A work by one of the most significant artists of our generation, Bruce Nauman’s Untitled (Hand Group) examines that fundamental building block of their craft: the artist’s hands.
Nauman first produced waxen body casts in the 1960s when he came of age as an artist; his 1967 wax cast From Hand to Mouth, which also explores the form of the hand in a sculptural language game, is a seminal work. In the mid-1980s, Nauman revisited and began to expand upon this line of aesthetic questioning, a development that gave rise to Untitled (Hand Group) in 1997. Whether working in freestanding sculptural objects, drawings, neon tubing, installations, videos, Body Art, sound pieces, or language games, postmodern master Nauman makes work that is resoundingly idiosyncratic. Drawing the viewer in with its wealth of surface variations, impenetrable gestures, and indubitably visceral presence, Untitled (Hand Group) is a potent picture of the explorations at the heart of an exceptional oeuvre.
Gerhard Richter (B. 1932), Monstein; signed, inscribed and dated 'Richter, 1981 471/1' (on the reverse); titled; 'Monstein' (on the stretcher); oil on canvas; 39 3/4 x 59 ½ in. (101 x 151 cm.); Painted in 1981.
Although few in number, Gerhard Richter’s evocative paintings of the natural landscape are among the most significant works of his career. Painted in 1981 Monstein—an intimate canvas depicting a staggeringly beautiful mountain range under the hazy glare of a distant sun—demonstrates why Richter is celebrated as one of the most innovative painters of his generation.
This work is executed in exacting detail, a near photographic representation of the high peaks of the Alps. Yet his scrupulous brushwork also acts as a precursor to his major Abstraktes Bild paintings which would dominate his oeuvre for the next decade – Richter himself admitted that ‘There is, for me, no difference between a landscape and an abstract painting’
Agnes Martin (1912-2004), Happy Valley; signed, titled and dated '"Happy Valley" a. martin 1967' (on the reverse); acrylic, graphite and ink on canvas; 72 x 72 in. (182.8 x 182.8 cm.); Painted in 1967.
‘My paintings have neither objects, nor space, nor time, not anything—no forms. They are light, lightness, about merging, about formlessness, breaking down forms’
The ethereal, delicate, non-representational plains of Agnes Martin’s Happy Valley capture not a valley in the conventional sense, but the precise feeling of a valley: the meditative joy precipitated by a valley’s calm. With quiet drama, delicate draughtsmanship, and a subtle vocabulary, Martin creates a nuanced painting that is more infinite field than enclosed form. The present work, a hallmark 1960s painting, was made during a pivotal year of Martin’s artistic trajectory: her work had reached what she believed to be its full maturity, and a combination of factors including her own growing fame led her to drive across the country, abandoning art-making for seven years. Exhibiting the artist’s distinctive visual vernacular, Happy Valley leverages technical brilliance to reach transcendent emotion: the abstract sublime, the ‘basis for a sustained spiritual adventure’