Tishan Hsu - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Thursday, May 19, 2022 | Phillips
  • "Hsu is, in a sense, the Cézanne of post-Modernism: the master whose contradictory currents of quotation and theatricality are used to articulate the uncertain character of desire in our increasingly synthetic world."
    —Donald Kuspit, 1989

    Since emerging in the East Village scene in the 1980s, Tishan Hsu has built an impressive and prescient oeuvre exploring the impacts of technology and artificial intelligence on the human body. Hsu’s work and interests continue to hold their relevancy, as evidenced by his inclusion in this year’s Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams, which centers on themes including transformation, definitions of the human and bodily interactions with technology. Evoking digital forms of the emergent information age, Moon Goon, 1983, is an extraordinary example of Hsu’s enigmatic works from the 1980s.


    Moon Goon was exhibited in Hsu’s first show in New York, mounted by Pat Hearn Gallery in 1985, and shortly before Hsu went on to work with the famed Leo Castelli Gallery on a solo show in 1987. With a richly textured surface, curved edges and fleshy, protruding organic forms, Hsu’s Moon Goon abridges physical and virtual space while remaining grounded in the material. Ahead of his time, Hsu’s work has become increasingly relevant in conversations on posthumanism and art, probing how technology weaves into our daily lives and bodies. His influential practice has paved the way for many younger artists such as Sascha Braunig, Juliana Huxtable, Anicka Yi, Hannah Levy and Kevin Beasley.


    With a resurgence of interest in Hsu’s work, including his inclusion in The Milk of Dreams at the 2022 Venice Biennale and a 2020 survey Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and SculptureCenter, New York, Hsu’s legacy is being solidified as a prophetic artist for our time.

    Hsu’s works are held in numerous major public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; and Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt am Main. Hsu’s 2020 survey exhibition, Liquid Circuit, was shown at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and at SculptureCenter, New York.


    Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit


    • Provenance

      Pat Hearn Gallery, New York
      Private Collection, London
      Private Collection, Sweden (acquired from the above circa 1988)

    • Exhibited

      New York, Pat Hearn Gallery, Tishan Hsu, 1985
      Gothenburg, Art Now Gallery, East Village Today, 1988


Moon Goon

signed and dated "Tishan Hsu 1983" on the reverse
acrylic, oil and alkyd on panel
66 1/2 x 48 x 7 in. (168.9 x 121.9 x 17.8 cm)
Executed in 1983.

Full Cataloguing

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $277,200

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 19 May 2022