Jacob Kassay - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    303 Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot is one of Jacob Kassay’s large scale mirror paintings: at once sophisticated and subversive, Untitled, 2012 is a playful exploration into the act of looking. Originally trained as a photographer, the young artist incorporates key elements of photographic practice into his signature silver paintings. After first applying a richly textured impasto of acrylic paint to the raw canvas, rendering portions of the canvas virtually impermeable, the work is then finished using an electroplating process similar to that used in mirror manufacturing. 'The whole point is that the thing is being absolutely transformed, also that I was somehow removed in this process, all I had to do was develop a support for the catalyst and then it was then out of my hands but this is not unfamiliar territory for painting...' Jacob Kassay (Interview with Kyle Petreycik, Hyperallergic, 11 February 2013).

    The resulting work is an elegantly balanced study of light, surface and texture. This technique emphasises the topography of the painting’s surface, which oscillates between shiny and matte, expressionistic and flat. Where certain areas of the raw canvas have completely absorbed the silver deposit, others have fixed the organic geometry of the paint texture into perpetuity, a process similar to the photographic 'fixing' process.

    Continuing in the traditions of Minimalism, Colour Field Painting and even Abstract Expressionism, Kassay creates his own subtle form of abstraction. In Untitled, Kassay highlights the beauty of the human touch, embedding the expressionistic movement of the brush strokes into the painting’s galvanized surface. This juxtaposition breathes life into the canvas, lending it a biomorphic quality. Combining light, colour and movement into visceral and richly textured surfaces, Untitled is an elegant balance between control and chance. Devoid of pigment, these galvanised paintings absorb their surroundings, dissolving reality into a soft and hazy experience.



acrylic, silver deposit on canvas
213.9 x 152.5 cm (84 1/4 x 60 in.)
Signed and dated 'Jacob Kassay 12' on the reverse.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £134,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 15 October 2014 7pm