• Post-War and Contemporary Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 7835

    Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction

    12 February 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 279

    KAREN KILIMNIK (B. 1955)

    PARIS OPERA RATS

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    KAREN KILIMNIK (B. 1955)
    PARIS OPERA RATS
    TUTUS, BALLET SLIPPERS, GLITTER, FOAM FAUX ROCK AND PLASTIC MICE INSTALLATION
    DIMENSIONS VARIABLE
    EXECUTED IN 1993


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    IN KAREN KILIMNIK'S UNIVERSE, INSTALLATION ART ACTS AS A STAGE SCENE IN AN INTIMATE DRAMA OF FEMININITY AND WHIMSICAL MYSTERY. CREATED IN 1992, THE YEAR PRIOR TO HER BREAKOUT DEBUT IN THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL, PARIS OPERA RATS, THROUGH SIMPLE BUT LOADED ELEMENTS HAVE
    IMPARTED HER CHARACTERISTIC TRANSCENDENCE OF THE MUNDANE. THE PINK TUTUS, SATIN BALLET SLIPPERS AND MICE ARE FAMILIAR TROPES IN BALLET, SPECIFICALLY THROUGH WHAT CAN BE INTERPRETED AS A CORNUCOPIA OF DISCOVERY, THE NUTCRACKER. AS A FORERUNNER OF THE "SCATTER GENERATION" OF ARTISTS WORKING IN NEW YORK CITY (INCLUDING JESSICA STOCKHOLDER AND CADY NOLAND) KILIMNIK REALISES THE POTENTIAL IN DECONSTRUCTED INSTALLATIONS. BY INCORPORATING ONLY A FEW ELEMENTS WHAT IS PRIMARILY A GATHERING OF OBJECTS BECOMES SOMETHING THEATRICAL. THE BALLET THEME HAS CONTINUED TO BE EXPLORED BY KILIMNIK IN HER LATER PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS, AS IT CONJURES A PARALLEL FAIRYTALE WORLD, AN ESCAPIST COUNTERPOINT TO THE STARKNESS OF EXISTENCE. IN THIS PIECE, THE TENSION IS FULLY MOUNTED, AS THE GRANDIOSE BEAUTY OF THE BALLET IS CONTRASTED WITH WHAT MAY BE LURKING UNDER THE SURFACE. ALSO TOYING WITH THE NOTION OF THEATRICAL STAGING AS AN ALLEGORY FOR ART PRACTICE, KILIMNIK HAS ALWAYS CHALLENGED HER AUDIENCE TO ENTER INTO HER INTRICATE AND VARIED PLAY. THROUGH CAREFULLY CONCEIVED SET PIECES, THE MOOD AND WONDER ARE SO CAREFULLY CHANGED THAT THE ITEMS IN HER INSTALLATION BECOME ANIMATED AND SEEMINGLY QUICKEN TO ACTION.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    GALERIE ESTHER SHIPPER, COLOGNE.
    GALERIE URBI ET ORBI, PARIS.
    ACQUIRED FROM THE ABOVE BY THE PRESENT OWNER IN 1993.


    Literature

    J.R.P. RINGIER, KAREN KILIMNIK, ZURICH 2006 (ILLUSTRATED, UNPAGED).


    Exhibited

    COLOGNE, GALERIE ESTHER SHIPPER, KAREN KILIMNIK, APRIL-MAY 1992.