Futura - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Sunday, November 24, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Donated directly by the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    Dubbed the godfather of contemporary graffiti, Futura – also known as Leonard Hilton McGurr – has been widely praised for putting the ‘art’ into street art. Alongside contemporaries including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, the multi-faceted American artist helped to define the graffiti movement of the early 1970s through introducing abstraction to an entirely letter-based medium.

    Executed in 2019, the freshly-painted present work demonstrates Futura’s technical mastery, of which his successors have yet to match. Rendered in brilliant hues, Futura’s pioneering spirit as an inventor for new spraying techniques is clearly evident, in which larger areas of paint juxtapose impossibly thin aerosol lines. Applying paint to a canvas laid on the ground, similar to his predecessor Jackson Pollock, THEY SAW US is marked by a repertoire of motifs that Futura has come to be known for in his now refined approach. Energetic whilst still retaining a sense of balance, a pattern of atoms, stars and circles intermix on the predominantly primary coloured work. In a highly retro-futuristic style, the bright composition is as much about the artist’s internal mind as it is about our wider galaxy. THEY SAW US is a striking example of Futura’s unique aesthetic that has left an unforgettable mark on modern culture.

HOCA Foundation Benefit Auction



signed, titled and dated 'Futura "THEY SAW US" 2019' on the reverse
spray paint and acrylic on canvas
152.6 x 121.7 cm. (60 1/8 x 47 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2019.

HK$200,000 - 400,000 

Sold for HK$625,000

Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2019