Sandro Chia - Contemporary Art London Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    James Goodman Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Chia draws quite freely from art historical precedents. Although he reuses classical iconography, he reinterprets and updates mythology to his own ends. The themes may be ancient, but they are sheathed in modern dress. Large, rounded Picasso-esque figures seem to blend Baroque expressive elements with the kind of classical ideas found in 17th-century Arcadian landscapes. But it is merely the ideas that he borrows. Chia evokes the hero in a landscape rather than the heroic landscape. In landscapes by Poussin, for example, there is a give and take between background and figure. Chia’s figures exist in less ordered post-modern settings. They define themselves by their painted surfaces, and it is that which energizes their environment. Often dwarfed by their surroundings they manage, nonetheless, to possess a sculptural permanence.
    Subtle transitory nuances of nature, such as the intensity of the texture or the vividness of the colors, evolve as metaphors for emotional experiences and moods. Whether set in bucolic environments that are benignly tranquil or swirling with turmoil, Chia’s figures seem to project an existential aloneness. They often appear to be locked within their own inner worlds, disconnected from their surroundings in a studied way. The narratives are ambiguous. Man and nature not quite utopian in their evocations, but heroic nonetheless. Delacroix professed that nature is rendered according to one’s own temperament. Chia’s environments evolve from imaginary forces that both reflect and clash with reality.
    E.Welles, Sandro Chia,, 1999


Ritratto di Bruno (Portrait of Bruno)

Oil on canvas.
78 1/2 x 97 1/2 in. (199.4 x 247.7 cm).
Signed and dated “Sandro Chia 80” lower right. Signed, titled and dated “Ritratto di Bruno Sandro Chia 1980” on the reverse.

£60,000 - 80,000 ‡♠

Sold for £108,000

Contemporary Art

22 June 2007, 4pm & 5pm