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  • Provenance

    CRG Gallery, New York; Private collection; USA; Private collection, New York

  • Exhibited

    Rome, MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Margherita Manzelli, 3 December, 2003 - 8 February, 2004; Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Margherita Manzelli, 26 May – 12 September, 2004

  • Literature

    CHARTA, ed., Margherita Manzelli, Milan, 2004, pp. 180 - 181 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    As one of the leading figurative painters of her generation, Margherita Manzelli's acclaimed oeuvre consists primarily of large scale paintings and delicate works on paper depicting haunting, oddly ravishing images of solitary women isolated within an abstracted, pictoral dream space. The Milan based artist who has been active since the mid 90s claims her works are not intended as self-portraits although they nevertheless bear both a physical and psychic resemblance to her. Manzelli herself admits 'I would like them to be different to me. And yet I realize that this very desire is symptomatic of the fact that something of myself remains in them.' (the artist as quoted in H. Kontova, Margherita Manzelli, Giving Sense to the Senseless, Flash Art 33, no. 210, Jan/Feb 2000, pp. 102-103) Manzelli's mute, still women, with their emaciated and subtly deformed bodies, are engaged in no activity other than staring, their penetrating eyes locked in a weirdly knowing confrontation with the viewer. The present lot, an early work from 1997, depicts a vulnerable, partly derobed, androgynous figure kneeling on a chair in a stark domestic environment. Her furrowed brow, intense stare and awkward posture put the viewer ill at ease when confronted with this monumental canvas. The figure, with her colourful, richly detailed clothing, is painfully aware that she is on display creating a psychological and erotic tension between, artist, sitter and viewer.
    'These women (the figures in Margherita Manzelli's work) are, in many ways, ciphers for the artist's own conscious and unconscious anxieties. By abstracting aspects of her identity into a series of nameless, placeless, indistinct women, Manzelli is able to transfer her emotional and personal concerns onto another, deflecting attention from herself and ultimately eluding all forms of apprehension. In this sense Margherita Manzelli's intensely mediated exchanges with the world, whether in the form of live actions, paintings or drawings, are designed to conceal as much as they reveal.' (Exhibition catalogue, The Art Institute of Chicago, Margherita Manzelli, Chicago, 2004, n.p.)  

15

Verifica del funzionamento - spazio vuoto

1997
Oil on canvas.
190 x 129.8 cm. (74 3/4 x 51 1/8 in).
Signed, titled and dated 'Margherita Manzelli 1997 Verifica del funzionamento- spazio vuoto' on the reverse.

Estimate
£80,000 - 120,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £151,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009
London