Tauba Auerbach - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Paula Cooper, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘To create these works I contort and fold the canvas, ironing it or letting it sit under weights to set the creases. After a few days I loosely spread the creased fabric on the floor and spray it directionally with acrylic paint put through an industrial house paint sprayer-a process in which pigment acts like raking light. When the paint is dry I stretch the canvas taught. The resulting flat surface carries a near-perfect imprint of the canvas' previous three-dimensional self; the surface still appears wrinkled or folded. This is my take on tromp-l'oeil or traditional realist painting, one that relies on strategy rather than virtuosity’ (T. Auerbach, quoted in S. Ovstebo, Folds, exh. cat., Bergen Kunsthall, 2012, p. 105).

    Exploring and illustrating a new dimension, one that visually bridges the two-dimensional with the three-dimensional, lies at the core of Tauba Auerbach’s series of fold paintings first exhibited in 2009. Describing this point of cross-section as the ‘2.5th dimension’, Auerbach forms a three-dimensional illusion on a flat surface. Through the tactile method of rendering her works, the artist creates a visually arresting display of lines and angles by manipulating her canvas in such a variety of ways. The subtle differences in tone that are achieved by spraying the canvas, rather than employing a paintbrush, imbues the work with radiance that changes like a psychedelic mirage as one draws closer to the picture surface. This sense of light and shadow, both emanating from the work and seemingly casting shadows onto it, is brought to the fore in Untitled (Fold) (2011) because of the binary colours selected by Auerbach in this work. The warm ochre contrasted by the cold indigo gives rise to an array of juxtaposed planes of colour henceforth, allowing the creases and folds within the canvas to emerge.

    Though Auerbach’s diverse portfolio ranges of mediums and techniques, her Fold paintings embody the key notions that permeate all her artistic production. Thus, the artist not only draws our attention to a dialogue between the different dimensions, but also to a visual contest between ideas of a mechanised geometric accuracy and a spontaneity most associated with the hand of the artist. Despite the fact that the lines in Untitled (Fold) appear mathematical and precise, they are produced through a random process of folding and creasing. Meanwhile, the colour that emphasises their forms is dusted onto the work through a spray can, thus limiting the range of texture or marks produced by the artist herself. The subtle nuances of folds accentuated through colour give her works a wondrous quality, one that embraces a weightless tactility so typical of this series of works where ghosts of sculpted landscapes linger just out of reach; the viewer can simply glimpse their presence but never touch them.

Ο ◆22

Untitled (Fold)

acrylic on canvas
153.5 x 114.4 cm (60 3/8 x 45 in.)
Signed and dated 'Tauba Auerbach 2011' on the overlap.

£1,200,000 - 1,800,000 

Sold for £1,426,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
[email protected]
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 14 October 2015 7pm