Lucien Smith - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, November 13, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    OHWOW, Los Angeles

  • Catalogue Essay

    "The Rain paintings in my head serve as backdrops for situations between people and/or objects, very much like backdrops in a play. They become activated when something is placed in front of them; only then do their scale and size come in to effect." Lucien Smith, 2012

    The present lot, When a Man Loves a Woman, from 2012 is an exceptional example of Smith’s ability to convey recollections of the natural world through the process of abstraction. Characterized by sprays of acrylic paint upon unprimed canvases, our eyes follow the three primary beams of cerulean rain across the present lot, we become mesmerized by the achieved nuances of a sudden storm. One would suppose that a fleeting moment, that of rain drops falling on the pavement, is one never to be replicated. But here, in soft and pale blues, the beauty and rhythm of a summer shower is perfectly and forever captured.

    Using an old-fashioned fire extinguisher filled with paint, he sprays drops of light blue across white canvas. Reminiscent of a rainy day, the optic play of light blue pigment on the flawlessly raw background results in a quiet sense of meditation. The current work also demonstrates the artist’s continuous efforts to achieve perfect droplets and to reach the most appropriate angle and distance. By revealing his physical gestures to achieve the most “spontaneous” expression, he examines the proximity between the artist and his production. Smith points out that an artist’s trajectory is a sensory reflection of individual experience. Lucien Smith’s work traverses a spectrum of styles and concepts, from chance to purpose, spare to saturated, unknown to familiar. It acts as a tangible moment in his exploration and negotiation with nature and existence.


When a Man Loves a Woman

acrylic on unprimed canvas
108 x 84 in. (274.3 x 213.4 cm)
Signed "Lucien Smith" along the overlap.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $100,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 13 November 2014 7pm