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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist; Patrick de Brock Gallery, Knokke-Le-Zoute

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the current lot, Wim Delvoye presents a sculpture of a cement mixer made out of decorative materials of Baroque style intricately carved wood covered in Delftware motifs.
    “The linguistic ingenuity of Baroque poetry and its wallowing in rich metaphoric resources doubtlessly found their way into Delvoye’s truly sculptural way of thinking quite some time ago.  But the artist’s ideas, embodied in luxurious images, hide only superficially the sense that actually the symbolic veils are becoming increasingly devoid of meaning.  In some of Delvoye’s works the signs have become a decorative Baroque-like arabesque, because of their wholesale cloning.  Whilst already in Rococo art the shape of an object sometimes emerged arbitrarily from a vegetative ornament, now Delvoye allows this sort of Mannerism to proliferate freely.  Delvoye’s ornament grows rank; like a cancerous tumor it pierces through the surface of things, slowly but steadily devouring the substance of their body, until only multiple articulated organs remain.  Unlike Cloaca, which has lost its protective carnal wrapping, the Concrete Mixers, Cement Truck and Catepillars present themselves as mere supports for ornaments, entirely devoid of their former function as objects.  The overkill of the arts and crafts element is anchored in a manufacturing process that is both ambivalent and sarcastic, referring to the discourse about the effects of globalism.  Thus for example, Delvoye has the Baroque wooden ornaments for his life-size concrete mixers produced by an Indonesian company that also mass-produces African masks for the antiques market.  The ubiquitous loss of authenticity, caused by global McDonaldisation, occurs in Delvoye’s expressly artificial interpretation on a double level.  Not only does he carry the Western European infatuation with arts and craft furniture to utter absurdness: enteringthrough the backdoor he also subtly mocks the ‘real’ lovers of airport exoticism.”
    (B. Sonna, “When a Concrete Mixer Cross-Breeds with a Baroque Pulpit in a Thai Boudoir,” Wim Delvoye: Gothic Works, 2002, p. 117).

46

Concrete Mixer (Delft)

1993
Carved wood and enamel paint.
57 1/2 x 66 x 29 in. (146.1 x 167.6 x 73.7 cm).

Estimate
£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £54,500

Property from The Vanmoerkerke Collection, Belgium

3 Apr 2008, 4pm
London