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Alastair Mackinven (B. 1971)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Alastair Mackinven (B. 1971)

Excellent (With a Flourish of Adjectives About the Zeitgeist)

Alastair Mackinven (B. 1971)
Excellent (With a Flourish of Adjectives About the Zeitgeist)
oil on canvas
80 7/8 x 68¾in. (205.5 x 174.5cm.)
Painted in 2007
Hotel, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007.
St Petersburg, The State Hermitage Museum and Saatchi Gallery, Newspeak: British Art Now, 2009 - 2010, p. 179 (illustrated in colour). This exhibition later travelled to London, Saatchi Gallery.
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.
VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium

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Lot Essay

Alsastair Mackinven’s poignant artworks form a critical language with which to deconstruct ideas of power and worth within the art system – the role of the artist, how art is displayed and mediated to the viewer by galleries, and how art is transacted through the market and mass media. Executed in 2007, his large-scale painting Excellent (With a Flourish of Adjectives About the Zeitgeist) depicts five identically sized black stars in a neat row against a grainy white-grey background. The work comes from a series entitled ‘Critical Theory’, shown in 2007, in which the monochromatic canvases playfully function as both paintings and their own reviews. Ranging from one star (poor) to five (excellent), the visual language of the paintings humorously parodies the self-righteous sanctimony of newspaper and magazine art column ratings. Rendered on unprimed linen, the present work’s grid-based composition is arranged according to the high standards of the Financial Times’ layout template, whilst ‘worse’ paintings take their scaling from ‘lesser’ publications such as free commuter newspapers. With its greyscale palette, appropriated imagery, and poignant satire, this stimulating work exposes the absurdity of mindless conformity in a consumer driven world.

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