• First Open auction at Christies

    Sale 2683

    First Open

    8 March 2013, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 7

    Jean-Michel Othoniel (B. 1964)

    Hanging Lover

    Price Realised  


    Jean-Michel Othoniel (B. 1964)
    Hanging Lover
    glass and steel
    30¼ x 6 x 6 in. (77 x 15.2 x 15.2 cm.)
    Executed in 2010.

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    Glass heralded an era of reconciliation. This technique that unifies everything, this material that sublimates wounds into a scar of light, correspond in their very physiology to the expression of a body more at peace, of a tidier garden. Even if formal and emotional ambiguity subsists and if ambivalence remains a hallmark of his world, increasingly often now beauty joins forces with harmony, as "I believe in fairies" was to proclaim at his exhibition in Valencia in 2002. Since The Wishing Wall in 1996, the titles of his exhibitions and works read like a hymn of solace: The Scar-Necklace, Landscape in Love, Treasure, Golden Rain. In the same way, the long-absent figure of the lover has become present, a fact celebrated in several necklaces: The Large Lover, Hanging Lover.

    Once again, causes that surely determined his private life and psyche paralleled the intrinsic determinations of the work. If the 1990s fizzled out in a climate of disillusion and pained renunciation, at the core of which the representation of the body appeared torn between the Promethean promise of the post-human and narcissism or navel-gazing, Othoniel's oeuvre, on the contrary, became lighter, more otherworldly. Perhaps spurred on by the example of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, he stopped treating the notion of beauty and decoration as an obstacle, seeing it rather as a challenge and a source of inspiration. Stories, legends, and popular beliefs wove together in what were increasingly sophisticated and delicate works -sometimes contemplative, sometimes exalted in tone.

    Catherine Grenier, Othoniel, 2012


    Gift of the artist

    Pre-Lot Text