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Toby Ziegler (B. 1972)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE ART FOUNDATION MALLORCA
Toby Ziegler (B. 1972)

Saint Sebastian

Toby Ziegler (B. 1972)
Saint Sebastian
signed, titled and dated ‘Toby Ziegler 2009 Saint Sebastian’ (on the overlap)
oil and pencil on canvas
95¼ x 82½in. (242 x 210cm.)
Painted in 2009
CCA Andratx, Andratx.
Andratx, CCA Andratx, Reframing, 2009.
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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.
All sold and unsold lots marked with a filled square in the catalogue that are not cleared from Christie’s by 5:00 pm on the day of the sale, and all sold and unsold lots not cleared from Christie’s by 5:00 pm on the fifth Friday following the sale, will be removed to the warehouse of ‘Cadogan Tate’. Please note that there will be no charge to purchasers who collect their lots within two weeks of this sale.

Lot Essay

‘In Toby Ziegler’s paintings, imagery borrowed from art history is crafted from patterns of identical stars and discs – clouds might be borrowed from Constable, body parts from 16th-century pornography. Yet there’s no doubt his visuals originate anywhere other than CGI. Laid out according to exacting laws of perspective, they are 3D-looking vistas with illusory, kaleidoscopic depths’
(S. Sharwin, ‘Artist of the week 113: Toby Ziegler’, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/nov/10/artist-week-toby-ziegler [accessed 30 January 2015]).

Painted in 2009, Saint Sebastian is a dynamic example of Toby Ziegler’s technically astute practice that demonstrates his fascination with the way in which visual information is received, distributed and consumed. At the centre of the composition a vertical graffiti-like scrawl in luminous white and neon turquoise emerges against the geometric pattern of layered black ovals that proliferate the canvas in varying degrees of translucency. Mining art historical sources from the internet, Ziegler feeds carefully appropriated images through the computer, transforming figurative forms into geometric patterns, before rendering them by hand. Placing emphasis on the tension between digital and analogue techniques, in his painting Ziegler explores the transformation of objects travelling from one age and culture to another, alluding to the process by which images are reproduced across historical periods and translated between different media. Here, the contorted central shape with its protruding jagged lines, as though arrows piercing a figure, makes reference to the legend of Saint Sebastian. A subject repeatedly illustrated throughout art history, Ziegler joins a host of artists who have depicted the saint, from Botticelli, Titian and Bellini, to Egon Schiele, Salvador Dalí and Louise Bourgeois.

With its stark juxtaposition of incandescent colour over shadowy background, the rich surface texture of the painting emphasises layers of depth and space. A delineation of each virtual plane, Ziegler leaves the computer generated oval patterns visible, endowing his painting with a sense of three-dimensionality. As the viewer moves their eye across the canvas, mesmerising perspectival shifts occur, and the painting’s surface quality vacillates between flatness and depth. Ziegler’s multilayered oeuvre aims to erode the binary distinctions that have defined traditional painting. Blending geometric dexterity with rich painterly gesture, Ziegler’s painting oscillates between abstraction and figuration, merging classical composition with digital manipulation. Operating in a space between the familiar and the strange, and uniting the precision of graphic design with the spontaneity of painterly expression, Saint Sebastian encapsulates Ziegler’s uniquely paradoxical practice.

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