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    Sale 7619

    Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale

    21 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 339

    Bill Viola (b. 1951)

    Four Hands

    Price Realised  


    Bill Viola (b. 1951)
    Four Hands
    black and white video polyptych on four LCD panel displays
    7 x 46 1/3 x 2 7/8in. (17.8 x 117.5 x 7.1cm.)
    Executed in 2001, this work is from an edition of twelve plus two artist's proofs

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    "Four small flat-panel display screens mounted on an aluminum shelf present moving images of four pairs of hands. Shot with a black-and-white low-light camera, the hands of a young boy, a middle-aged woman and man, and an elderly woman are seen as they slowly and deliberately form a series of predetermined gestures. The gestures are both familiar and strange, influenced by a variety of sources from Buddhist mudras to 17th century English chirologia tables. The symbolic patterns of the motions of three generations of hands, son-mother-father-grandmother, describe a timeline that encompasses both the parallel actions of the individuals in the present moment and the larger movements of the stages of human life" (B. Viola, quoted in Bill Viola, The Passions, Los Angeles 2004).

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    Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.


    Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum; London, National Gallery; Madrid, Fundaciòn "la Caixa" and Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, The Passions, January 2003-November 2005 (another edition exhibited).
    Rochester, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, On the Other Hand: New Media and Classic Photographs of Hands February-May 2005 (another edition exhibited).
    Leeds, Harewood House, Works by Bill Viola, 1996.
    Kilkenny, St John's Priory, The 34th Annual Kilkenny Arts Festival, Four Hands, August 2007.