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  • Provenance

    Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; Private Collection, Paris

  • Catalogue Essay

    The subject of a major travelling retrospective in 2009 and 2010, the contradictory and tautological nature of Roni Horn's innovative and diverse output defies easy categorization. Simplified to its essence, however, the focus of her art is simply the viewer's interaction with it. Horn's seemingly straightforward sculptural installations, often incorporating language, are in reality highly intentional; they result from the artist's long and thorough working method, and her engagement with the legacies of Conceptualism and Minimalism. The present lot, from her acclaimed 1993 series When Dickinson shut her eyes, comprises eight aluminium poles of different lengths leaning casually against the gallery wall, each bearing a line from Emily Dickinson's poem A Wind that rose. With her striking interpretation of the words of the reclusive 19th-century American poet, Horn invites the viewer to explore the poem's central themes of nature and identity, its cycles of life and death. Following in the conceptual tradition started by Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner, Roni Horn's homage to Dickinson investigates the possibilities of language as sculptural form.
    A Wind that rose though not a Leaf
    In any Forest stirred –
    But with itself did cold commune
    Beyond the Realm of Bird.
    A Wind that woke a lone Delight
    Like Separation's Swell –
    Restored in Arctic confidence
    To the invisible.
    Emily Dickinson


When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 1259

Aluminium and plastic in eight parts.
Largest: 193 x 5.2 x 5.2 cm (76 x 2 x 2 in).; smallest: 82.5 x 5.2 x 5.2 cm (32 1/2 x 2 x 2 in).
Incised ‘R HORN 2004 1259' and numbered of three at one end of a bar. This work is from an edition of three.

£150,000 - 200,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2010