Wilhelm Sasnal - Contemporary Art Part II New York Thursday, November 13, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Marc Jancou Fine Art, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    DS: In the aesthetic movement of the nineteenth century, Charles Baudelaire talked about being a painter of modern life. You've [often said] that you see [Baudelairian modern life painting] as a project in which you're engaged. So, is that how you got to the medium in which you work? Do you see [photography] as the most appropriate medium for today?JW: No, I don't. I don't think that there's any "most appropriate medium." Photography has been an important phenomenon since it was invented, in both social and artistic ways. And it was inevitable that it would become central to art, simply because it's a picture-making process, and art, Western art at least is, in a very major way, about making pictures, or images. But that doesn't make photography a more appropriate medium for our times, in my view. All media are interesting, depending on what's being done with them at the time; sometimes their field is a bit less energetic for one reason or another, but [they] usually come back. The idea of the "painting of modern life," which I've liked very much for many years, seemed to me just the most open, flexible, and rich notion of what artistic aims might be like, meaning that Baudelaire was asking or calling for artists to pay close attention to the everyday and the now. This was still somewhat new in his time because the predominant idea about art was still that [it] was about treating time-honored themes in terms of the decorum of the established aesthetic ideas. The painting of modern life would be experimental, a clash between the very ancient standards of art and the immediate experiences that people were having in the modern world. I feel that that was the most durable, rich orientation, but the great thing about it is that it doesn't exclude any other view. It doesn't stand in contradiction to abstraction or any other experimental forms. It is part of them, and is always in some kind of dialogue with them, and also with other things that are happening, inside and outside of art.
    Jeff Wall, from D. Shapiro, “A Conversation With Jeff Wall”, Museo 3, 2007  


A Fight on the Sidewalk, after Jeff Wall

Oil on canvas.
31 1/2 x 35 1/2 in. (80 x 90.2 cm).
Signed and dated "Wilhelm Sasnal 2002" on the overlap.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Contemporary Art Part II

14 Nov 2008, 10am & 2pm
New York