John Currin - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; Rambir Singh, Brussels.

  • Exhibited

    Middletown, Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Knowledge and Violence in Recent American Art, September – October, 1991

  • Literature

    F. Paul et al., John Currin: Oeuvres/Works: 1989 – 1995, Limoges, 1995, p. 19 (illustrated); K. Seward, John Currin in The Weirdest of the Weird, Flash Art, November –December, 1995, pp. 78 – 80, no. 185 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    I first imagined these high-school-girl paintings when I was in my studio in Hoboken. I was so lost, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t living where I wanted to live, and nothing was going right. I remember writing down character studies for the girls in a notebook. I would think of colors, decide what time of day it was, and make a list of the character’s attributes. At this time, I read the novel The Horse’s Mouth [Joyce Carry,1944], which had long, beautiful descriptions of the character making figurative paintings, painting feet, and I decided that I wanted to think about those kinds of things when I was painting. My paintings became about giving up my abstract-painting persona and adopting a repressed vision of myselfvery angry, but essentially nice. My expression is not violent, it’s repression rather than rage. That’s what I was trying to capture with these silent girls. Their style also seems non-Western- more like twentieth century Chinese Communist paintings.(John Currin taken from Gagosian Gallery, John Currin, NewYork, 2006, p. 56)




Oil on canvas.

76.1 x 71.3 cm. (30 x 28 in).

Signed and dated ‘John Currin 1990’ on the overlap.

£150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for £156,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

29 Feb 2008, 2pm