Mat Collishaw (b. 1966)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Mat Collishaw (b. 1966)


Mat Collishaw (b. 1966)
ceramic, cement, wood and paint, in twelve parts
overall: 157½ x 98½ x e1¼in. (400 x 250 x 3cm.)
Executed in 2001
Cosmic Galerie, Paris.
Acquired from the above in 2003.
Saatchi Gallery (ed.), 100: The Work that Changed British Art, London 2003, no. 68 (illustrated in colour, p. 141).
London, Saatchi Gallery, Out of Focus: Photography, 2012 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
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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. VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium

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Lot Essay

'Images that are purely offensive give you an instant fix, but I want to make pictures that last longer than that. On the surface they shock or seduce you, but I want there to be undercurrents that make you wonder about other implications'

(M. Collishaw, quoted in R. Campbell-Johnston, 'Mat Collishaw: a shock-jock's deliverance', in The Times, 2 April 2008).

An exquisitely rendered mosaic depicting the face of Madonna, a devotional image of the Virgin Mary in Christian iconography, Mat Collishaw's large-scale portrait presents a close-up of the Virgin Mary's face, omitting the traditional features of child and halo. Executed in 2002 and constructed with monochromatic ceramic squares, Madonna appears ominous and haunting, a stark contrast to religious illustrations often portraying her with a blue head dress and richly adorned with gold. A reference to the Byzantine tradition of creating luxurious and opulent mosaics for worship, Collishaw plays with the notion of ritual, tradition and worship, in an almost iconoclastic gesture of defiance against these established conventions. Like other works in his oeuvre, Madonna spans more than one media, appearing like a photograph from afar, with each ceramic square simulating the pixels of a digital print, and simultaneously alluding to the long tradition of painting religious icons in devotional painting.

Born in 1966, Collishaw began his career in the acclaimed Freeze exhibition in 1989, a show which would launch these artists as Britain's YBAs. Since his participation in this exhibition, Collishaw has continued to create works that explore the dark corners and taboos of contemporary culture, always in a consummately poetic manner.


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