• First Open | Post-War and Cont auction at Christies

    Sale 12724

    First Open | Post-War and Contemporary Art | London

    29 September 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 92

    Fiona Banner (B. 1966)

    Nude Standing


    Fiona Banner (B. 1966)
    Nude Standing
    titled twice 'NUDE STANDING' (on the frame)
    ink and acrylic on paper, in artist's frame
    106 5/8 x 64 3/8in. (271 x 163.5cm.)
    Executed in 2006

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    ‘Using words as opposed to line and colour is a way of being able, on my own personal turf, to reinvent the nude. The writing is a sleight of hand, it's a way to sneak around the side and look at something that I'm fascinated by’ (F. Banner, quoted in J. Ribas, ‘Interview with Fiona Banner,’ 28 March 2006, http://www.fionabanner.com/words/ai_interview.htm [accessed 16/08/16])

    Fiona Banner’s Nude Standing (2003-2005) is a verbal portrait. The artist’s handpainted words, stark black upon white paper, describe a nude woman in minute detail: from the colour of her hair to the textures of her skin, the curve of her spine and the shape of her lips, every facet of her appearance is piercingly chronicled. Her slight shifts in position are recorded live as Banner writes. Written in the present tense, the words gradually condense and diminish as we read from top to bottom; the entire surface of the work, nearly three metres in height, is crowded with dense text. Banner’s monumental narrative depiction seizes the nude genre, traditionally the preserve of a voyeuristic male gaze, and makes it her own. Her skill with words allows her to go where she could not tread with conventionally figurative art – describing her process with her model, Banner says ‘she'll get her kit off, and I'll get out a bit of paper, and we'll have a good go. And it'll be frustrating at times, but I'm not thwarted by the clumsiness of working with materials – I personally have much more dexterity with language. It's natural to me’ (F. Banner, quoted in J. Ribas, ‘Interview with Fiona Banner,’ 28 March 2006, http://www.fionabanner.com/words/ai_interview.htm [accessed 16/08/16]). Nude Standing opens up new avenues in the act of looking, and refashions the art-historical canon’s ubiquitous female nude: through Banner’s penetrating written eye, artistic vision as we know it is reinvented.

    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.
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    Frith Street Gallery, London.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006.


    Other Criteria (ed.), Performance Nude, London 2009, pp. 103 and 106 (illustrated, pp. 104-105 and 108).
    A. Selby, Art and Text, London 2009, p. 216 (illustrated in colour, pp. 216-217).


    London, Frith Street Gallery, Nude, 2006.
    Toronto, Power Plant, The Bastard Word, 2007 (illustrated in colour, pp. 2, 22, 38-39 and 47-48).