• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7565

    Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale

    6 February 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 10

    Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968)

    Untitled (Black Butterfly M02G)

    Price Realised  


    Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968)
    Untitled (Black Butterfly M02G)
    signed, titled and dated 'MARK GROTJAHN 2002 Black Butterfly' (on the overlap)
    oil on linen
    48 x 34in. (121.9 x 86.4 cm.)
    Painted in 2002

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Mark Grotjahn's Butterfly Paintings are the artist's most celebrated works to date. Deriving from the artist's fascination with signs and retro graphics, these works which essentially consist of a radiating sequence of parallel lines are executed in thick oil in such a way that an illusion of perspective is generated by the painting's butterfly form.

    Built up steadily in a sequence of opaque layers and heavy texture,
    Grotjahn's paintings bridge the worlds of abstract painting and amateur sign-making. This amateurish aspect of the work is wholly intentional with the radiating angular patterns of the design's perspectival wings always painted slightly off-kilter so that an uneasy but fascinating tension is established at the heart of the work. Rendered in rich deep tones of colour, the paintings evoke a strangely artificial world of adolescent dreaming. This quality is augmented by the clear emphasis on the hand-made nature of these works and by the often garish addition to them of the artist's hand-drawn monogrammatic signature and date.

    Special Notice

    On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. This is such a lot. This indicates both in cases where Christie's holds the financial interest on its own, and in cases where Christie's has financed all or a part of such interest through a third party. Such third parties generally benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.
    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.