Patrick Nagel - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    11th Street Gallery, Santa Monica
    Private Collection
    Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, Copenhagen, October 3, 2011, lot 708
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Literature

    Jeffrey Book, The Art of Patrick Nagel, New York, 1985, pp. 140 - 141

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rendered with an economy of line and flat, cool planes of color, Patrick Nagel’s Kristen presents a piercing portrait that distills the artist’s iconic aesthetic with which he garnered widespread popularity in the 1980s. Nagel, who studied art at Chouinard Art Institute in the 1960s, emerged in the Pop era alongside contemporaries such as Tom Wesselmann and Andy Warhol. While similarly working with a Pop aesthetic, Nagel infused elements from Deco and Japanese Woodblock prints into his graphic works – echoing such artistic forebears as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. A skilled illustrator, Nagel first photographed models before using ink and acrylic to boldly emphasize features. In the present work, ghostly pale skin is set against jet black hair – her features evocative of Nagel’s portrait that featured on Duran Duran’s Rio album in 1982 and catapulted him to widespread acclaim.

    Kristen presents us with the “Nagel Women” par excellence, perfectly encapsulating his reductive aesthetic. As actress Joan Collins recalled, "I remember when he (Patrick Nagel) first photographed me he remarked that my lips were my most outstanding facial feature. He said they seemed to have an anatomy of their own. Never have lips felt so naked. He had a way of seeing every detail and revealing them all on canvas" (Joan Collins, quoted in Elena G. Millie, Nagel: The Art of Patrick Nagel, New York, 1985, p. 16). Though Nagel passed away prematurely in 1984, his works continue to resonate – with important examples held in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.



signed "Nagel 1" lower left
acrylic on canvas mounted on wood
30 x 20 1/4 in. (76.2 x 51.5 cm.)
Executed circa 1982-1983.

$60,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $300,000

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 15 May | On View at 432 and 450 Park Avenue