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    Sale 11960

    First Open | London

    14 April 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 188

    Adrian Ghenie (B. 1977)

    If You Open It, You Get Dirty

    Price Realised  


    Adrian Ghenie (B. 1977)
    If You Open It, You Get Dirty
    oil and felt tip pen on canvas
    11 ¼ x 27in. (28.5 x 68.8cm.)
    Executed in 2006

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    ‘In his studio earlier this year, Ghenie tells me that, back in 2006, “I was actually more concerned with finding ways to combine my fascination for recent and ancient history, while still making works that were relevant to a contemporary audience”. The resulting paintings were part of a series entitled If You Open It You’ll Get Dirty (2006), featuring grey tomblike structures, half-buried by flurries of ash, collected in the shadows of underground chambers. The initial reading of the work suggests an epochal volcanic eruption – Pompeii, say – but there is also a latent political dimension to the paintings, a connection made between the destruction of a great civilization and what happened to Eastern Europe under the communism, when all the colour and vibrancy of this culturally rich region was smothered and greyed under an ideological dust’ (J. Neal, quoted in, 'Referencing slapstick cinema, art history and the annals of totalitarianism', in ArtReview, issue 46, December 2010, p. 67).

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.


    Austin, Lora Reynolds Gallery, Eastern European Painting Now, 2007.