Mark Flood - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Zach Feuer, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    'So I was like, 'What is beauty? What does that even mean?' I became open to it, whatever the hell it is, and the next moment I’m making the most beautiful fucking paintings anyone has ever seen.'

    - MARK FLOOD, 2008

    In a radical departure from his mutilated, brashly sadistic celebrity-collages of the 1980s, since 2008 Houston artist Mark Flood has been creating delicate ‘lace-paintings’ to great critical acclaim. Flood builds layers of pattern and texture using fabric salvaged from thrift stores. Unabashedly decorative, the resulting paintings form compelling relics of discarded and decaying beauty. The present lot is drained of the psychedelic colour of many of Flood’s other lace pieces: attenuated and ghostly, it confronts the viewer with an inky void that has ripped through its fragile veil, leaving an intricate trace that frames the canvas.

    As Alison Gingeras writes, Flood’s ‘systematic procedure of precisely layering fabric and paint together recalls both the palimpsests of colour in Gerhard Richter’s so-called squeegee paintings or Abstraktes Bild series as well as Rudolf Stingel’s silver ornamental paintings with baroque damask wallpaper.’ (Alison Gingeras, ‘The Lace Paintings’ in Pressed Release: Notes on Mark Flood’s Hateful Years 1979-1989, Luxembourg & Dayan, New York, 2012). Stingel’s upbringing in the Italian Tyrol and Vienna breathes forth the luxurious fabric motifs that shimmer through his paintings, speaking of rich historicity and the strata of societal memory: Flood’s lacy window seems to offer a glimpse into some other unknown depth, the title Another Hole in the Ground reinforcing an image of excavation, damage or disruption, and hinting at an endless series. The floral patterning of the lacework connotes femininity, even domesticity, and somehow pulls the painting shy of abstraction. As with Richter, the palimpsest process forms a spectral record of inscription and erasure. The result is a coolly mature work, a subtle and wordlessly poignant surface that expresses both beauty and pain, splendour and loss.


Another Hole in the Ground

acrylic on canvas
213.4 x 182.9 cm (84 x 72 in.)
Signed and dated 'Mark Flood 2012' on the overlap.

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £42,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 12 February 2015 7pm