Sterling Ruby - Summer Wave Paris Thursday, August 3, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Executed in 2009, SP73 is amongst one of the early examples of Sterling Ruby’s iconic spray paint works, which he began just two years earlier. Inspired by the graffiti tagging and vandalism prevalent in his hometown of Los Angeles where he lives and works, this monumental composition draws upon the visual language prevalent in street art. Rendered in innumerable layers of spray paint, Ruby appropriates their cultural aesthetic and elevates them to a ‘high-art’ form, creating large-scale, abstract canvases that are still reminiscent of their urban roots.

    The dark, black ground is obfuscated by rippling swathes of bright pink and blue pigment, mimicking the inky surface of water, and interspersed with harsh, scattered drips that break the elusive surface of the canvas, whist the composition is encroached by an ominous dark haze that threatens to overpower the work entirely. The overall effect is one of mesmeric depth and illusionary, painterly abstraction, whilst still recalling the aerosol, gestural mark-making loaded with connotations of city gang graffiti and urban demarcation.

    Born in 1972, Ruby studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His works are held in numerous public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as the Tate Modern, London, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, amongst others.



signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated ''SP73' SR.09' on the reverse
spray paint on canvas
243.8 x 213.3 x 5.1 cm (95 7/8 x 83 7/8 x 2 in.)
Executed in 2009.

Price On Request

Summer Wave