Yoshitomo Nara - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Thursday, November 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie D'Eendt, Amsterdam
    Private Collection
    Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Contemporary Art, Afternoon, May 14, 2003, lot 319
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Essen, Germany, Museum Folkwang, Moving Energies # 02, October 16, 2003 - January 25, 2004
    Helsinki, Finland, Helsinki City Art Museum, Art Museum Tennis Palace, JaPan PoP, September 2005
    Ratingen, Germany, Museum der Stadt Ratingen, WHAT’S UP ?, 2007
    Hamburg, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Zwei Sammler: Thomas Olbricht und Harald Falckenberg, June 24 - August 21, 2011

  • Literature

    N. Miyamura and S. Suzuki, ed., Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works, Cat. Rais. No. P-1993-052. San Francisco, 2011, p. 193 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Yoshitomo Nara has developed an artistic output that is masterful and unique on multiple levels. His work is highly synthetic, portraying fusions of high and low, east and west, and adult and child-like. These amalgams of imagery are so seamless within Nara’s work that they render such distinctions between them almost indiscernible. Nara’s highly original style and subject is the product of a regrettably lonely childhood, leading him to incorporate playful emotions and childhood memories into his body
    of work, though typically depicting his characters engaged in innocuous solo activities reminiscent of his own youth. With such depictions, the artist eternally captures the quiet innocence and real emotion of his precious subjects.

    Nara is best known for tackling and finessing life’s lessons with a cast of irresistible, cartoonish little girls and dogs. Rendered foremost in paintings as simple shapes on monochrome backgrounds, these young girls are serene and blissful, but also have tendencies which can lean toward resentful, rebellious or demonic, depicted with abbreviated, fngerless arms that can suggest clenched fsts. Nara’s subjects look up at the viewer with what seems to be an air of sweet sincerity, but their heavy eyelids
    may also indicate a jaded cynicism, incongruent with the insouciance of childhood. It is because of this juxtaposition of hard and soft that Nara’s paintings can appear almost passive-aggressive. While their sheer cuteness draws you in, the emotional directness of the character gives the work a new sense of honesty, tangibility, and human signifcance.


The Planet Doll

acrylic on canvas
67 x 43 1/4 in. (170.2 x 109.9 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated "Nara, The Planet Doll, 93" on the reverse.

$400,000 - 600,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

16 November 2012
New York