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Ingrid With Flowers

Ingrid With Flowers
signed and dated 'anna Weyant 2020' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
40 x 30in. (101.6 x 76.2cm.)
Painted in 2020
Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Special notice
This lot has been imported 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.
Sale room notice
The title for lot 25 should read ‘Ingrid With Flowers’ and not as listed in the printed catalogue.

Brought to you by

Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord Director, Senior Specialist

Lot Essay

A tableau of rich psychological and art-historical intrigue, Ingrid With Flowers (2020) is a compelling example of Anna Weyant’s uncanny, virtuoso figurative paintings. Emerging from deep, Old Masterly chiaroscuro, a girl regards us with a wry and inscrutable gaze. Her hair gleams silver-gold in the low light. Her sallow complexion and heavy eyelids hint at fatigue or illness—a nod, perhaps, to the claustrophobic days of lockdown-era 2020. On the wooden table in front of her, a bunch of pale roses fills a blue and white Chinese-patterned vase. An elusive narrative charge pervades the picture. What lies behind the girl’s sardonic expression? Do the flowers represent a get-well-soon gift, an apology, or something else? Ambiguity and disjunction lie at the heart of Weyant’s practice, which dialogues equally with the masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age and the glossy, hyperreal images of the online world.

Born in Calgary, Canada in 1995, Weyant earned a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017. She later studied traditional painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou before settling permanently in New York. Her technical talent is evident in every inch of the present work, from the salon sheen of the girl’s hair to the crisply observed roses, the table’s silken woodgrain and the background’s subtle, sonorous modulations of Caravaggesque shadow. Weyant has cited the influence of painters like John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, whose paintings engage in similar skilful, subversive conversations with the history of figurative art: her works also draw upon the tense, dreamlike compositions of Balthus, and the sinister tales of Edward Gorey’s illustrated children’s books.

While she paints objects like the flowers from life, Weyant’s protagonists are imaginary, composite characters, based loosely on her circle of friends. Her pictures’ cinematic, often absurdist vignettes capture the bittersweet awkwardness, malaise and tragicomedy of female adolescence, twinning a black sense of humour with an unmistakable emotive punch. She has explained that ‘being in between childhood and adulthood is definitely a period of time in my life and other people’s lives that I’m totally fascinated with and hung up on. It’s a traumatic, dramatic, devastating, and hilarious time that I go back to constantly’ (A. Weyant, quoted in S. Bogojev, ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’, Juxtapoz, 2019). Sitting at a threshold between past and present, youth and maturity, and real and imagined worlds, Ingrid With Flowers fixes us with a knowing look, as enigmatic as the Mona Lisa’s smile.

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