John Stezaker (b. 1949)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
John Stezaker (b. 1949)

Kiss I

Details
John Stezaker (b. 1949)
Kiss I
acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
48 x 48in. (122 x 122cm.)
Executed in 1979-1982
Provenance
Riverside Studios, London.
Acquired from the above by Jeremy Lancaster, 30 November 1982.
Exhibited
London, Riverside Studios, Simulacra, 1982, no. 19.
Berlin, Capitain Petzel, John Stezaker: Silkscreens, 2010, p. 133 (illustrated in colour, p. 16). This exhibition later travelled to New York, Friedrich Petzel Gallery and London, The Approach.
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.

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Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord

Lot Essay

Suspended in a void of rich darkness, a couple are engaged in a passionate kiss. Their bodies and hair disappear into the black background, leaving only their faces visible. The woman’s face glows fluorescent red, the man’s cobalt blue; her hand, also blue, clasps the back of his head. And there is something amiss – the man’s face is featureless, ending in a flat line as if cut off by the edge of a page. Kiss I is a striking early silkscreen by John Stezaker, who was among the first wave of British Conceptual artists. Jeremy Lancaster acquired the work immediately after its completion in 1982. While Stezaker is today perhaps best known for his subversive photo-montage works of the 2000s, he has made sharp, dramatic use of found images for decades. Working from vintage postcards, movie stills and book illustrations, he adjusts, redacts, inverts and slices pictures together to create uncanny works of art that draw on the Surrealist collages of Max Ernst as much as on the legacy of British Pop. Kiss I transforms an anodyne romantic trope into a dreamlike icon of sensual, enigmatic intensity.

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