Natee Utarit (Thai, B. 1970)
Natee Utarit (Thai, B. 1970)

Painting Lecture of Plaster Venus

Natee Utarit (Thai, B. 1970)
Painting Lecture of Plaster Venus
signed, dated and titled 'Natee Utarit 03, Painting Lecture of Plaster Venus' (on the reverse)
oil and wood stain on canvas
130 x 120 cm. (51 1/8 x 47 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2003
Christie's Hong Kong, 29 November 2010, Lot 1508
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Numthong Gallery, Natee Utarit: Survey 1991-2006, Bangkok, 2009 (illustrated, p. 203).
Bangkok, Thailand, Numthong Gallery, Natee Utarit: Survey 1991-2006, 2009.

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Lot Essay

Thai painter, Natee Utarit, examines the medium of paint as a means of critically examining the representation of art through his narrative texture. Shaped by passages of subtle stasis, eloquent silence, and the juxtaposition of carefully selected, evocative forms against an emptied, almost void background, Utarit questions: "What is the truth in/of painting?" and "Is it possible to express ideas through a traditional medium like painting?"

Utarit constantly questions the traditional idea, in order to embark in a direction that addresses issues of a contemporary nature. Painting Lecture of Plaster Venus (Lot 525) embodies this philosophy in that it references the very arbitrary practice, still carried out by art students in art academies, of copying classical statues. Highlighting its importance with an exaggeratedly centralized position, Utarit presents a painted photographic image of a sculpture against his signature backdrop of a stained layer of a still-life flower. Consciously constructed, this composition questions the conventional idea that a genuine source of reality can be derived from a physical object, bringing to mind the similar tones in Ren? Magritte's world-famous Ceci n'est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe).

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