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    Sale 11960

    First Open | London

    14 April 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 4

    Irma Blank (B. 1934)

    Radical Writings Exercitium

    Price Realised  


    Irma Blank (B. 1934)
    Radical Writings Exercitium
    signed, titled and dated 'RADICAL WRITINGS Exercitium ‘87 Irma Blank' (on the reverse)
    acrylic on cardboard
    12 ½ x 19 ½in. (32 x 49.5cm.)
    Executed in 1987

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    ‘The word is deceptive’, Irma Blank says. ‘Since the literary critiques of the 1960s, faith in the word has been largely lost. We see it still
    today: words, words, words that say nothing. The word is emptied of its meaning. I try to retrieve the space of silence, the unsaid’ (‘Irma Blank talks about her solo exhibition in London,’ in Artforum 15 October 2014, http:/artforum.com/words/id=48638 [accessed 12/02/16]). Blank’s meditative mark-making employs the visual language of books, text, and script, but empties these signs of signifcation. Extended, rhythmic strokes of paint run out from the centre of Radical Writing, Exercitium, creating a bipartite field reminiscent of the spread pages of an open book; their regular lineation echoes rows of text, but any message is enigmatically
    silent. ‘I have to go back to the primordial sign, back before it became language’, she explains (ibid). Gesturing towards that which is uncodified, unconscious and unspeakable, this ‘radical writing’ elides the systems of meaning that we live by, inscribing the intangible on a tabula rasa of quiet beauty.

    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.


    Galleria P420, Bologna.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.