Invader - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | Phillips

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  • “In my own eyes, they are the perfect icons of our time, a time where digital technologies are the heartbeat of our world… their names are literally predestined for the project I have pioneered: they are ‘Space Invaders!’”

    The French street artist Invader first achieved notoriety in the 1990s for his ‘invasions’ of public spaces - guerrilla-style art installations comprised of his characteristic mosaic tiles, and often featuring his representations of the iconic Space Invader figures. Viewing himself as a ‘hacker’ of public spaces, Invader sought to democratise the art world by creating works that existed outside the walls of museums and galleries. To date, an estimated 65 cities over 33 countries have been successfully ‘invaded’ by his arcade-game inspired characters.


    Although these physical ‘invasions’ initially propelled the artist to international acclaim, Invader has frequently revisited masterpieces of the art historical cannon to satirically challenge the art world’s status quo. In the early 2000s, the artist used the colourful squares of Rubik’s Cubes to transform masterpieces such as Leonardo di Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Andy Warhol’s depictions of Marilyn Monroe into vibrantly coloured, pixelated works. Labelling this innovative style ‘Rubikcubism’, Invader sought to reimagine these celebrated works of art history for a contemporary audience, using an idiom that mirrored society’s fascination with computers, gaming, and technology more generally.


    Edvard Munch, Angst, 1896. Image: © Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Bruce B. Dayton, 1965


    In Invaded Hypnosis, the artist appropriates Edvard Munch’s Angst of 1896. However, rather than utilising an unconventional medium to reinvent this artwork for the twenty-first century, Invader engages with the traditional woodcut printing technique to create this monochromatic composition. Munch and his fellow Expressionists had sought to revive the woodcut in the late nineteenth century due to the medium’s rich heritage and the bold designs they could achieve through its usage. Occupied with portraying human anxiety in an age of rapid urbanisation and globalisation, Munch’s Angst relies on the capabilities of the woodcut technique to create an uneasy atmosphere; the undulating background constructed through rippling graphic lines conveys an unsettled environment, reinforced by the heavily simplified, ghost-like facial features of Munch’s alienated figures.

    Drawing inspiration from the Expressionists’ interest in conveying the modern psyche, Invader replaces Munch’s meditations on feelings of isolation and anxiety with a characteristic nod to video gaming through the comic insertion of Space Invaders into the sky. Recognising how complimentary woodcut printing was to his own highly graphic artistic style, Invader retains the medium and most elements of Munch’s original composition, before infiltrating the pictorial space of this seminal work with his Space Invaders. In doing so, Invader confirms the fundamental tenet behind his artistic objectives - the idea that there is no part of art history, or the art world, that should be exempt from his ‘invasions’.

    • Literature

      Control P Editions 27


Invaded Hypnosis

Woodcut, on Fabriano Rosaspina Avorio paper, with full margins.
I. 21 x 19.5 cm (8 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.)
S. 29.6 x 25 cm (11 5/8 x 9 7/8 in.)

Signed, dated and annotated 'AP' in pencil (one of 10 artist's proofs, the edition was 50), published by Lazarides Gallery, London (with their blindstamp), framed.

Full Cataloguing

£8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for £10,160

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+44 20 7318 4091

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
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Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 7 - 8 June 2023