Toyo Ito - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, June 27, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Video

    Toyo Ito, 'Golden Section', Lot 255

    20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, 28 June 2019

  • Provenance

    ARTinD - Golden Section Collection, Italy
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Largely considered to be the pinnacle of Aesthetic Harmony; the Golden Ratio has influenced the work of artists and architects since antiquity and its most recognisable structure, The Parthenon (447 BC). Also known as the Golden Section or the Divine Proportion, this mathematical principle is an expression of the ratio of two sums whereby their ratio is equal to the larger of the two quantities. This geometry strictly informed iconic examples such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (c. 1490) and Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome design for Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (1418-1434), but also throughout art history to the present day. Its principles are noticeable in the composition of George Seurat Bathers at Asnières (1884), which encompasses the rule of thirds, and in Piet Mondrian’s Composition II in Red Blue and Yellow (1929) shows the reoccurring ‘golden rectangle’.

    ARTinD is a unique project aiming to unite architecture and fine art. For this project ARTinD standing as a platform for meta collaborations between art and architecture chose 10 world renowned architects: Ben Van Berkel, Peter Eisenman, Sou Fujimoto, Thom Mayne, Alessandro Mendini, Piero and Nathalie Sartogo, and Pritzker Prize winners: Peter Zumthor, Rafael Moneo, Toyo Ito and Norman Foster. Each master presents his vision of the golden ratio by creating a unique individual handmade silk carpet. The resulting works displayed the hugely diverse interpretations of the naturally occurring but long studied mathematical ratio. Phillips exclusively collaborates with ARTinD on this project in which eight carpets were offered at auctions in 2018. We are proud to present two carpets designed by Rafael Moneo and Toyo Ito which will close this project.

    Toyo Ito has defined his highly praised architecture as "clothing" for urban dwellers, particularly in the contemporary Japanese metropolis. This deeply sociological interest has permeated his approach to design and also the nature of his commissions. Initially known for his dwellings such as the seminal White U House, Ito designed for his recently widowed sister, his body of work has developed to include more cultural and community focused spaces such as the Temporary Serpentine Pavilion (2002) and Sendai Mediatheque (2001): a multi‐function complex accommodating a mixed programme of library, art gallery, audio visual library, film studio and café. Ito has said ‘’I would like to use architecture to create bonds between people who live in cities, and even use it to recover the communities that used to exist in every single city.’’

    Ito has often drawn inspiration from the natural world in his work, borrowing organic forms and incorporating them seamlessly into his sleek post‐modern approach. This influence forms of the basis of the project from which Ito’s unique carpet was based. The architect’s design for the library at the College of Social Sciences, Taiwan University features a segmented ceiling, supported by treelike columns which results in the overall impression of clean and white yet thick forest canopy. The interspersed skylights mimic the natural dappled light through branches, serving as a form of antidote to one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

    For the sketch of the carpet, Ito has simplified and reduced the roof design, charting only the circular clusters of the columns. Through connecting the dots, a distinct spiral pattern emerges, which is reminiscent of the nautilus shell spiral, synonymous with the aesthetic beauty of the Golden Section. These spirals are repeated to form a rhythmic and delicate effect. Ito has said ‘’Architects have made architecture too complex. We need to simplify it and use a language that everyone can understand.’’ Through breaking down his thought process into a simple mathematical pattern and immortalising it in this carpet design, Ito demonstrates his commitment to simplicity.


Golden Section

hand-knotted carpet
504 x 392 cm (198 3/8 x 154 3/8 in.)
Executed in 2018-19, this work is accompanied by a drawing signed by the artist.

£30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for £40,000

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova

Director, Specialist
Head of Day Sale
44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 28 June 2019