Mona Hatoum - New Now Day Sale New York Sunday, February 28, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Alexander & Bonin, New York
    Private Collection, Canada
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum’s deeply political and acutely poetic body of work characteristically examines uncanny relationships of media, size, and form. At her hands, commonplace relics of daily life transcend their original domestic or banal context to achieve an element of peril, violence, or anguish. Her unconventional range of materials captures our collective tactile imagination, and her sculptures particularly urge us to actively conceptualize ourselves in dialogue with her objects. The present lot Depressed, executed over a period of five years, is exemplary of a beguiling dimension derived from her use of familiar materials, laden with personal significance on an intimate scale.

    Depressed, like many of Hatoum’s works, harbors a deep psychological concern. Upon first glance, we notice a smooth, clean-edged slab of granite in a midnight shade—and yet when we approach it, the work confesses a more dismal aspect, with the spelling of “DEPRESSED” neatly engraved into its surface. After even closer inspection, the reflection of the letters is in fact a different phrase entirely: “DEEP REST.” A play on words, the conflicting text alludes at once to despair and to death, and presciently challenges our perceptions of reality clouded by overwhelming desolation. While many are quick to connect the artist’s tangled history of Middle Eastern emigration to her subjects, she has emphatically stated of her works, “The basis of it is a feeling of wanting to be free of all those restrictions, whether it’s social or political, that are always put on people, so I can be whatever I want to be” (F. Nayeri, “The Many Contradictions of Mona Hatoum,” International New York Times, July 2015). Quietly disturbing and palpably emotive, Depressed courses with tension beneath the polished stone.



18 x 25 x 3/4 in. (45.7 x 63.5 x 1.9 cm)
This work is number 2 from the edition of 6.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250

New Now Day Sale

New York Auction 29 February 2016 11am