PHILIP TAAFFE (B. 1955)
PHILIP TAAFFE (B. 1955)
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A Century of Art: The Gerald Fineberg Collection
PHILIP TAAFFE (B. 1955)

Stewardess

Details
PHILIP TAAFFE (B. 1955)
Taaffe, P.
Stewardess
signed, titled and dated 'STEWARDESS Philip Taaffe 1990-91' (on the reverse)
mixed media on canvas
172 x 31 ½ in. (436.9 x 80 cm.)
Executed in 1990-1991.
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
Exhibited
Cologne, Galerie Max Hetzler, Philip Taaffe, March-April 1991, pp. 7 and 16-17 (illustrated).
Sale Room Notice
Please note the updated signature details for this work on christies.com.

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Lot Essay

A work of towering scale and compositional vigor, Philip Taaffe’s Stewardess was executed during the artist’s formative residency in Naples. The composition of this work may be attributed to one of many trips that the artist took to the charming port city of Pozzuoli, a meeting ground for sailors and ship workers, which loosely translates to “the stinky place” on account of its picturesque, yet pungent, volcanic, sulfuric environment. Taaffe frequented Pozzuoli often, entranced by its abundance of archaeological sites, many motifs from which may be noted in the artist’s work of this period. Stewardess’ composition, however, may be traced more specifically to a happenstance encounter the artist had with a discarded cigarette box by a Bulgarian company of the same name. Captivated by the dynamic forms of the company’s design, Taaffe brought the box back to his studio and translated its energy on a grand scale. A rare-to-market example of the artist’s totemic paintings, and one of notable importance to his oeuvre, Stewardess is a triumph of artistic mastery and compositional complexity.

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