Christian Holstad (B. 1972)
Christian Holstad (B. 1972)

(i) A Slide of Hands(ii) Defending Decisions(iii) A Sacrifice on a Volcano

Christian Holstad (B. 1972)
(i) A Slide of Hands
(ii) Defending Decisions
(iii) A Sacrifice on a Volcano
(i) signed with the artist's initials and dated 'CH Jan 2004' (on the reverse)
(ii) titled 'defending decisions' (on the reverse)
graphite on found newspaper
(i) 8 5/8 x 13 ¼in. (22 x 33.6cm.)
(ii) 4 7/8 x 7in. (12.5 x 17.7cm.)
(iii) 6 ¼ x 10 ¼in. (16 x 26cm.)
(3)(i)(iii) Executed in 2004
(ii) Executed in 2005
Victoria Miro Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above in 2005.
(i) London, Saatchi Gallery, Paper, 2013 (illustrated in colour, p. 75).
(ii) London, Victoria Miro Gallery, Beautiful Lies You Could Live In, 2005.

Lot Essay

Christian Holstad developed the methodology behind his ongoing Eraserhead project while working as a waiter after graduating art school. Killing time in between dealing with customers, Holstad began erasing images he found in newspapers. In one sense the process was a personal study in light and dark: ‘erasing teaches you how shadow actually functions in an image’, he has said about the works, ‘when you take it away you actually see what it does to an image.’ Certainly, the drawings here reflect a distinctive style of shading, as shadows form without objects, and large expanses of white suggest strange swellings or imply mysterious light sources. Yet Holstad’s work also engages with the matter of the newspapers themselves – a means of both questioning the authorised stories offered by the media while registering his own sense of personal narrative: ‘My drawings are weirdly empowering – a way for me to deal with images that are supposed to represent “the truth”, and recreating what that means to me. The series also functions as a diary. I can look through a year or a decade of drawings and say: this was what was going on in my life, this was what I was dealing with.’ In this last aspect, it is perhaps possible to see the absentminded time-killing of the project’s origins in the works; there is a surrealism to the half-familiar, hybrid forms, reminding us that the humble doodle is, in its way, a window onto the unconsciousness.

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