Victor Man - New Now: Modern & Contemporary Art London Friday, April 19, 2024 | Phillips
  • “Man blurs the line between external phenomena and internal impressions, transforming his figures into haunting ciphers.”
    —David Geers

    Flooded with an electric, phosphorescent light, veiled in silence and mystery, Victor Man through his small-format paintings meticulously generates intrigue. Opaque and enigmatic, Man appropriates images from the media yet eradicates their original context; a process, as the artist describes it, that leaves each image a ‘terrain of turbulence. Where truth becomes a matter of clues’.i The impression of the young figure is both anonymous and foreboding, his appearance concealed by his sunglasses, dark hood, and a sweeping brushstroke across his mouth. Standing barefoot in an industrial environment that escapes categorisation of place and time, Man reveals neither an interior nor an exterior, night nor day. 


    The artist was born in the Romanian university town of Cluj, a region famed for its ruthless ruler Vlad the Impaler and consequent association with Bram Stoker’s fictional Dracula. Among other members of the Cluj school like Șerban Savu and Adrian Ghenie, Man’s childhood was marked by the deterioration, scarcity, and isolation of the Communist regime: themes repeatedly articulated in his work. Such an undercurrent of decay lingers in Suburbian Hobbiest: Romanian suburbs that Man emphasises are not characterised with leisure and comfort, but rather underprivilege and degradation.ii 


    Living and working across Europe, Victor Man has been subject to a breadth of international solo exhibitions, most recently in Frankfurt at the Städel Museum that closed on the 4th February 2024. Representing Romania at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007, Man’s work is held in significant public collections including the Tate Gallery in London, the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


    i Victor Man, quoted in Simon Watson, ‘New Artist: Victor Man’, Whitewall, Summer 2007, p. 64.

    ii Gilda Williams, ‘Victor Man: Timothy Taylor Gallery’, Artforum, vol. 45, no. 1, September 2006, p. 394, online.

    • Provenance

      Timothy Taylor, London
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006

    • Exhibited

      London, Timothy Taylor, Victor Man: The place I'm coming from, 5 - 31 May 2006, pp. 23, 75 (illustrated, p. 23)

    • Literature

      Gilda Williams, 'Victor Man: Timothy Taylor Gallery', Artforum, vol. 45, no. 1, September 2006, p. 394 (listed)


Suburbian Hobbiest

titled and dated 'SUBURBIAN HOBBIEST 04' on the reverse
oil on canvas laid on panel
37.1 x 25.1 cm (14 5/8 x 9 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2004.

Full Cataloguing

£12,000 - 18,000 ‡♠

Sold for £19,050

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Head of New Now: Modern & Contemporary Art
+44 20 7901 7993

New Now: Modern & Contemporary Art

London Auction 19 April 2024