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  • Provenance Gallery, St. Barts

  • Exhibited

    St Barts, Gallery, Kelley Walker, 5 January – 2 February 2007

  • Catalogue Essay

    Kelley Walker grew up in the southern United States and has said that the isolation of his childhood there compelled him to explore other, more accessible realities. As a young artist, he was initially attracted to the work of Jasper Johns, but he soon fell under the spell of Warhol's advertising images and the power they could achieve through their appropriation of everyday imagery.In a logical extension to these interests, Walker's own prints manipulate found and often iconic images, altering them with splotches and scrawls, or with materials such as toothpaste and chocolate. Together, such gestures and treatments shift or enhance the symbolic meaning behind the image, and it is a characteristic of his work as a whole that layers of meaning shift and evolve as imagery from the news media, and the worlds of advertising and art, pass into new and altering contexts. This untitled lot duplicates and rotates a highly naturalistic image of brickwork tinted with unnatural hues. It comments on the theme of branding through the replication of ‘brickwork' that the artist uses time and time again in his work. There is a paradox inherent in such a treatment of an image like this, as it is both degraded and enhanced: "The distance introduced by Walker's ‘empty' gesture serves to bring the scene of the image closer – if only by making more acute, even chilling, our awareness of what specificity, detail, and identification is potentially lost in the image's circulation and eventual aestheticization" (T. Griffin, ‘Please Recycle: Tim Griffin on the Art of Kelley Walker', in Artforum, April 2005). The original, banal meaning of the brickwork is lost through, or transformed by the sharp focus and magnification the image receives, so gaining a new significance by virtue of its newly found artistic context.



Four-colour process silkscreen on canvas.
71.1 × 147.3 cm (28 × 58 in).

£60,000 - 80,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

13 October 2010