• Post-War and Contemporary Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 8053

    Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction

    15 February 2012, London, King Street

  • Lot 216

    Jacob Kassay (b. 1984)


    Price Realised  


    Jacob Kassay (b. 1984)
    signed and dated 'Kassay 10' (on the reverse)
    acrylic and silver deposit on canvas
    48¼ x 36in. (122.5 x 91.4cm.)
    Painted in 2010

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    Executed in 2010, this painting is typical of the practice of Jacob Kassay, whose work was shown in a critically acclaimed ICA exhibition in 2011. The shiny silver surface of the canvas is created through an elaborate chemical process that mimics the photographic one, this work is a fine example of Kassay's highly recognisable style. Once the canvas has been primed and painted with broad, sweeping brushstrokes in acrylic paint, using a variation of electroplating, metal particles adhere to the surfaces like fields of glimmering dust creating the silver finish in a procedure similar to mirror plating. What is particularly unique about this work is that one can see the canvas around the edges of the image, emphasising the central reflective silver surface and revealing the unique artistic process.

    Whilst Kassay uses industrial techniques, they retain an engaging, painterly quality. Drips of paint can be seen along the bottom of the beautifully blank canvas, which exists somewhere between Richter's reflections and an antique Venetian mirror. The work functions on two levels, as minimalist, formal works of art and then as abstract impressions of the people around, reflecting in varying degrees of clarity the light, movement and shadows inside the gallery and from the street outside. As the light changes over the course of the day, the silver surfaces change in tone and pick up hints of golden pinks, blues and yellows, conveying a form of beauty similar to sun-dappled waves. The work is, in this way, also a performative piece which, after reacting to its chemical treatment, continues to act and react to its surrounding spectators. This is reminiscent of Robert Rauschenberg's White Painting series, which John Cage referred to as 'landing strips for dust motes, light and shadow.' (C. Lachner, Robert Rauschenberg, exh. cat., New York, Museum of Modern Art, 2010, p. 6). Kassay's works are more than this though, being receptors of light in such a way that their glowing surface provides a constantly changing visual experience, existing as much as installations as paintings.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.


    Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis.
    Eleven Rivington, New York.


    Minneapolis, Franklin Art Works, Jacob Kassay, Paolo Arao, Abbey Williams, 2010.