paintings, Fredrik Værslev breathes new life into this often overlooked component of the artist’s studio. The present lot, Untitled (Canopy), 2012, is a wonderful example of Værslev’s meticulously rendered rhythmic patterns. A series of Umbrian red stripes dissects the burnt terracotta colored canvas vertically; in addition, miscellaneous markings can be seen sprinkled across the composition, breaking apart the perfect symmetry with intentional abandon. Through the lens of Værslev, the once mundane and prosaic canopy is venerated as an instrumental tool in creating his celebrated artform. In the vein of traditional canopies, “the canvases have been left outside. Weather is allowed to make its marks and Værslev adds his own through mechanical work: rolling up, brushing off, sanding down, and rinsing, only to be pouring back on the residue and tarred water from the brushes.” (P. Amdam, FREDRIK VÆRSLEV "LANTERNE ROUGE,” StandardOslo, Press Release, 2012) What remains is simple: a gorgeous product made at the hands of both the artist and his surroundings.

    Værslev’s canopy paintings have furthered his examination into the isolation of architectural elements. His earlier series of terrazzo paintings attempt the recreation of a composite material used to create floors or patios onto a canvas surface. Værslev would then endeavor to accelerate the accumulation of wear onto the surface of his terrazzos. He employs a similar process in the present lot, emphasizing his continued interest in the visual markings of time. Untitled (Canopy), 2012 has sustained the sun, heat, wind and cold of its surrounding elements, creating a relentless and stunning final form. His counterintuitive collaboration with natural elements activates a collision of intentional artistic pursuit and fatalistic trust of the surrounding world. Peter Adam explains “Fredrik Værslev's paintings are not only working with nature, but are also paintings of nature where the mark-making gets mapped out and marks turn into maps. (P. Amdam, FREDRIK VÆRSLEV "LANTERNE ROUGE,” StandardOslo, Press Release, 2012)


Untitled (Canopy)

primer, spray paint, white spirit on canvas, wooden stretcher
91 1/2 x 72 1/4 in. (232.3 x 183.5 cm)

$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $317,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 13 November 2014 7pm