420
420
Yoshitomo Nara
RIGHT HAND IN BACK
Estimate
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 2,175,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
420
Yoshitomo Nara
RIGHT HAND IN BACK
Estimate
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 2,175,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York

Yoshitomo Nara
B. 1959
RIGHT HAND IN BACK
signed and dated 2002 on the reverse
acrylic on canvas mounted to fiberglass
70 3/4 by 70 3/4 by 10 1/4 in. 179.7 by 179.7 by 26 cm.
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Provenance

Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

New York, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Yoshitomo Nara: Saucer Tales, October - November 2002

Literature

Yoshitomo Nara, Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works, Paintings, Sculptures, Editions, Photographs, Vol. 1, Tokyo 2011, no. P-2002-013, p. 186, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

Iconic, captivating, and grand in scale, Yoshitomo Nara’s Right Hand in Back from 2002 is an exemplary illustration of Nara’s artistic development. First introduced in the 1990s, Nara’s conceptualization of a lonely, young girl became a perfected paradigm by the early 2000s, reflecting the disaffection of Japanese youth and capturing the imagination of viewers worldwide.  In the present work, the combination of Nara’s intricately constructed patchwork and delicate brushwork along the surface of the fiberglass disk typifies the artist’s representation of the little girl. With her penetrating eyes, the rebellious yet lonesome child in Right Hand in Back captures the fascinating tension between childhood and adolescence, innocence and mischievousness.  

As Nara described "overcome pain and sadness, becoming strong - but it' suffering to have weak emotions drink up strength. But I won't forget my spirit when I began. I want to keep the feeling of that time close by me" (Yoshitomo Nara cited in Kyoko Wada, in Birth and Present: A Studio Portrait of Yoshitomo Nara, Corte Madera 2003, p. 90) Following his education at the University of Tokyo and Aichi University, Nara took up temporary residence in Germany to study at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1988. Nara’s homecoming to Japan in 2000 mirrored a subtle stylistic variation, which welcomed the disintegration of sharp lines and warming of his palette with pastel colors. Enchantingly enigmatic, the figure of the little girl is reflective of iterations in Japanese visual culture: the comics and graphic novels of manga and its video form, anime, and the absorption of Pop culture all powerfully colliding with Nara’s unique mindscape. Ultimately, the mischievous gaze and defiant twist of the little girl’s hand from view makes her the singular most iconic figure in Nara’s overall output.

Right Hand in Back acts as a powerful point of entry for psychological engagement whereby viewers can both identify with the imagination of children and engage in a complex process of self-examination. The young girl is not only a significant contribution to the re-evaluation of figurative painting in the 21st century, but also a window for viewers to excavate their memories to evoke the immediacy of children’s feelings that have been long forgotten. The installation of Yoshitomo Nara’s solo exhibition Thinker at Pace, New York in the spring of 2017 further demonstrates his ongoing fascination with the contradictory expressions of innocence and experience, anger and compassion, life in this world and the afterlife – as splendidly captured by the single figure of the little girl who quietly, yet firmly returns our gaze.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York