Vik Muniz - Photographs London Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

  • Literature

    P. Corrêa do Lago, ed., Vik Muniz Obra Completa, 1987-2009: Catálogo Raisonné, Rio de Janeiro: Capivara Editora Ltda., 2009, p. 583

  • Catalogue Essay

    Vik Muniz has gained a well-deserved reputation by using nonconventional materials such as chocolate, wire, dust, sugar and, as in the present work, pigments. Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Background, after Matisse is Muniz’s vision of an iconic work by one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Matisse’s work, created in 1925–26 and owned by the Pompidou Centre in Paris, reunites all the artist’s tools of expression: Matisse’s decorative elements and patterns, presented here through wallpaper, flowers, fruit, rugs and textiles that explode into vibrant colours, contrasting with the serene nude figure in the centre. The viewer sees only the photographic record of his recreations, leaving just a tantalizing vision of a tactile surface. Muniz is a virtuoso who creates with his fingers, and this is particularly evident in the series Pictures of Pigment where he recreates icons of art history by carefully layering brilliantly coloured powdered pigments onto a flat surface and then photographing them. The process of creation of these works involves a complex craftsmanship during which Muniz takes the different roles of painter, illustrator and photographer.


Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Background, after Matisse from Pictures of Pigment

Colour coupler print.
242 x 178.5 cm (95 1/4 x 70 1/4 in).
Signed, dated in ink, printed title and number on a gallery label affixed to the reverse of the flush-mount. One from an edition of 6.

£35,000 - 45,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £43,250


3 November 2011