Nicolas Party - New Now New York Wednesday, September 30, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Upending conventional visual notions of representation, space, and time, Nicolas Party’s Landscape, 2013, epitomizes the Swiss artist’s re-invention of the classical genre of landscape painting that has launched him to international acclaim in recent years. Classically trained as a painter, Party has grounded nearly his entire oeuvre in rendering canonical motifs of still life, portraiture, and landscape. A prime exemplar of one of the artist’s most iconic subject matters, Landscape presents the viewer with a vivid, dreamlike vista encompassing flat, graphic trees and shrubs that are defined as rich blocks of blues, scarlets, and neons beyond a tangerine-colored clearing in the foreground.

    Though working over a century later than his Impressionist ancestors, Party similarly utilizes the orthodox painterly subject of landscape as a device to cleverly explore contemporary conceptual themes; while Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne experimented with the modernist flatness of the picture plane and forms abstracted from nature, Landscape studies the artificial, computerized essence of the post-internet world. While the work refers to the traditional history of landscapes, it simultaneously evokes ghostly, hollow renderings of 3D models, a conceptual exploration that can be credited to artist’s 10 years spent working as a 3D animator and his interest in computer art. Ironically, Party creates his vacant futuristic forms in pastel, a technique that was prevalent at the turn of the 18th century. While computer animation is a modern, technological endeavor, painting with pastel is an intimate, physical practice generally applied by finger; according to Party, it allows him to “establish a real relationship with [his] work” (Nicolas Party, quoted in “Interview: Nicolas Party,” Conceptual Fine Arts, September 16, 2015, online). Rendering computer-generated aesthetics in a time-proven medium, Landscape mystifyingly pays simultaneous homage to art-making modes of the past and to the technology of the future.


Untitled (Landscape)

signed and dated "Nicholas Party 2013" on the reverse
watercolor on paper
30 1/8 x 22 1/4 in. (76.5 x 56.5 cm)
Executed in 2013.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $150,000

Contact Specialist

Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219

New Now

New York Auction 30 September 2020