SEAN LANDERS (b. 1962)
SEAN LANDERS (b. 1962)
SEAN LANDERS (b. 1962)
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SEAN LANDERS (b. 1962)
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The Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann
SEAN LANDERS (b. 1962)

Reclining Nude with Suitors

Details
SEAN LANDERS (b. 1962)
Reclining Nude with Suitors
signed 'SEAN LANDERS' (lower right)
oil on linen
108 x 84 in. (274.5 x 213.5 cm.)
Painted in 2001.
Provenance
greengrassi, London
Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Exhibited
New York, Andrea Rosen Gallery, Sean Landers, April-May 2001.

Brought to you by

Michael Baptist
Michael Baptist Specialist

Lot Essay

As a part of Sean Landers’ highly innovative and appropriative ‘Picasso’ series, Reclining Nude with Suitors is an amalgam of art historical critique, parody, profanity, and wit. With disregard for traditional mechanisms of depth and form, Landers collapses the space of his painting and all of its visual information into a single plane; the dazzling colors, bold overlapping forms, humorous and admittedly-improper iconography, mystical suitors, and the abstract nude herself all compete for space on the canvas, making for a wonderous, cacophonous picture. Landers’ work has been represented by a number of prestigious institutions including the Whitney Museum of Art, the Tate Modern, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

A trained sculptor, Landers paints his figures as if they were shaped by his very hands, using his learned resume to confuse and intensify the realities of the human form. The female nude and her suitors are simultaneously amorphous and anatomical; their limbs are sloped, absent of apparent bone structure, allowing their bodies to exist abstractly. And Landers’ figures are provocative too, resembling bodily features that flirt with that of a caricature. Landers pushes his work into the realm of the Surreal; in interviews, he confidently boasts that he is not shy about imitating this movement and using icons from it as his muse. This boldness is shown in his use of energetic line drawings similar to the sketches of Francis Picabia or in his conjuring up of surrealist creatures similar to those by Leonora Carrington.

The female nude might be one of the most iconic subjects in the canon of art history; artists continue to return to the female nude to experiment with their craft, master their skills, and access their self-expression. The reclining nude, popularized by the technical prowess of Titian, the scandal of Manet, and the abstraction of Picasso, is perhaps even more recognizable as a subject for the masters of art history. This work can be read as a parodic revival of Picasso’s reclining nudes from 1932, most notably The Dreamer (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Matching the fundamental composition, and figuration, and aesthetic decisions executed in this masterpiece, Landers is, as he put it, “determined to be in [Picasso’s] company.” In interviews, Landers is clear about his intention to use his ‘Picasso’ series to make direct contact with the artist himself, fascinated by the idea of a ‘genius’ in art and striving to achieve such levels of greatness. Landers asserts himself as an artist whose use of humor could easily be considered a medium of its own. In confronting notions of the real and of fantasy, of humor and gravity, Landers accesses what he considers to be his personal ‘genius’. Reclining Nude with Suitors is a complex yet joyous study of color and the capacity for an artist to join the ranks of the ‘genius’ by leveling their craft with that of the highly lauded.

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