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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION


signed and dated 'Caroline Walker 2015' (on the reverse); signed, titled and dated ''OASIS' Caroline Walker 2015' (on the backing board)
oil on paper
41 3/8 x 56 3/8in. (105 x 143.2cm.)
Executed in 2015
Private Collection, Germany (acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 2015).
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. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Further details
"My paintings are formalised fictions concerned with the strange or ambiguous which can arise in the everyday and the banal. They explore the notion of disappointed expectations and a kind of faded grandeur of what could have been." - Caroline Walker

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Anna Touzin
Anna Touzin Senior Specialist, Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Painted during her first trip to Los Angeles in August 2015, Oasis is a splendid example of Caroline Walker’s intimate and atmospheric portrayals of women. Set in a luxurious Palm Springs home, and rendered in a luminously saturated colour palette, the work presents two female figures lying on sun loungers, a masseuse quietly attending to one of them. Framing the foreground is a close-up depiction of a tree trunk, rock and shrub; a glorious field of palm trees populate the hilly backdrop, the rose-tinted sky above floods the scene in glorious twilight. Leisurely and intimate, the work captures a quiet moment of domestic bliss, presenting a snapshot of her protagonists’ private, glamorous lives. Laced with narrative ambiguity and near-cinematic suspense, Oasis is a magnificent example of the voyeuristic tension that has come to define Walker’s practice.

Featured in Walker’s first and only solo show in Germany in 2015, Oasis belongs to a series of works set in Los Angeles and across a hotel and villa in Palm Springs. Spanning a host of visual stimuli—including found images, on-site photographs, memory and imagination—the series transports us into the homes of women occupying the desert city, revealing what goes on beyond their white modernist villas, turquoise swimming pools and perfectly manicured lawns. ‘It wasn’t just these sun-kissed pools of California that were interesting to me’, Walker has commented, ‘It was about places that represented artificiality, the set and constructing narrative’ (C. Walker, quoted in ‘Exchanging Confidences: Caroline Walker in Conversation with Marco Livingstone’, Caroline Walker: Picture Window, London 2018, p. 251).

Recalling depictions of Los Angeles by David Hockney, an artist equally infatuated by the sunshine and heady optimism of the West Coast, Oasis can be likened to his majestic canvas Beverly Hills Housewife (1966-1967), its protagonist also lost in her own, seemingly impeccable world. Indeed, despite being British, Walker was drawn to the domestic lives of women in California, focusing particularly on their stylised, ultra-contemporary surroundings: ‘I often seem to be attracted to things that are not part of my experience. I'd never even lived in anything other than a Victorian house. I'm from Scotland, and there are no outdoor swimming pools there to speak of. The whole thing is quite alien to me. There's something intriguing for me in that. If I was looking for a set from which to generate a narrative, it almost seems easier to choose somewhere that isn't anything to do with me’ (C. Walker, quoted in ibid., p. 249). Placing us at a privileged vantage point, Oasis captures the evocative human observation that lies at the core of Walker’s oeuvre.

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