Guillermo Kuitca - Latin America New York Monday, May 23, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galeria Thomas Cohn, São Paulo
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Spain, Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, Archivo Pons Artxiboa, October 17, 2002 - January 11, 2003

  • Literature

    Archivo Pons Artxiboa, exh. cat., Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, Spain, 2002, p. 93 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot, Untitled (Zurich) (1991), by Guillermo Kuitca is an emblematic example of his map series. These works depict places that are familiar to the artist himself, such as parts of Ukraine, Argentina, and Zurich in this work. However, as Kuitca develops these maps, the areas that they represent become less crucial and, rather, the concepts of desire, fear, death, travel and migration become essential. These intricate works induce us to meditate on our sense of history and our personal place within each of these individual territories, alluding to our sense of longing and dislocation. With every map Kuitca creates, he reminds the viewer how memories and dislocation have afflicted us all throughout time and ultimately these works become a new existential confrontation with alienation. It is interesting to note that he chooses the traditional medium of painting to question our most complex, universal dilemmas. Another intriguing aspect of this particular map is that it belongs to a small group within this much larger series, also named Untitled (Zurich). Aside from the present lot, there are only two other related works: one belonging to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and another that is on permanent loan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

    Kuitca’s oeuvre and his sophisticated map series are also influenced by a diverse and interdisciplinary group of artists that include the painters Antoni Tapies and Francis Bacon, as well as the renowned Conceptual artist, Jenny Holzer. Another important influence was the famous German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her work inspired Kuitca to become involved with the theater. This involvement allowed him to introduce a compelling element to his paintings, that of scale, in which the physical enormity of these paintings becomes theatrical. This shift to theatricality within his oeuvre can also be seen in the way these maps readily reflect an intense sentiment of sadness, inducing in the viewer thoughts of exile and social estrangement. Kuitca’s complex conceptual approach, theatricality and sophisticated craftsmanship attest to his importance within international contemporary art and his contribution to the canon of the history of art.

  • Artist Biography

    Guillermo Kuitca

    Argentinian • 1961

    Guillermo Kuitca is an Argentinean child prodigy who held his first solo exhibition at age thirteen. He emerged as a painter during the 1980s, rejecting the neoexpressionist trend of the time. Yet his art is intellectually demanding, formally complex and relevant to the historical moment.

    Kuitca is influenced by Antoni Tápies, Francis Bacon, Jenny Holzer and Pina Bausch. His paintings denote total abstraction and deal with space, language, deat, and travel. His series of maps from the 1990s depicted on canvases and mattresses explore themes of disappearance, migration and the importance of memory. He rarely depicts humans, and his map paintings are difficult to decipher geographically, allowing viewers to meditate on the psychology of space.

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Untitled (Zurich)

acrylic and silkscreen on canvas
97 2/3 x 70 7/8 in. (248.1 x 180 cm)
Signed, titled and dated "Untitled Kuitca 1991" upper right. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and dated November 15, 2012.

$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $175,000

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 23 May 2016