Untitled (Flat)
signed, dated and stamped 'MADE AT WARNER BROS. STUDIOS BURBANK, CA. Alex Israel '12' (on the reverse)
acrylic on stucco on panel
83 7/8 x 83 7/8 x 2¾in. (213 x 213 x 7cm.)
Executed in 2012
Almine Rech Gallery, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Brought to you by

Katharine Arnold
Katharine Arnold

Lot Essay

Upon a star shaped canvas stretching out over two metres in both height and width, Alex Israel has created a perfected, colour-coated surface that appears to glow in its gradation from deep orange to rich cerise. Untitled (Flat), 2012, comes from the artist’s series of Flats, with the title referring to the backgrounds in theatre or film sets. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Alex Israel’s oeuvre reflects and comments upon Hollywood dream and reality, and the city remains one of the main subjects of his artistic output. The present work has a shimmering and almost mirage-like surface as the colours dissolve together, creating a sumptuous and energetic blend of vivacious pinks, reds and oranges evocative of a Californian sunset.

Stressing the connections of this series to Hollywood and its film industry, the work is signed ‘MADE AT WARNER BROS. STUDIOS BURBANK, CA’. Israel creates these pieces in the Scenic Arts Department at the WB studios, delighting in the fantasy of film sets and considering how reflective the artificial scenes we see in films are of real life. ‘Sprayed mists of paint conjure the lurid tones of directional studio lighting. Though they hang on the wall like paintings, Israel refers to them as ‘flats’, demoting their status to backgrounds which frame the action in the foreground’ (J. Griffin, ‘Focus: Alex Israel’, in Frieze Magazine, reproduced at [accessed 29 August 2014]). In this way, Israel highlights that these works are all to be seen as backdrops to the scenes that play out in everyday life, commenting on the boundary between art and reality.

More from Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction

View All
View All