• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 11960

    First Open | London

    14 April 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 24

    Georg Herold (B. 1947)

    Untitled

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Georg Herold (B. 1947)
    Untitled
    signed and dated 'herold 89' (on the reverse)
    laquer and caviar on canvas
    39 3/8 x 31 5/8in. (100 x 80.4cm.)
    Executed in 1989


    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

    Contact the department

    Georg Herold has worked with caviar since the mid-1980s. In works like Untitled (1989), he undercuts the material’s associations of luxury and decadence by presenting inchoate abstract forms, hinting at geographic or galactic formation, reducing the caviar back to its biological essence: these are eggs, the cellular ingredients for new life and growth. Fixed in time with lacquer, this precious but perishable material takes on the sepia sheen of an Old Master painting, the antiqued brown tone of the Turin Shroud. For a number of years Herold intensely studied the work of Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, whose influence can be felt in these hints of grandeur, Gothicism and mortality. Elsewhere he has used caviar to fashion portraits of such figures as Barry White, Donald Trump, Yasser Arafat and Charles de Gaulle, numbering each individual egg obsessively in minute script. The result is a cataclysm of Pop image and grotesque decadence, natural product and artificial idolatry, an elemental raw ingredient making an ironic mockery of Arte Povera in its trappings of conspicuous consumption. One of Germany’s most influential artists, Herold studied under Sigmar Polke in the 1970s and rose to prominence alongside Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, becoming renowned for his unorthodox and provocative use of materials. Bricks, roofing slats and unprimed canvas are all common in his oeuvre, reflecting a wider concern with elements of building: exposing the bones of conceptual art, he toys knowingly with the viewer’s expectations and tests the limits of such art’s power with polyvalent, ambiguous significance.

    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.


    Provenance

    Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1989.