Josh Sperling - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Thursday, July 9, 2020 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
    Private Collection, Asia
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Executed in 2017, Waiting Round is immediately recognisable as a work by the critically acclaimed New York-based artist Josh Sperling, who has established a name for himself for his unique practice that blurs the lines between painting and sculpture. Although Sperling’s signature geometric compositions have a distinctive graphic immediacy, his visual vocabulary of abstract forms and saturated colours is far from flat. Evoking a remarkable chromatic three-dimensionality that is all-encompassing, powerfully drawing his viewer’s eyes in, Waiting Round is a compelling example from the artist’s rich oeuvre.

    Frank Stella
    Flin Flon, 1970

    Keith Haring
    Pop Shop I, 1987
    The enchantment of Sperling’s practice derives from the mesmerising visual effects caused by the internal conflicts in his seemingly simple compositions, attributed to his skilful creative-process that has been honed over many years. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources that includes the works of Frank Stella and other minimalist painters of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as Keith Haring’s playful aesthetic, and popular culture references such as MTV logos, Sperling is also influenced by his training in furniture construction. His background in graphic design also plays a vital role in the realisation of his pieces, as Sperling firstly conducts virtual trials before proceeding to materialise his concepts.

    As embodied in the present work’s pastel shades of yellow, blue and pink, that sit atop a more vibrant mustard brown and bright purple, Sperling deliberately challenges himself in selecting colours that initially seem incompatible, before harmonising them through form and configuration. Waiting Round brings his experimentations a step further, as he introduces a contrasting element of texture to the otherwise smooth work. Visually arresting, his crafted canvas offers a unique medley of intriguing visual dichotomies, including the juxtaposition between systematic tensions and organic shapes, and the contrast between the opaque flatness and structural dimensionality that pulls the work away from the wall, commanding whatever space it is in.

    Represented by Galerie Perrotin, whose Paris venue exhibited this work in 2018, Sperling has been the subject of numerous exhibitions around the world. In the past year, the gallery has hosted solo shows of his work in Paris, Tokyo, and New York (all 2019).


Waiting Round

signed and dated 'Sperling 17' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas and plywood
93.5 x 63 cm. (36 3/4 x 24 3/4 in.)
Executed in 2017.

HK$550,000 - 750,000 

Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 9 July 2020