Yéanzi - New Now: Modern & Contemporary Art London Friday, April 19, 2024 | Phillips
  • "My role as an artist is to be a mirror of society. If you like, I am a kind of repository of culture and collective memory, a collective conscience".

    Lanin Saint-Étienne Yéanzi is a contemporary and multi-award-winning artist living between Côte d'Ivoire and France. The present work belongs to a very special series, as the artist only created a total of eight diptychs over the course of his career. These works are a continuation of the works he presented at the 59th Biennale Arte di Venezia in 2022.


    Since 2013, the artist has been working with recycled plastic, which he melts and drips onto various surfaces to create human figures and faces. The anonymity of his subjects, created by the uncontrolled process, challenges the established assumption of the portrait genre to capture the sitter and thus the individual in their identity. His work can be divided into three series - Persona, Projection, Colloquium - which revolve around the central theme of identity. Questioning the concept of identity and the notion of cultural and collective heritage for identity formation is Yéanzi's main theme. His approach is at once historical, philosophical, and utopian.


    Yéanzi refines his aesthetic in the technical execution and thematic expression of his visual vocabulary by using different materials. Through his unique technique of fusing recycled plastic into faces, he synthesises and contrasts the millennia-old cultural richness of Africa with the current development of modern societies. Plastic also conveys a critical, thought-provoking message against today's throwaway society and our reckless treatment of the planet. This density of elements adds to the complexity and understanding of his work.


    Yéanzi graduated first in his class at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Abidjan in 2012. His works have been exhibited in museums, art fairs, and institutions around the world and are part of prestigious public and private collections including Fondations Edmond de Rothschild, Collection Leridon, Schulting Art Collection, and Mohammed VI Museum. Last year, he received the great honour of being selected for the 59th Biennale Arte di Venezia 2022. Yéanzi was part of the museum exhibition at the Kunsthal KaDE Amersfoort in the Netherlands, which features works from the renowned Schulting Collection.

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner



melted recycled plastic and acrylic on canvas laid on panel, in artist's frame, diptych
each 187 x 113 cm (73 5/8 x 44 1/2 in.)
overall 187 x 230 cm (73 5/8 x 90 1/2 in.)

Executed in 2022.

Full Cataloguing

£15,000 - 20,000 ‡♠

Sold for £12,700

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