15
15
Cecily Brown
THE GIRL WHO HAD EVERYTHING
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800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,868,750 GBP
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15
Cecily Brown
THE GIRL WHO HAD EVERYTHING
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Artist's Resale Right
Purchase of lots marked with this symbol will be subject to the payment of the artist's resale right.
Double Dagger
Indicates that the lot is being sold whilst subject to Temporary Importation, and that VAT is due at the reduced rate
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,868,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
London

Cecily Brown
B. 1969
THE GIRL WHO HAD EVERYTHING
signed and dated 98 on the stretcher; signed and dated 98 on the reverse
oil on canvas
253 by 279.5 cm. 99 5/8 by 110 in.
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Provenance

Victoria Miro, London

Saatchi Collection, London (acquired from the above in 1999)

Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, 15 November 2007, Lot 25

Acquired from the above by the present owner 

Exhibited

New York, Gagosian Gallery, Cecily Brown: Paintings 1998-2000, January - February 2000, n.p., no. 1, illustrated in colour 

London, Saatchi Gallery, Damien Hirst, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Daniel Richter,
Cecily Brown, 2003

London, Saatchi Gallery, The Triumph of Painting, Part II, June - September
2005, p. 131, illustrated in colour

Literature

Edward Booth-Clibborn, Ed., The History of the Saatchi Gallery, London 2011, p. 582, illustrated in colour 

Catalogue Note

A sumptuous frenzy of colour and texture, Cecily Brown’s The Girl Who Had Everything from 1998 is both monumental in scale and utterly captivating in its orgy of enflamed painterly gestures. Brown is distinguished for her stimulating and playful confusion of the traditionally perceived boundaries of abstraction and figuration. Her expansive paroxysmal canvases, riddled with intimations of erotic imagery, engage the vernacular of painting itself: the sensuality of the medium and its ability to manipulate the viewer’s perception through descriptive possibilities. Brown’s distinctive painterly style is layered with suggestions of pornographic imagery entangled in concentrations of feverish brushwork and adjacent free-floating forms. A luscious fusion of painterly abstraction and tantalising figurative representation, The Girl Who Had Everything is a paradigm from the pivotal body of work that brought Brown to the forefront of contemporary painting. Having garnered substantial critical acclaim, many of Brown’s paintings are housed in institutional collections worldwide, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Tate, London.

Brown is acutely aware of the art historical tradition that precedes her; indeed, her work exists as an aesthetic collusion between Old Master and Abstract Expressionist disciplines. Related to the former, her lush and textural paintings, in many ways, conjure allusions to the large-scale classical scenes by the Baroque master Nicolas Poussin. Notably, the blazing flames in the background of Poussin’s masterpiece The Burning of Troy impart a similar visual intensity to the flaming swathes of red oil in The Girl Who Had Everything. Conversely, in relation to her Modern forebears, Brown cultivated a unique brand of abstraction through studying the proto-Abstract Expressionist work of Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Arshile Gorky, and Mark Rothko, among others. As explained by the artist: “If I had to place where it all comes from, the moment that interests me the most in twentieth-century painting, and which I feel was not taken that far because abstraction happened in such an extreme way, is the moment when Rothko, Gorky, and Newman were doing those biomorphic things that just hovered on the edge of representation. They’re not quite abstract and they are absolutely grounded in the figure” (Cecily Brown cited in: Robert Enright, ‘Paint Whisperer: An Interview with Cecily Brown’, Border Crossing, Vol. 4, No. 1, Issue No. 93, p. 40). Ultimately Brown returns the ambiguously corporeal and formless organic shapes of her predecessors back into definitive yet elusive body-parts in her sexually-charged scenes; herein, Brown’s work imparts its own dynamic of abstract push and figurative pull, dancing in the narrow space between the explicitly pornographic and the artfully elusive.

Pornographic imagery serves as a key platform for Brown to contemplate that undefined space of representational indeterminacy. In her work nothing is completely described, it is only implied; the paintings thus become about looking as they confront the viewer with fragmented imagery and dynamic painterly technique, seducing the eye into a hunt for recognisable forms in the frenzy of shapes and rhythmic brushwork. The Girl Who Had Everything thus lures the viewer into a promiscuous game of hide-and-seek, whereby an explicit detail will suddenly snap into focus. With each glance, the painting evolves into an experience of visual pleasure, repeatedly revealing itself to the imagination. Echoing the lustful and fleshy abandon of Francis Bacon, Brown’s The Girl Who Had Everything is a marvellous coalition of violence, sensuality, carnal desire and virtuous painterly mark-making. Masterfully treading the threshold between beauty and abjection, this painting represents Brown at her very finest.

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
London