Nam June Paik - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale Hong Kong Thursday, March 30, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Regarded as one of the most pioneering media artists in contemporary art, Nam June Paik (1932-2006) is recognised for bringing television into the domain of fine art and treating the object as a medium that is both tactile and multisensory. A classical pianist by training, Paik first became acquainted with figures from the late 1950s and 1960s counterculture and avant-garde movements through his early interests in composition and performance. These interactions had a tremendous influence on his outlook at a time when electronic images were becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday life, and his breakthrough work is regarded as seminal to the evolution of video art.

    In the late 1980s, Paik created a series of works based around the film Casablanca, a jewel of Hollywood’s Golden Age directed by Michael Curitz in 1942 and featuring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the starring roles. The present work is a prime example of this, featuring a movie-still depiction of the titular Swedish actress peering out from beneath a shadow cast by her wide brimmed hat.


    Clip from Casablanca (1942)

    Whilst the largest of her portraits is situated in the top left quadrant of the canvas, she is surrounded by smaller versions that appear to have been dragged vertically down a glitching digital screen, leaving pixeled evidence in their wake as they blur into the background. Some of the smaller duplications of her picture are highlighted by sketch-like lines in red, green, blue and pink, which outline the shape of a television with two antenna, drawing an instant parallel to the actual antenna prongs collaged onto the canvas in the lower right, which add a three-dimensional quality to the overall piece. The apparent digital distortion continues in the lower left, where a more saturated version of the entire composition appears to have been copied and pasted, except in a smaller size and tilted at an angle. Rendered in ink, oil and computer-controlled airbrush and collage on canvas, Ingrid Bergman masterfully encompasses the controlled mayhem and raw charisma delivered by Paik’s boundary-pushing work.

    • Provenance

      Holly Solomon Gallery, New York
      Galerie Maurice Keitelman, Brussels
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Brussels, Keitelman Gallery, Nam June Paik: Behind the Screen, 8 November 2013 - 18 January 2014



Ingrid Bergman

signed and dated 'PAIK '89' lower right; inscribed 'TV GOES HERE no TV' on the reverse
ink, oil and computer controlled airbrush and collage on canvas, 2 antennas, 2 in. TV
133.5 x 166.5 cm. (52 1/2 x 65 1/2 in.)
Executed in 1989.

Full Cataloguing

HK$380,000 - 550,000 

Sold for HK$444,500

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 31 March 2023