Iris van Dongen - Under the Influence New York Thursday, March 8, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    Incorporating such themes as tormented females and a gloomy sense of romanticism, Iris Van Dongen is an artist whose work conveys a dream-like and all-encompassing quality due to its size and melancholic mystery. Best known for crafting characters from photographs and fashion editorials, Van Dongen has said that her initial drawings sometimes do come from shoots or collages, but they can also emanate straight from her imagination- it's a mix. In fact, her ideas often come from memories or from the contemporary life that she encounters everyday,and from images that organically flash into her mind and look promising enough to put down on paper. Though Van Dongen’s work sometimes materializes in an intuitive manner, the motif of ‘human tormented by demon’ is one that continues to pervade her portfolio throughout the different phases of her artistic career. The women depicted in such works often have a distant look, since the artist sees them as something illusory, as though they are mythological figures. Van Dongen describes her work as being about the dialogue between the person and his or her surroundings, not necessarily about their expressions. The artist wants the viewer to almost look past the person, as if she was an abstract object. The present lot, Satan’s Dream, exhibits many of Van Dongen’s most recognizable imagery and compositional techniques. Death, sleep and the night are inseparably connected in her work, where she skillfully treads the thin line dividing the here and now from the hereafter.


Satan's Dream

charcoal, gouache and acrylic on paper
86 1/4 x 59 1/4 in. (219.1 x 150.5 cm)
Signed and dated "Iris van Dongen, 2001" lower right.

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $13,750

Under the Influence

8 March 2012
New York