Adam McEwen (b. 1965)
Commission #2: Friedrich (15)
oil on canvas
20 x 28 in. (50.8 x 71.1 cm.)
Painted in 2011. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
Gift of the artist
Christie's is honored to offer the following exceptional works of art donated to benefit the artistic activities of the Brooklyn Museum. The proceeds from this sale will help to support a dynamic program of special exhibitions, the preservation and presentation of its world renowned holdings, and a wide range of related public programs. Founded in 1823, the Brooklyn Museum is among the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the United States. It's collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to twenty-first century art and represent almost every culture and continent.
The mission of the Brooklyn Museum is to act as a bridge between the rich artistic heritage of world cultures, as embodied in its collections, and the unique experience of each visitor. Dedicated to the primacy of the visitor experience, committed to excellence in every aspect of its collections and programs, and drawing on both new and traditional tools of communication, interpretation, and presentation, the Museum aims to serve its diverse public as a dynamic, innovative, and welcoming center for learning through the visual arts.
The Museum's pioneering Education Division hosts tens of thousands of metro area schoolchildren each year who participate in programs led by staff educators. Museum educators also organize exciting and informative programs for children and adults including performance, lectures, symposia, hands-on art-making workshops, tours, and the incredibly popular First Saturday and Thursday evenings of free art, music, talk, performance and film.
Today, the Museum supports an innovative and engaging program of special exhibitions from the scholarly to the popular, exemplified this season by three exceptionally diverse shows: "Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui," "John Singer Sargent Watercolors," and "Raw/Cooked: Mariela Zacarias."
Christie's is proud to be a sponsor of this first solo exhibition in a New York museum by the globally renowned contemporary artist El Anatsui (February 8-August 4, 2013) as well as "Behind Closed Doors: Power and Privilege in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898" (September 20, 2013-January 12, 2014).
Adam McEwen's body of works Commission #2: Friedrich is an ongoing series of oil paintings depicting Friedrich brand air conditoners. The paintings are executed at real size scale by a company employing artists living in China. In keeping with his practice, which has included obituaries of living subjects, paintings made with chewed gum that are titled after bombed German cities, and sculptures machined from graphite, McEwen seeks here to blur the line between the artwork and its surrounding context and to undermine the stability of both. The images are deadpan, painted well enough only to do the job in hand. They nod to Caspar David Friedrich and the Romantic tradition's relationship to the sublime in nature, but evince a more skeptical and paranoid stance. Mechanical both in image and in outsourced provenance, they speak of controlling nature by 'conditioning' the environment, the logical extension of which is the urge to delay or overcome death.