Tom Otterness (B. 1952)
The Doors
incised with the artist's signature, numbered and dated 'OTTERNESS 1/9 © 1984' (on the plaque)
three elements--painted pressed wood, bronze and bronze plaque
each: 95 3/8 x 30 1/8 x 6 3/8 in. (242.2 x 76.5 x 16.1 cm.)
Executed in 1984. This work is number one from an edition of nine.
Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
P. Frank and M. McKenzie, New, Used and Improved: Art for the 80’s, New York, 1987, p. 32 (another example illustrated).

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Alex Berggruen
Alex Berggruen

Lot Essay

Tom Otterness moved from Kansas to New York in 1970 to study at the Art Students League. He has since become celebrated as one of the most prolific public artists in America, drawing upon ancient text, Depression era cartoons, Pop Art, and his own rich life experiences to create dynamic sculpture. In the present commanding, nearly 8-foot work The Doors, Otterness references the Gates of Paradise, the sculptural masterwork by Renaissance artist Lorenzo Ghiberti, which he famously produced for the Florence Baptistery. This historic allusion combines elegantly with Otterness’s own signature cartoonist humor and unique style. His fanciful characters fill the panes’ negative spaces, enchanting the overall work with individual vignettes. Made using pressed wood and bronze, Otterness has achieved here a whimsical narrative that becomes accessible and active within contemporary society.

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