Paul Morrison - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, January 17, 2024 | Phillips

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  • Featuring a dense overgrowth of thistles, blossom and pine trees, Paul Morrison’s Hilum, from Door Cycle, evokes an enticing portal to a secret garden. Morrison is best known for his botanical artworks that seamlessly blend scientific precision with artistic flair, capturing the intricate beauty of plant life in striking monochromatic compositions. Here, however, the bold black forms that characterise his oeuvre are noticeably absent. Entirely lacquered in white, the intricate forms of Hilum whisper in a manner reminiscent of the tranquil breathing of lungs, which the term “hilum” refers to. The relief forms of this door-shaped panel are delicate yet also graphic and all-encompassing, echoing the traditional English wallpaper designs of William Morris. Blossom flowers, typically petite, are enlarged as though they hover mere centimetres from the viewer's gaze. Oversized thistles command the spotlight, while towering pine trees, accustomed to dominating the sky, are diminished to the smallest elements in the scene. This whimsical scale conjures the sensation of peering through dense overgrowth, inviting the observer to become an integral part of the flora itself.


    William Morris, Marigold, 1875, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1923

    Jörg Schellmann was inspired to commission Door Cycle after he saw Willem de Kooning’s project by the same name exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1996. Schellmann considered the formal and poetic qualities of the door, such as its metaphoric values, its measurements corresponding to a human’s general size, and its appearance and dimensions representing a canvas. He concluded that the door would be a fitting starting point for artists to make editioned works with, so he invited a range of artists, such as Olafur Eliasson, Sarah Morris and Anish Kapoor, to create works on prefabricated hollow-core doors, resulting in the Door Cycle, 2006.

    “With its flat, empty surface, light weight and painting-size, the mass-produced door panel seemed to be an appropriate contemporary product to make work in editions with. After two years of consideration, Edition Schellmann invited a group of artists to create works of art on prefabricated hollow-core doors. The 16 works that resulted – painting, object, silkscreen, sculpture, relief, and other techniques, on wood, glass, steel and even paper – were produced in editions of 15.”
    —Jörg Schellmann

    • Provenance

      Personal copy of the publisher and part of the Archive of Edition Schellmann since time of publication

    • Literature

      Jörg Schellmann, ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, pp. 254-255 and p. 406

Works from the Archive of Edition Schellmann to benefit the Ars Publicata Project


Hilum, from Door Cycle

Polyurethane CNC milled and lacquered white, on a wooden door panel.
199.5 x 90 x 4.9 cm (78 1/2 x 35 3/8 x 1 7/8 in.)
Signed and numbered 14/15 in black ink on the accompanying label (there were also 3 artist's proofs), published by Edition Schellmann, Munich and New York.

Full Cataloguing

£3,000 - 5,000 ‡♠

Sold for £2,540

Contact Specialist

Because of technical difficulties our sale is delayed. We should resume soon. Sorry for the inconvenience.
+44 20 7318 4024

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 17 - 18 January 2024