Seth Price - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, May 14, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Capitain Petzel Gallery, Berlin

  • Exhibited

    Zurich, Kunsthalle Zurich, SETH PRICE, June 2 - August 17, 2008

  • Literature

    P. Staple, "The Producer, Seth Price," frieze magazine, Issue 118, October, 2008, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Price continually creates the impression of specific histories for images and sounds --- histories they do not, in fact, possess.” Tim Griffin

    Crisp and radiant, Seth Price’s Vintage Bomber of 2008 exudes a sophisticated yet powerful aura. The current lot is elegantly punk rock in the way that all of Price’s iconic works in vacuum-sealed high-impact polystyrene are; in an effervescent silver it captures the power of the artist’s prodigious intellect and stunning artistic vision. A wry comment on the cycles of consumerism in the realms of fashion and art, Vintage Bomber manages to hold both philosophical weight and visual power. Price’s smart re-packaging of the counter-cultural trope of the bomber jacket highlights the shift and flux in signifiers of this object over time – from World War II bomber pilots uniforms to post war biker gangs to the streets of the lower east side to high-fashion runways. For Price much of the value of the jacket is not in its use—its ability to keep one warm—but the cultural currency endowed when wearing such an object. By truly fixing the object, making it only exist as an almost perfect trace of itself that can never be worn, the artist has brilliantly highlighted the manner in which our collective understanding and valuation of an object far outweighs any specific logic. Fashioned here in a vibrant, shimmering silver the present lot is a work as stunning to look at as it is to intellectually contemplate.

    Seth Price is truly one of the leading artist’s of the contemporary avant-garde. The artist has continually produced an oeuvre of work that destabilizes the mechanics of both ideologies and modes of consumption. Throughout a body of work that includes paintings, video, sculpture and scholarly writing the artist has constantly and eloquently questioned how the things we purchase and what we feel they mean about us construct and condition our conceptions of self and the world around us. While a clear and worthy descendent of artists from both the conceptual and pictures generation—not to mention dada, surrealism, and the Situationsists—Price none-the less has found a new language and set of tools to tackle long-standing concerns. Price often uses bootlegged or pirated materials culled from the Internet in order to explore how value is created and where it is placed. Vintage Bomber is created through the process of vacuum-forming this iconic style of jacket in high impact polystyrene, which is then painted with acrylic and enamel – here in a luminescent silver. The process involves melting a form of hot plastic around a solid object and then allowing it to cool into a rigid mass while vacuum pressure is applied to create a single form or a reusable mold. The plastic shell covering the jacket becomes a central aspect of the piece, taking the form of the object encased within while and acting almost like commercial packaging. The series is the most highly-sought after by the artist and this example is made further exceptional by the glinting metallic silver color – it virtually vibrates with power and mystique while maintaining a weighty patina of downtown cool and style.


Vintage Bomber

vacuum formed high-impact polystyrene
96 1/8 x 47 7/8 x 2 3/8 in. (244 x 121.5 x 6 cm)

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $269,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Evening Sale 14 May 2015 7pm