David Hockney (b. 1937)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Hurvin Anderson (B. 1965)

Foska, Foska

Hurvin Anderson (B. 1965)
Foska, Foska
signed and dated 'Hurvin A 2006 Nov.' (on the overlap)
oil on canvas 
47 ¼ x 78 ¾in. (120 x 200cm.)
Painted in 2006
Thomas Dane Gallery, London.
Private Collection, USA.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
St Louis, Contemporary Art Museum, Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, 2016. This exhibition later travelled to Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction. Where Christie’s has provided a Minimum Price Guarantee it is at risk of making a loss, which can be significant, if the lot fails to sell. Christie’s therefore sometimes chooses to share that risk with a third party. In such cases the third party agrees prior to the auction to place an irrevocable written bid on the lot. The third party is therefore committed to bidding on the lot and, even if there are no other bids, buying the lot at the level of the written bid unless there are any higher bids. In doing so, the third party takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold. If the lot is not sold, the third party may incur a loss.

Brought to you by

Katharine Arnold
Katharine Arnold

Lot Essay

'The architecture of Trinidad and in particular the detail of the security grills became part of my painterly language and they became a symbol of how I understood what was happening there. I began to use the security grill as a motif or device and eventually as a structure in the paintings. They became a useful vehicle to describe something about the place. The grills suggested a kind of “blot” on the landscape, that something wasn’t quite right’
–Hurvin Anderson

Stretching two metres in width, Hurvin Anderson’s Foska Foska (2006) combines dizzying optical drama with the artist’s central themes of identity, memory and exclusion. Rendered in a vivid, tropical palette, it depicts the interior of a grocery shop, veiled by a wire security grill. Packets of ‘Foska’ – a Jamaican brand of porridge oats – are visible through an open panel. Following on from Anderson’s ‘Welcome’ and ‘Country Club’ series, begun in the early 2000s, the present work continues the artist’s fascination with the barriers surrounding sites of leisure and commerce in his native Caribbean. Born in the UK to parents who had emigrated from Jamaica, Anderson visited the island repeatedly throughout his teenage years, and was struck by the railings, grills and fences that were universally employed by home and business owners. In 2002, he undertook an artist’s residency on Trinidad, where he took photographs of these structures outside shops, tennis courts and parks. As he began to paint, Anderson became captivated by their dual function. On one hand, they spoke of a dark history of social unrest; on the other hand, they performed an abstract, near-decorative role. In the present work, Anderson delights in the grill’s visual properties, creating a complex spatial interplay between the diamond-shaped lattice, the sweeping perspectival lines of the ceiling and the thick yellow grid of window frames. In the dance between foreground and background, Anderson recreates the sensation of looking in from the outside: of encountering the familiar as a stranger. The work was included in his solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2016; a study is held in the Monsoon Art Collection, London.

‘I always feel as the artist that you’re kind of an observer’, claims Anderson. ‘In order to observe, for me at least, I have to sit slightly outside of things … The odd thing about the security grills, the iron work, is that when you’re actually painting them, it becomes a play between where one makes the emphasis – what is this actually about? On the one hand they represent a physical barrier, but on the other hand they are a form of decoration. I like the idea that they somehow disturb the image … that they disturb what is going on elsewhere in the work’ (H. Anderson, ‘Hurvin Anderson in conversation with Matthew Higgs’, Hurvin Anderson: Subtitles, exh. cat., Michael Werner Gallery, New York, 2011, unpaged). Anderson studied under Peter Doig at the Royal College of Art, and shares much of his teacher’s interest in the workings of memory and vision. By inviting the viewer to peer through the complex surface of the painting to the nostalgic subject matter beneath, he approximates the feeling of looking back on something half- forgotten. Echoes of art history – of Piet Mondrian’s geometric grids, or Edward Hopper’s atmospheric street scenes – shift in and out of focus amidst stacks of mundane groceries. As the composition drifts between the realms of figuration and abstraction, the security grill speaks to Anderson’s own status as an ‘outsider’. In the oscillating, dreamlike space of the canvas, he sheds light upon the way in which our identities are formed and fractured by our surroundings.

More from Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction

View All
View All