Max Prus - New Now London Thursday, April 28, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'Things oscillate. The world is a paradox. When paint is laid down it is new but then it stays the same, a still image. The painter is an honest interloper [just] trying to be … useful.' —Max Prus 

    With much of Prus’ work inspired by the artist’s travels, the Boat Close to Como Falls is no exception. Painted during his time at the Malevich Art Residency in Lake Como, the present work is largely a product of the artist’s ethnographic approach to observation and a fascination with the unique aura of individual spaces. Known for its unparalleled beauty, Lake Como has attracted thinkers and creatives for hundreds of years, having been a destination for Thomas Mann and Friedrich Nietzsche alike. Prus’ in-situ practice allows him to absorb the distinctive atmosphere of his surroundings straight onto his canvas. He sets up temporary studios, a portable palette and paint box as his staple accessories. Convinced that sometimes the most trivial of scenes are the ones that inspire the highest degree of emotion, Prus sees the role of the artist as that of an immortalising agent: ‘Paint is sanctified onto a flat surface, transmuted into an image, where it will be preserved, cherished, hated, loved, protected for years to come. It will just exist, be there.’i With an almost scientific approach to the material qualities of paint, he sees the painterly process as a way of overcoming the emptiness of the canvas, the abyss that Nietzsche had warned, is looking right back at us. In Prus’ own words, ‘the abyss [is] turned inside out. Safe, reassuring.’ii 

    Max Prus holds a postgraduate degree from the Royal Academy Schools, his works having been widely exhibited across England and the US. He has completed several artist residencies, among others, the above-mentioned Malevich Residency in Lake Como (2021), the Dover Arts Club Drawing Room Residency in London (2020), the Art Students League of New York Residency (2016), The Sewon Art Space Residency in Indonesia (2015) and the La Générale Residency in Paris (2015). 


    i Max Prus, quoted in ‘Max Prus’, Royal Academy of Arts, online
    ii Max Prus, quoted in ‘Max Prus’, Royal Academy of Arts, online

    • Provenance

      Malevich Art Residency, Lake Como


Boat Close to the Como Falls

signed, titled and dated 'Boat Close to the Como Falls Max Prus 2021' on the overlap
oil on linen
140 x 200 cm (55 1/8 x 78 3/4 in.)
Painted in 2021.

Full Cataloguing

£8,000 - 12,000 ‡♠

Sold for £17,640

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now
+44 20 7901 7993

New Now

London Auction 28 April 2022