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    Sale 2380

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    25 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 33

    NATEE UTARIT (b. Thailand 1970)

    The fragment and the sublime 11

    Price Realised  


    NATEE UTARIT (b. Thailand 1970)
    The fragment and the sublime 11
    signed and dated '06' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    68 7/8 x 62 1/4 in. (175 x 158 cm.)

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    Natee Utarit's most recent exhibition which he titled The Fragment and the Sublime shows the artist continuing with his quest of a contemporary context using notions of classics from Western Art. In his early exhibitions, Natee has experimented with classical imageries such as the Venus, Tulip and panoramic landscape, of which he continues with the exploration of the varying interpretation of the Venus and Flower with this series of work.

    "Much of my work deals with various aspects of truth and illusion and their complex interplay with the nature of beauty, dreams, hopes and perfection. Any attempt to portray and posit suppositions about the nature of reality, given the complexities of the world around us, is a matter of trial (and) error and requires a search for the new kind of grammar in the language of painting." (Natee Utarit, The Fragment and the Sublime, exhibition pamphlet, Valentine Willie Fine Art, July 2006.)

    Natee choose to deconstruct and fragment conventional imagery in order to build a new world order which makes sense of the complexity of contemporary society. In this aspect, the images of Venus and still life are the rudimentary vocabulary of classical Western Art which are objects of no relevance in the contemporary context but rich with references of the antiquity. Responding to an almost ironic context, Natee created a series which is as old as it is new, as fragment as it is integral that allows the artist to expound the complexity of contemporary world as he eloquently explained "What interests me about illusion is that it has no inherent reality yet under its influence, certain things can take on a concrete form. Things that exist in reality and things that are true are transformed into layers of overlapping shadows that cannot be distinguished one from the other." (Ibid.)

    To deconstruct a classical image, Natee assumed a complete authorship of his novel image whilst retaining the culture references of the old ones. This is not a radical anti-establishment graffiti but a re-construction of the fragments, both in the emotional and formal sense, in search of a new order that is relevant to the present whilst retaining a strange, almost ironic archaic poetry as one recognizes the fragmented classics. A tension is inevitably created between the classic and the contemporary and tension that renders this work so very compelling.