McArthur Binion - 20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session New York Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Kavi Gupta, Chicago
    Acquired from the above by the present owners

  • Exhibited

    Chicago, Kavi Gupta, McArthur Binion: DNA Study, May 24 - August 2, 2014
    New Orleans, Contemporary Arts Center, Prospect.3: Notes for Now, October 25, 2014 - January 25, 2015

  • Literature

    McArthur Binion: Re:Mine, exh. cat., Galerie Lelong, New York, 2015, p. 72 (Contemporary Arts Center, 2015, installation view illustrated)

  • Artist Biography

    McArthur Binion

    American • 1946

    In his 40 year career, McArthur Binion has forged a unique path as an artist. Though emerging in the New York art world of the 1970s alongside artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hammons, Dan Flavin, Brice Marden, and Gordon Matta-Clark, Binion has only very recently been garnering significant attention. After years of deliberately keeping a relatively low profile, Binion, now aged 72 and living in Chicago, is now in the limelight with a career that ever since his prominent inclusion in the 2017 Venice Biennale is on a steady rise.

    Binion is known for his nuanced abstract paintings that eschew brushes and paint. The process of grinding and then rubbing oilstick into wood and aluminum panels produces abstract subjects that are often mono- or duo-chromatic. He had to train himself to be ambidextrous to negotiate hand fatigue, and works an entire surface of a painting in one sitting, before returning to rework that surface the next day or week or month – with some works even taking years to complete. Binion, who often also incorporates photocopied biographical documents into his works, places personal memory in dialogue with the language of abstraction, specifically action painting, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, as well as stylistic tropes common to folk artists, such as quilt patterns.

    Though Binion received offers to exhibit his work in the 1970s, he deliberately chose against it. As Binion explained in a 2016 Artspace interview with Loney Abrams: “It was a choice because it was, and still is, very important to me that my work is seen in a certain way…I was invited everywhere, and I was a part of the scene, but I didn’t want to be the only black person out there… I knew my work wouldn’t have been seen the way I wanted it to be seen. Back then, people were describing me as a Minimalist artist, and for me, my work had much more emotional content.” Nowadays, a somewhat different misinterpretation continues to linger.

    View More Works

Property from the Collection of Pamela K. and William A. Royall Jr.


DNA Study: VI

ink, laser print collage, oil paint stick and Staonal crayon on panel
96 x 72 in. (243.8 x 182.9 cm)
Executed in 2014.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $201,600

Contact Specialist

Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York

1 212 940 1250

20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session

New York 8 December 2020