PER KIRKEBY (1938-2018)
PER KIRKEBY (1938-2018)
PER KIRKEBY (1938-2018)
3 More
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
PER KIRKEBY (1938-2018)

Die Zeit Nagt III (The Time Gnaws III)

Details
PER KIRKEBY (1938-2018)
Die Zeit Nagt III (The Time Gnaws III)
signed, titled, inscribed and dated ‘PER KIRKEBY Frankfurt 1992 Die Zeit nagt III’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
77 5/8 x 51 1/8in. (197.2 x 129.9cm.)
Painted in 1992
Provenance
Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1994.
Literature
P. Erik Tøjner (ed.), Per Kirkeby: Painting, New York 2003 (illustrated in colour, p. 232).
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU or, if the UK has withdrawn from the EU without an agreed transition deal, from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime.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.

Brought to you by

Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord

Lot Essay

Spanning two metres in height, Die Zeit Nagt III (The Time Gnaws III) is a vivid example of Per Kirkeby’s rich painterly language. Deep hues of green, blue and gold cascade down the picture, rendered with thick, expressive strokes of impasto. Painted in 1992 – the year that the artist exhibited his monumental Raumskulptur at Documenta IX – it is the last in a series of three works whose title invokes the ‘gnawing’ or ravages of time. Originally a student of geology, Kirkeby was fascinated by the rhythms and contours of his native Danish landscape, and sought to channel them into his work. Concepts of erosion, landslide and other natural processes played into his painterly language, informed by his engagement with the legacy of Northern European Romanticism, Post-Impressionism, and Abstract Expressionism. ‘The picture, too, is nature’, he explained. ‘The forces that pile up in [Cézanne’s] Mont Sainte-Victoire are no different from those that organise the picture. Perhaps this is why his last pictures are built up like a hewn stone wall’ (P. Kirkeby, Håndbog, Borgen 1991, p. 150). This thinking finds eloquent expression here, where paint accumulates like layers of sediment, riddled with fissures and slippages.

Though typically associated with German Neo-Expressionist painters such as Georg Baselitz and Jörg Immendorff, Kirkeby’s practice was truly interdisciplinary. Following his geological studies, which took him to Greenland, Central America and the Arctic, he became involved with Copenhagen’s Experimental Art School in the early 1960s, drawing inspiration from the Fluxus movement and artists such as Joseph Beuys. Over the following years, he would pursue media ranging from writing and performance to sculpture, installation and set design. In the 1990s he began working with the Danish film director Lars Von Trier, designing visual effects for three films including Breaking the Waves (1996), Dancer in the Dark (2000) and Antichrist (2009). Despite the impassioned, evocative surfaces of his canvases, Kirkeby maintained a fundamentally conceptual stance, insisting that his works were less representations of his homeland than attempts to give form to the dynamic forces of nature. ‘My canvas is the plot of land and my colours – that is, the matter of paint itself – are the soil … with their different components and varying textures’ (P. Kirkeby, quoted at https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/per-kirkeby-pioneering-neo-expressionist-painter-dies-79-10303/). In the present work, Kirkeby pays tribute to the inevitable march of time, conjuring the invisible forces that slowly make their mark upon the landscape.

More from Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale

View All
View All