Sterling Ruby - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, October 12, 2023 | Phillips

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  • ‘‘My studio was in Hazard Park, where gangs were fighting over drugs and territory. Their disputes were visually apparent through massive amounts of tagging. The city responded by sending out their anti-graffiti teams during the night. Power paint sprayers were used to cover up the day’s graffiti in a muted wash of either beige or grey. The city did this under the cover of darkness, while the gangs seemed to prefer the vulnerability of the day. The tagging had become abstract. All territorial clashes, aggressive cryptograms, and death threats nullified into a mass of spray-painted gestures that had become nothing more than atmosphere, their violent disputes transposed into an immense, outdoor, nonrepresentational mural. I started painting again when I saw this.’’
    —Sterling Ruby

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Europe (acquired directly from the artist)
      Phillips, London, 15 October 2014, lot 5
      Private Collection, United States
      Sotheby's, London, 8 March 2018, lot 221
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      London, Dickinson, Forms of Abstraction: American Abstraction from the 1950s to today, 6 June - 18 July 2014



signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated ''SP37 SR. 08' on the reverse
spray paint on canvas
244.1 x 213.6 cm (96 1/8 x 84 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2008.

Full Cataloguing

£150,000 - 250,000 

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Associate Specialist
+44 73931 41144

Simon Tovey
Specialist, Associate Director
+44 20 7318 4084

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 12 October 2023