Robert Wilson - Contemporary Art Part II New York Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gift of the artist

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Le Centre, Mr Bojangles’ Memory: Og Son of Fire: Ouvrage Publié à l’Occasion De l’Exposition Présentée Au Centre Georges Pompidou, November 9, 1991-January 27, 1992; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Francisco, Museum of Modern Art, Robert Wilson’s Vision, February 6 -April 21, 1991, July15 - August 18, 1991, September 12 - December 1,1991; Valencia, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, September 16 - November 22, 1992

  • Literature

    R. Wilson, et al. Robert Wilson: Mr Bojangles’ Memory: Og Son of Fire: Ouvrage Publié à l’Occasion De l’Exposition Présentée Au Centre Georges Pompidou Du 6 Novembre 1991 Au 27 Janvier 1992. Paris: Le Centre, 1991; S. Flakes, “Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach.” The Drama Review 20, December, 1976 pp. 69-82; T. Fairbrother, “Stretch-Out: Robert Wilson’s Einstein Chair.” Parkett no. 16, May 1988, pp. 78-89 (illustrated); F. Ruf, “‘Survival and Distance’: The Dramatic Voice in Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach.” In Entangled Voices: Genre and the Religious Construction of the Self, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 63-75; M. Shevtsova, Robert Wilson. Routledge Performance Practitioners, London 2007

  • Catalogue Essay

    In collaboration with Phillips de Pury, the following works are a special collection donated by the artists to benefi t the recreation of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. Phillips de Pury is supporting the revival of this piece and waives any seller’s commission.
    Widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, this rarely performed work launched director Robert Wilson and composer Philip Glass to international success when it was fi rst produced at the Festival in Avignon in 1976 and went among other venues to the Metropolitan Opera later that year. It is still recognized as one of their greatest masterpieces. Now, nearly four decades after it was first performed, Einstein on the Beach will be taken on a major international tour including the fi rst North American presentations ever held outside of New York City.
    After seeing Einstein on the Beach for the first time, New York Times art critic and producer John Rockwell said: “Einstein was like nothing I had ever encountered. For me, its very elusiveness radiated richly, like some dark star whose effects we can only feel. The synergy of words and music seemed ideal. Like Einstein himself [it] transcended time. It’s not (just) an artifact of this era, it’s timeless. Like Hamlet or Parsifal, Einstein must be seen and re-seen, encountered and experience to cherish for a lifetime.”
    Einstein on the Beach remains one of the most revolutionary works of our time. The international tour of Einstein on the Beach will begin in the Spring of 2012 and will be seen in up to ten international locations bringing this ground breaking work to new audiences and an entirely new generation. Other examples of this 1976 series are included in the permanent collections of: Christopher De Menil, Lisa de Kooning, Paul Walter, Thomas Ammann and The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
    The Einstein Chair is one of Robert Wilson’s most iconic works and is emblematic of not only Wilson’s performative approach, but also serves as a tangible manifestation of the artist’s unique transient art form. Made of plumbing pipe, the sculpture refl ects the expansion of time and space itself while also touching on the biographical.
    As Einstein was fond of saying, “If I had my life to live over again, I’d be a plumber.”
    With his belief in reincarnation at the end of his life, Einstein’s driver asked him:
    Driver: What will you be in your next life? How will we find you?
    Einstein: I will be a plumber!
    Driver: What? A plumber? Why?
    Einstein: Yes, I want to be a plumber in my next life. I have given out a few truths to the world, but to be very honest, I lied to myself. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by plumbers. But my mother, then my school, and later the entire society gave me the idea that I was made for other things, and I went along. The fact is, I am still fascinated by plumbers and in my next life I am going to be a plumber. I have had enough of science and blah blah blah.



Einstein Chair (from Einstein on the Beach)

Chair: Galvanized pipe; base: galvanized steel sheet over wood armature
Chair: 93 1/2 x 9 3/4 x 9 3/4 in. (237.5 x 24.8 x 24.8 cm); base: 2 1/2 x 43 1/2 x 43 1/2 in. (6.4 x 110.5 x 110.5 cm).
This work is 6/6, the last piece in the edition series from the world premiere in 1976.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $48,750

Contemporary Art Part II

9 November 2010
New York