R.H. Quaytman - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Monday, June 29, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Vilma Gold, London

  • Exhibited

    London, Vilma Gold, Joseph Stau and R. H. Quaytman, 11 December 2007-25 January 2008

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘I want to make paintings that can be read on their own terms, without footnotes. But if, as a viewer, you persist in asking questions, you’ll find answers.’ – R.H. Quaytman

    The paintings of American artist R.H. Quaytman are cohesive narratives, which she describes as ‘systems.’ The formal ‘sentences’ which the artist constructs are referenced in the titles of the work. For Chapter 12 iamb (Checkers), Quaytman was inspired by the iambic pentameter of John Milton’s 1667 epic poem Paradise Lost. Quaytman comments that she ‘realized that the sound of the word iamb made it seem right for the title. I love words that have more than one meaning or association.’ (R.H. Quaytman interviewed by S. Stillman, Art in America, 1 June 2010).

    The present lot creates a hypnotising graphic arena, making reference to the geometric, illusionary Op-Art of the 1960s. Quaytman situates the optical play in her work as reflective of the way in which artworks at large are viewed: ‘I began to think of paintings as objects that you passed by—as things that you saw not just head-on and isolated, but from the side, with your peripheral vision, and in the context of other paintings.’ (Ibid.) The image’s mesmeric visual rhythm mimics the metrical power of its poetic referent, and forms a confounding surface that hints at the unknowable or sublime.


Chapter 12 iamb (Checkers)

oil, silkscreen, gesso on wood
50.8 x 50.8 cm (20 x 20 in.)
Signed, titled and dated 'R. H. Quaytman, Chapter 12. 2008' on the reverse.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £50,000

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 30 June 2015 2pm