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Tacita Dean (B. 1965)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more NEXT CHAPTER: CONTEMPORARY ART FROM A PRIVATE ITALIAN COLLECTION
Tacita Dean (B. 1965)

(i) Baobab III (ii) Baobab IV (iii) Baobab V (iv) Baobab VI

Tacita Dean (B. 1965)
(i) Baobab III
(ii) Baobab IV
(iii) Baobab V
(iv) Baobab VI
archival pigment print, in four parts
each image: 27 ¾ x 41in. (70.5 x 104cm.)
each sheet: 28 ¾ x 42 1/8in. (73 x 107cm.)
(4)each: Executed in 2001, this work is number three from an edition of six
Frith Street Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
(i)-(iv) T. Dean, Tacita Dean: Complete Works and Filmography 1991-2003, Paris 2003 (another from the edition illustrated, unpaged).
Porto, Museu Serralves, Tacita Dean, 2001 (another from the edition exhibited).
London, Frith Street Gallery, Summer Show, 2002 (another from the edition exhibited).
Tilburg, De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art , Tacita Dean, 2004 (another from the edition exhibited).
Turin, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Baobab, 2004-2005 (another from the edition exhibited).
Aachen, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Some Trees, 2005 (another from the edition exhibited).
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Some Trees, 2006 (another from the edition exhibited).
Oslo, The National Museum, Tacita Dean, 2006 (another from the edition exhibited).
(ii) Florence, Museo Marino Marini, The Player. Viaggio nelle passioni contemporanee, 2013 (another from the edition exhibited).
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.

Lot Essay

‘They are grand, and proud, and supremely special, merely stranded for an eternity, amongst the flies and the grass and the indifferent cattle’ – T. Dean

Travelling to Madagascar in order to film a total solar eclipse (a project that resulted in her work Diamond Ring, 2002), Tacita Dean became fascinated with the island’s imposing natural forms – specifically the Adansonia trees, commonly known as baobabs. The present works are stills from a film made on the island: capturing the massive trees in elegant black-and-white, the artist juxtaposes close-ups of the baobabs’ beautifully textured bark with distant shots of their colossal outlines silhouetted against the sky. Describing the trees as like people inhabiting the African plain, Dean has observed that ‘they stand about, frozen in animated posture, hands on hips, arms to the sky, bending one closer to the other to hear its talk … they appeared lost from their prehistoric kinfolk, turned to a breathing stillness’ (T. Dean, artist’s statement, Frith Street Gallery, 2001). Inspired by anthropomorphic myths that associate the bulbous trunks with tales of mischievous ancestors who are forced to grow upside-down within them, Dean focuses on the ancient magic and weathered history of their forms. Combining legends from the baobab’s exotic birthplace with familiar stories from her own childhood, in particular the picture book Le Petit Prince (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Dean also inflects her works with literary connotations. In Le Petit Prince the tree is connected to the allegory of the transition between childhood and adolescence. The small planet where the Little Prince lives is full of giant baobabs that threaten to engulf his world, so he must continually uproot the new shoots before they grow too large to be removed. Thus, the tree becomes a symbol for problems that are best dealt with immediately, rather than being left to develop into something greater. With this series of richly suggestive stills, Tacita Dean pays homage to the trees’ evocative character and enduring natural grandeur.

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