• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7656

    Nordic Art

    15 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 33

    Tal R (Danish, B. 1967)

    The Rock

    Price Realised  

    Tal R (Danish, B. 1967)
    The Rock
    signed, inscribed and dated 'Tal R 2003 The Rock' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    40 1/8 x 40 1/8 in. (102 x 102 cm.)
    Painted in 2003


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    Brightly coloured houses lined up against tall mountains and above them a clear blue sky? An abstract configuration of squares, triangles and circles? Whatever we see in The Rock, its vibrancy inspires exuberance and delight, its wonderful simplicity conveying happiness and optimism. The use of colours and the loose brushstrokes draw associations to folk art, as the indefinable green, red and white shapes allude to the imaginary worlds of children's drawings. Seen against the backdrop of Tal R's larger oeuvre, however, we can almost expect there to be more than one level to this initial reading. For a start, the presence of square and circular forms, hard and soft, is likely to be an illusion to the duality between male and female, and the triangular peaks towards the top of the painting are reminiscent of many works by Wassily Kandinsky and his Blaue Reiter group in the early twentieth century, who used this shape as a sign of spirituality. Tal R has frequently made clear his fascination for the abject and the Freudian, and it seems likely that such inspirations are reflected in his paintings.

    '... under their apparent simplicity and flamboyance, their seeming willingness to embrace everything great and small, worthy and ignoble, is a sense of darkness and betrayal. You don't really notice this at first: all that is perceptible is a slight unease, as if things aren't quite what they're supposed to be.' (J. Hutchinson and Douglas Hyde Gallery, Tal R: House of Prince, exh. cat., 2005)

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    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.