Hurvin Anderson - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Friday, March 4, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'I was intrigued by what it means visually when you hear of someone planning to return home. I wanted to make a representation of someone always planning by using the biblical analogy of Noah’s Ark. I was also trying to correct the perception that all Jamaicans came here on a boat. And actually all of my family came on a plane.'
    —Hurvin Anderson

    Hurvin Anderson was born in Birmingham, England in 1965 to parents of Jamaican origin who had moved to the United Kingdom as part of the Windrush generation. Growing up with this cultural duality, the facts of imperial history, cultural changes brought about by decolonisation, geographic dislocation, and a search for belonging, underpin the artist’s practice. As the artist has cited: ‘I had always felt a double-edged thing about who I was and where I came from.’i

    'It is only in painting that you can do everything you want.' —Hurvin Anderson

     In Landing (1998), the artist’s depiction of a plane suggests movement and travel between different places whilst simultaneously acting as the unifying factor. The plane is the enabler of the movement and allows the realisation of the dream, in the artist’s words, this permits the viewer to be ‘in one place while thinking about another.’ii This work captures the sense of being between states and addresses issues of repatriation and the desire to go somewhere or having been somewhere else. It was during his final year of graduate school in 1998 that Anderson went to New York City on a travelling scholarship where he painted Autorondec, the interior of a bus depot. This work shares the same focus on the transience and anonymity of these modern in-between places.


    Hurvin Anderson, Autorondec, 1998. Image: Royal College of Art, Artwork: © Hurvin Anderson. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2022

    Landing’s atmospheric tones of warm and cool greys are applied in thin washes to form both depth and flatness, creating a painting that is mutually pensive and contemplative. The scene focuses in on a cropped composition: the aeroplane steps reach up to the body of the plane, waiting for the passengers to disembark. The vast spherical engine interrupts the linear brush strokes to the right-hand side of the painting. Anderson’s use of photography as his source imagery is apparent in the softened brush marks that evoke memory and recollection. Beginning his painting process with a photograph, the artist goes on to make sketches to get to the essence of the subject. Anderson frequently changes details of the place and merges memory and ideas in his final works to communicate his set of ideas.


    Landing was exhibited at the artist’s degree show at the Royal College of Art in 1999. It was at the RCA that Anderson studied under Peter Doig. Both artist’s share a painterly dreamlike quality in their exploration into concepts of memory and displacement. Anderson holds an immense importance for studying the practices of other artists and learning from them. Within Landing his interest in the artist Edward Hopper, who he admired for his depiction of place and its mythologising power, and Michael Andrews, for his application of paint in thin washes, is vividly apparent.


    Edward Hopper, Ground Swell, 1939. Image: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Museum Purchase, William A. Clark Fund / Bridgeman Images, Artwork: © Heirs of Josephine Hopper/ Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York/DACS, London 2022


    Collector’s digest

    •    It is an attestation to his powerful, thought-provoking, and charged paintings that Hurvin Anderson was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2017. 


    •    The artist was recently celebrated at The Arts Club of Chicago with his solo exhibition, Anywhere but Nowhere, (2021), is included in the British Art Show 9 currently touring the United Kingdom, and is part of Tate Britain’s major exhibition Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 50s – Now through April 2022. 


    i Hurvin Anderson: Subtitles,, Michael Werner Gallery, New York, 2011, n.p. 
    ii David Trigg, ‘Seven questions with Hurvin Anderson,’ Art UK, 2 November 2021, online 

    • Provenance

      Aylesford Newsprint Collection
      Private Collection
      Lawrence's, Crewkerne, 4 July 2019, lot 1034
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Renaissance Art Awards, 1999
      London, Royal College of Art, Degree Show, 1999



signed, titled and dated ‘HURVIN ANDERSON “LANDING” MAY 1998’ on the stretcher; dedicated 'FOR AYLESFORD' on the reverse
oil on board
106.7 x 159.8 cm (42 x 62 7/8 in.)
Painted in May 1998.

Full Cataloguing

£100,000 - 150,000 ‡ ♠

Contact Specialist

Simon Tovey

Specialist, Associate Director, Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art
+44 20 7318 4084

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 4 March 2022