Jennifer Guidi - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Thursday, June 24, 2021 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • In Conversation with Jennifer Guidi


    The below is an excerpt from a 2020 conversation with Haley Mellin and Jennifer Guidi for Garage


    I was reading about how sand comes from the weathering of rocks over millions of years. It is a physical object, and it is a representation of time passing. You are combining a natural element, sand, with an art-historical element, painting. When did you start using sand in the paintings?


    Before I moved into abstraction, combining sand and paint was something I had thought about often. I was drawn to paintings that incorporated sand as a material. I remember seeing artwork by Dubuffet, Kandinsky, Burri, Braque, and Picasso, all who used sand at some point. There was something about the physicality of the texture on canvas that stuck with me. In 2011, I started another series of plants against stucco walls, but this time I made my backgrounds textured by mixing sand in the oil paint. In the summer of 2013, as soon as I returned from my annual family vacation in Hanalei, Kauai, I began making solid sand paintings with marks from sticks that I had found on the beach. Those were my first abstract sand paintings.

    You shifted from compositions with a horizon line, where the marks were reiterating the flatness of the canvas to where the marks are coming from a central focal point and expanding out toward the viewer. That is a profound move. How did you come to that?


    Moving from left to right, across and down, became unsatisfying. I wanted the work to have more movement, so I tried a few where the marks were expressive and varied in shape and size, but that was too random and didn’t activate the surface or draw in the viewer in the way that I was searching for. While watching Tibetan monks make a sand mandala, I was struck by the ritual of how they start in the center, work outwards, and, once finished, sweep the sand from the outer edge back into the center. Shortly after, I was facing a canvas as though it was a mirror and thought, “What if I start where I feel my heart would be reflected?” I followed my intuition and made the first mark up and a little to the left. That was my center. This is when I felt that the work had a definite energy source, where it created a vibration moving in and out.

    I appreciate how you integrate elements taken from the natural world with the human-invented space of art. I like these two worlds, nonhuman and human, colliding in a surface. What artists do you feel connected to?


    I enjoy looking at Agnes Martin, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Hilma af Klint. When I was making my first abstract paintings, I would have moments of doubt. Around that time, I remember watching a documentary on Agnes Martin and she said, “Stop overthinking it. Make it and keep making it. It doesn’t have to be such a big deal. You just need to want it and not change your mind.” I thought, “She’s right. Make it.”

    • Provenance

      David Kordansky, Los Angeles
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Orion (Blue Painted Sand SF #1F Mandala)

signed and dated "Jennifer Guidi 2016" on the reverse
sand, acrylic and oil on linen
92 x 74 1/4 in. (233.7 x 188.6 cm)
Executed in 2016.

Full Cataloguing

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $441,000

Contact Specialist

Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York

1 212 940 1250


20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 24 June 2021