Miquel Barceló - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Thursday, November 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich

  • Catalogue Essay

    At a temperature of 50°C and with the sandwind one sees everything much clearer, that is to say, one ceases to see anything at all.

    (Miquel Barceló quoted in Miquel Barceló 1987-1997, Barcelona, 1998, p.86).

    The present lot, Huîtres I, 1988, shows the major influence that Miquel Barceló’s initial trip to the African continent had on his rich output of work. After a visit to Mali and its surrounding areas, Barceló began painting works with an over-exposed, shimmering white background that recalled the landscape of the Sahara Desert which he found so inspiring. From this moment forward in his career, the white background was increasingly featured in Barceló’s paintings. Similar to his other white-based paintings, Huîtres I, 1988, has an almost haunting quality, that of isolation in a far away land. The pallor both dazzles and appears ghostly, much like the barren, sandy landscape of the vast Sahara. The unique texture of the work also presents an encrusted surface, and reflects a vulnerability to the land and the nature of existence. The present lot demonstrates the artist’s mixed visions on the sparse landscape; it is both beautiful and desolate all at once, but seeped in Barceló’s emotion and passionate artistry.

  • Artist Biography

    Miquel Barceló

    Spanish • 1957

    Drawing inspiration from work by Diego Velázquez and art-making practices of the Avant-garde, Miquel Barceló is perhaps most popular for his hybridization of traditional Spanish figurative aesthetics and thick, abstract brushstrokes. Barceló is inherently drawn to that which is multimedia, having received training in installation work, painting and ceramic. This ability to work across various mediums comes from the artist's hunger for travel and exploring new lands.

    Currently based between Mallorca, Mali and Paris, Barceló incorporates the visual aesthetics of his disparate countries seamlessly into his work. The artist's concern involves how to translate different modes of travel and culture into art-making. One recurring topic in his body of work is the ocean — the ultimate symbol of movement, displacement and the unknown.

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Huîtres I

oil and mixed media on canvas
51 5/8 x 78 3/4 in. (131 x 200 cm)
Signed and dated "Barceló, XII.1988" on the reverse.

$400,000 - 600,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

16 November 2012
New York