Harold Ancart - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, June 26, 2019 | Phillips
  • Video

    Harold Ancart, 'Untitled (Ultra Deep Fried #7 #8 #6)', Lot 3

    20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, 27 June 2019

  • Provenance

    Casey Kaplan, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Casey Kaplan, HAROLD ANCART, KEVIN BEASLEY, MATEO LÓPEZ, 27 February - 26 April 2014

  • Literature

    Harold Ancart, Soft Places, Brussels, 2018, pp. 128 and 174 (Untitled (Ultra Deep Fried 8) illustrated, p. 128)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Stretching two metres high and deployed across three separate supports, the present triptych, Untitled (Ultra Deep Fried #7 #8 #6), 2014, conveys a lyrical synthesis of Harold Ancart’s expansive visual language, replete with vivid foliage and colourful explosions. Herein, the Belgian artist’s treatment of form is redolent of the Minimalist commitment to strict horizontality and the gridded pattern, as the work's threefold backdrop is reduced to muted geometry, and defined by progressively enlarged stripes separated by growing intervals. As incongruous elements emerge into each abstract surface, the stasis of the picture plane is irreverently interrupted, introducing kaleidoscopic colour to an otherwise meagre palette of black and white. Straddling vocabularies of landscape painting and abstraction, through the use of repeated bands and whimsical floral shapes, Ancart materialises his belief that 'we no longer make that silly separation between figurative and abstraction. Artists from the previous generation prepared the ground for us, and you have the feeling now that everything is possible again’ (Harold Ancart, quoted in Dodie Kazanjian, ‘Smaller Art’, Vibrations, Issue 1, Autumn-Winter 2016, p. 24). A prodigious study in formal yet unbridled abstraction, each work presents what is located ‘between one sky and another sky, one world and another world’ (Harold Ancart, ‘Blue Fear’, Soft Places, Brussels, 2018, p. 3).

    Brimming with Ancart’s characteristic gestural fervour and presented in a striking threefold arrangement that summons the eye to move from sheet to sheet, each element of the triptych is an excellent example of the Belgian artist’s young opus, which has flown to international acclaim in recent years. Magnified to impressive dimensions, the trio additionally provides a resounding echo to Iona Whittaker’s claim that Ancart’s works are ‘large enough to slightly dwarf the viewer; at the same time, their subjects, though rendered abstract, appear to simulate things which, in nature, are small... Against black or almost-black backgrounds, these colours and the unruly shapes and fragments they fill ferment a lurid but apparently consistent realm that might be Lilliputian or giant. The disorientation caused by their abstract ruptures on a dark, non-perspectival plane breeds a near-uncanny or folkloric atmosphere’ (Iona Whittaker, 'Harold Ancart', Frieze, 21 October 2015, online).

    Striking a riveting balance between pure creative impulsion and studied composition, Ancart conjures a myriad of visual references that are sourced both from art history and the artist’s natural surroundings. ‘Fauvist and Symbolist flavors are joined by AbEx and Minimalist devices’, remarked Chinnie Ding. ‘Discrete veins of color and encroaching edges recall Clyfford Still’s seismic fissures... This is the planet of painting, after all, and Ancart’s space exploration is the exploration of painted space: More than depicting petals and flames, how might a painting itself grow like a flower, ignite like fire, and bring about forms that thrive as life-forms in the otherworld it always is?’ (Chinnie Ding, ‘Critics' Picks: Harold Ancart’, Artforum, 18 June 2015, online). Widely celebrated for his refreshing artistic output, Ancart has recently been commissioned an in-situ work by the prestigious Public Art Fund, each year inviting an artist to adorn the city of New York with a project of their choice. Ancart’s iteration follows that of more than seventy artists, including Félix González-Torres, David Hammons, Barbara Kruger and Rachel Whiteread, and consists in a painted concrete sculpture paying homage to the accidental abstract compositions that appear on New York’s ubiquitous freestanding handball walls.

Property from an Important American Collection


Triptych: Untitled (Ultra Deep Fried #7 #8 #6)

oilstick and pencil on paper mounted on panel, in artist's frames, triptych
each 197.5 x 131.1 cm (77 3/4 x 51 5/8 in.)
Executed in 2014.

£300,000 - 400,000 ‡♠

Sold for £519,000

Contact Specialist

Rosanna Widén

Director, Senior Specialist
Head of Evening Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

44 20 7318 4060

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 27 June 2019