William Monk - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle Hong Kong Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Phillips
  • During the early 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, internationally celebrated artist William Monk conceived an imaginary visual land he named ‘Mount Atom’. Whilst the exact coordinates of this mysterious location remain unknown, its geographical and physical features suggest that 'Mount Atom' could exist into the substrata of the earth as well as above the clouds, as a mystical land that forms through the layers of the atmosphere. Once entering the space of this dreamy mountainous place, one’s sense of proportion is inevitably challenged as microscopic portions of matter and macroscopic geological formations become indistinguishable: is the viewer looking at a vast expanse of land, or at a magnified detail of its chemical composition? Monk’s intention remains purposefully unclear.



    The present work exhibited at Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, Mount Atom, 2 October 2020 – 21 November 2020


    Atom Rising II fascinatingly embodies this ambiguity by representing a landscape made of arcane objects in peculiar shapes: the soil could resemble a conglomerate of microorganisms as seen through the lens of a microscope, or perhaps a portion of land observed from a very distant eye. Against a black background, a series of orangey pink thick lines with a rounded tip emerge from the left and right sides of the painting, evoking the image of salmon-coloured snakes or strangely shaped clouds. The work exquisitely encompasses Monk’s seductive landscapes that entice viewers through their mysterious and otherworldly forms.


    Monk was born in 1977 in Kingston upon Thames, UK, and completed his studies at De Ateliers in Amsterdam after receiving his BA from Kingston University. His recent exhibitions include The Ferryman at Grimm Gallery in New York (29 April 2022 – 11 June 2022), the Hong Kong show Point Datum at Pace Gallery (2 December 2020 – 30 January 2021), and Mount Atom at Grimm Gallery in Amsterdam (2 October 2020 – 21 November 2020), where the present painting exhibited.

    • Provenance

      GRIMM Gallery, Amsterdam
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Amsterdam, GRIMM, William Monk: Mount Atom, 2 October - 21 November 2020


Atom Rising II

signed, titled, inscribed and dated '"Atom Rising II" 2020. London William Monk' on the reverse
oil on canvas
45 x 35 cm. (17 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.)
Painted in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

HK$120,000 - 150,000 

Sold for HK$403,200

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle

Hong Kong Auction 30 November 2022