Nicolas Party - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Thursday, July 9, 2020 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Karma Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Beijing, M Woods, Nicolas Party: Arches, 30 November 2018 - 24 February 2019, pp. 138, 200 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Working across a range of practices and mediums while rejecting traditional classifications, Swiss-born visual creative Nicolas Party is a rising star in the international art world, revered by both critics and collectors for his vividly saturated landscapes. Party eschews strict principles of representation for a mode of depiction that is more gestural, painting objects that are stripped of all extraneous detail while laden with a soft innocence. While his compositions are imbued with a kind of surreal simplicity, they also display a commitment to celebrating yet challenging the conventions of representational painting. In this way, Party adopts an idiosyncratic practice that invokes the Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin’s great axiom: “I only want to do simple, very simple art”.

    In Two Pots (2019), the artist creates a duality of detached, biomorphic shapes that reference watering pots in a kind of abstract garden arrangement, being both natural and synthetic. One is instantly transported to a world of preternatural imagination, a kind of Dr. Seuss-meets-Alice in Wonderland cataclysm of polychromality and hallucinogenic still life, in which these two structures skew our perspective and seem to loom over us.

    Seeming at once familiar and new, Party is at the zeitgeist of a change in contemporary taste. Signed by international gallery juggernaut Hauser & Wirth last year, and becoming one of the youngest members on their esteemed roster, the artist is helping shift attention from the process-based abstraction of Zombie Formalism to the stimulating but dreamy surrealist figuration, alongside characters like Jamian Juliano-Villani and Christina Ramberg. Through his skilled execution of abstract forms and playful application of colour, Nicolas Party adopts the practices of Franz Marc and David Hockney within his own unique, distinct expression. The present lot is a vibrant manifestation of this; a work that is accessible and seductive, yet all the while connects the dots between observation and imagination.

  • Artist Biography

    Nicolas Party

    Nicolas Party (b. 1980) is a Swiss visual artist living and working in New York City and Brussels.
    He received his BFA from the Lausanne School of Art in 2004 and his MFA from the Glasgow
    School of Art, in Glasgow, Scotland in 2009. Party’s works on paper and canvas are most often done
    in colorful soft pastel, the most common subject matter being fantastical still life and portraits.


    Recent solo exhibitions include Karma, New York (2021–22, 2017); Le Consortium,
    Dijon, France (2021); Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp, Cully, Switzerland (2021); MASI
    Lugano, Switzerland (2021); Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles (2020); Xavier Hufkens,
    Brussels (2019); Modern Institute, Glasgow (2019); M Woods Museum, Beijing
    (2018); Magritte Museum, Brussels (2018); Kaufmann Repetto, Milan (2018);
    Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); and Dallas Museum of Art (2016). Party’s
    work is represented in the collections of the David Roberts Art Foundation, London;
    Migros Museum, Zurich; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; and the Sifang Art
    Museum, Nanjing, China.

    View More Works


Two Pots

signed and dated ‘Nicolas Party 2018’ on the reverse
soft pastel on card
34.5 x 20.3 cm. (13 5/8 x 7 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2018.

HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$687,500

Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 9 July 2020