Rodney Graham - 20th Century & Contemporary Art New York Tuesday, July 18, 2023 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Donald Young Gallery, Chicago
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Rodney Graham, October 5, 2006–January 7, 2007, p. 95 (another example exhibited)
    Zurich, Hauser & Wirth, Rodney Graham Renaissance Man. Works 1400-1977, October 21–December 22, 2006 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    James D. Campbell, “Montreal Collects. Contemporary Photography: The LaRochelle and Taillefer collections,” Ciel Variable, no. 78, Spring 2008, pp. 40-41

  • Artist Biography

    Rodney Graham

    Canadian • 1949

    Rodney Graham pulls from cultural and intellectual history through photography, film, music, performance and painting. He presents narratives with puns and references to literature and philosophy, including Sigmund Freud and Kurt Cobain, with a sense of humor that contradicts his residence in the post-punk scene of late 1970s Vancouver.

    In his film trilogy Vexation Island (1999), How I Became a Ramblin' Man (1999) and City Self/Country Self (2001), the artist plays characters like a castaway and a cowboy caught in repetitive cycles of actions and gestures. Such unconscious dream states are further explored in Graham's series of upside-down photographs of oak trees, which are hung to mimic camera obscura.

    View More Works


Essence of Smoke

chromogenic transparencies and painted steel lightboxes, in 4 parts
each 13 3/4 x 10 1/4 x 4 in. (34.9 x 26 x 10.2 cm)
installed 13 3/4 x 47 1/2 x 4 in. (34.9 x 120.7 x 10.2 cm)

Executed in 2006, this work is number 1 from an edition of 12.

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $38,100

Contact Specialist

Nina Piro
Specialist, Associate Vice President

20th Century & Contemporary Art

New York Auction 18 July 2023