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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF THE LATE CLODAGH WADDINGTON

With Red Shoes

With Red Shoes
acrylic on canvas
72 x 55 in. (182.9 x 139.7 cm.)
Painted in 2000.
Acquired directly from the artist by Leslie Waddington as a gift for Clodagh Waddington in 2000.
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.

Brought to you by

Angus Granlund
Angus Granlund Director, Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

‘Leslie and Clodagh both came to the studio. Clodagh immediately said she loved this painting. The red shoes were definitely what seduced her'
-Michael Craig-Martin

Painted on a flat background of vivid blue in Michael Craig-Martin’s distinctive clean-cut graphic style, the seemingly incongruous objects presented in With Red Shoes playfully compete with one another for attention. At the nucleus of Craig-Martin’s work is a desire to elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary, drawing the viewer’s attention to everyday objects – in this case a pair of high heel shoes, a camera, a filing cabinet, an umbrella and a metronome. Describing how he selects his subject matter, Craig-Martin stated, ‘I have always thought that access to everything important is right in front of your nose. We often look for the special in special objects or special events but actually, if we understood the quality of ordinary things, we are closer to the substance of life’ (M. Craig-Martin, quoted in T. Adams, ‘Michael Craig-Martin: ‘I have always thought everything important is right in front of you’, The Guardian, 26 April 2015).

A key figure in the first generation of British conceptual artists, Craig-Martin’s move to painting in the 1990s, allowed him to explore spatial and pictorial relationships to create an intense optical effect. His precise juxtapositions of quotidian objects are carefully mapped out, as are their vibrant tonal shifts, to create an enigmatic mise-en-scène. When discussing With Red Shoes, Craig-Martin recalls, ‘Some of my paintings, like this one involving multiple images, allow me to play with the genre of still life by using its formats while subverting its usual narrative ‘observed’ coherence. Each image here was drawn separately and each is in its own individual perspective. I assemble comparatively unrelated images to elicit the widest possible range of association – women, shoes, weather, information storage, photos, music. I arranged them playing with scale and colour to create a visually coherent grouping where they imply an unexpected kind of sense. Although everything in the painting is individually familiar, this is not a record of a situation I or anyone has seen in the past – it only exists in the present moment through this painting’ (M. Craig-Martin, private correspondence with Christie's, January 2021).

Clodagh was known for her dry humour, wit, sense of fashion and fun, and her passionate support for Chelsea Football Club. Above all she was Leslie’s mainstay for the last thirty years of his life, whether it be through the boom years of the late 1980s, the more difficult years for the art market in the 1990s or the last few years as his health declined. Her strong views extended to her personal preferences in art and she particularly loved With Red Shoes retaining it even after she had latterly moved to a smaller home and was no longer able to hang it. A gift from Leslie to Clodagh, Craig-Martin recalls when he first showed the painting to them, ‘Leslie and Clodagh both came to the studio. Clodagh immediately said she loved this painting. The red shoes were definitely what seduced her’ (M. Craig-Martin, ibid.,). Never exhibited or reproduced, this is the first time the public will have an opportunity to be captivated by this strikingly powerful painting.

We are very grateful to Michael Craig-Martin for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.

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