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  • Provenance

    Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
    Private Collection, London

  • Catalogue Essay

    'In my works, I don’t escape the effects of branding but think of the processes associated with appropriation as a way of dealing with branding as a social space.' Kelley Walker

    Appropriating and subverting familiar images and ideas drawn from pop culture, Kelley Walker’s series of Untitled brick paintings illustrate the artist’s desire to challenge the viewer’s preconceptions surrounding the distribution of information, both in mass media and the art world. Commenting on the transitory nature of popular culture, they urge the viewer to enter into a metaphysical discourse between history, painting and space.

    Untitled (2007) is exemplary of this manipulation of found – and often iconic – images, as he alters their original state in order to shift and enhance their inherently symbolic meaning. Here, Walker duplicates and rotates a highly naturalistic image of brickwork, tinted with unnatural hues; upon closer examination, however, the viewer realises that between each purple or red-hued brick laid down in silkscreen ink are pages from the Beirut newspaper Al Akhbar, with many of its words and images still intact. Inspired by the methodology of earlier Pop artists – specifically Andy Warhol’s own appropriation of newsprint and its imagery – it is testament to Walker’s experimentation with the concept of mixed media as a mode of cultural exchange. Indeed,this is emphasised by the concealment of certain words and pictures,one which perhaps hints at the artist’s resistance to allow culture, to be accessible in a broad sense, by at times presenting a highly biased opinion on specific topics. Other images though are not so concealed: a headline proclaiming, 'Finally there is a solution for the farmer’s problems', can be readily distinguished, and acting as a mock prophetic treatment, alludes to the unresolved war still rampant throughout the Middle East.

2

Untitled

2007
four colour process silkscreen on canvas with Al Akhbar, 29 May 2007
151 x 117 cm. (59 3/8 x 46 in.)

Estimate
£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £230,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art Department
[email protected]
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 27 June 2013 7pm