Tauba Auerbach - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Tauba Auerbach brilliantly melds the techniques of one of our oldest technologies with the aesthetics of digital forms in Ray IV, 2012. Part of the artist’s Weave series and similar to works such as Miter, Ray, Trans Ray, 2015, in the collection of the Guggenheim Museum, Ray IV consists of woven strips of canvas that delicately recess and emerge, interlacing to create a surface that looks pixelated. In the series, the artist identifies a continuity between these ancient and contemporary forms, describing “an inherent esthetic and structural link,” from weaving to “our newest, digital technologies.”i Expertly crafted, Auerbach created Ray IV with the utmost precision and attention to detail while also retaining a distinctive handmade quality that proves essential to the work’s conceptual gravitas. Executed with raw canvas, the present work finds the intersection of forms that are at once timeless and cutting-edge.

    "Auerbach deconstructs the canvas by literalizing its form."
    —Courtney Fiske
    The tessellating, digitally influenced moire of Ray IV stems from Auerbach’s interest in logic and mathematical structures. Musing on her impetus for the Weave series, Auerbach recounts: “I became really interested in binary code as a linguistic structure. That catapulted me into thinking about binaries in general as logic-structures, and eventually I landed on the binary between flatness and not-flatness. The “Weave” paintings are a nod to this sort of logic."ii In teasing out the poetic beauty in these coded forms, Auerbach’s Weave works find a kinship with the instructional wall drawings and gridded sculptures of Sol LeWitt, and even the optical explorations of Bridget Riley. 


    Sol LeWitt, Open Modular Cube, 1966
    Sol LeWitt, Open Modular Cube, 1966. Image: © Art Gallery of Ontario / Purchase, 1969 / Bridgeman Images, Artwork: © 2022 The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    Ray IV is distinguished by its balance of soft and hard qualities. Its mesmerizing pattern derives from the rigidity of its plaits in service of the overarching “ray.”  Meanwhile, in a natural, ecru textile, the work is also comfortably domestic, thriving in the subtlety of its three-dimensional composition. It is experimentative and algorithmic, intimate and ageless. 


     Tauba Auerbach, quoted in Courtney Fiske, “Tauba Auerbach’s Peripheral Visions”, Art in America, June 21, 2012, online

    ii  Ibid.

    • Provenance

      Acquired from the above by the present owner

Property from an Exceptional Private Collection

Ο ◆340

Ray IV

signed and dated "TAUBA AUERBACH 2012" on the stretcher
woven canvas on wooden stretcher
60 x 45 in. (152.4 x 114.3 cm)
Executed in 2012.

Full Cataloguing

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $126,000

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
+1 212 940 1279

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 16 November 2022