Ross Bleckner (b. 1949)
Hot House
signed, titled and dated ‘Ross Bleckner Hot House 1995’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
108 1/4 x 72 3/8 in. (274.9 x 183.8 cm.)
Painted in 1995.
Mary Boone Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
R. Milazzo, The Paintings of Ross Bleckner, Brussels, 2006, pp. 158-159, no. 65 (illustrated).
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst and Valencia, IVAM Centre del Carme, Ross Bleckner, March 1995-March 1996.
Escondido, California Center for the Arts Museum, Table Tops: Morandi's Still Lifes to Mapplethorpe's Flower Studies, September 1997-January 1998, p. 27 (illustrated).

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Alexander Berggruen
Alexander Berggruen

Lot Essay

“A flower has such a short life span; it blooms and it is so majestic at its height but then it just falls away. I find pleasure in painting them and then seeing what happens when they become just a trace of something left. I’ve always been amazed by what’s not there anymore” -R. Bleckner

Widely known for his large-format paintings that provoke passage into channels of remembrance and loss, Ross Bleckner’s works deal "literally and metaphorically with the idea of death" (M. Herbert, "Ross Bleckner", Tema Celeste, 2001, p. 83.). Using the medium of abstraction to explore the idea of the afterlife—a place where spirituality and science converge, his paintings function almost as memento mori. In response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, he created works featuring dark backgrounds like channels to some otherworldly, contemplative space. These "flower paintings" are atmospheric and illusionistic. Birds and flower petals seem to float, suspended in a void that calls to mind not only the darkness of nature but also that of the subconscious or human psyche. Bleckner encourages the viewer to interpret—to look longer and contemplate that haunting crossroads of interior and exterior, the visceral and transcendent.

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