Lot 49
  • 49

Guillermo Kuitca (b. 1961)

100,000 - 150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Guillermo Kuitca
  • Idea de una pasión ("l'Enfance de Christ")
  • signed, titled and dated 1990 on the reverse
  • 57 1/2 by 61 3/4 in.
  • (146.1 by 156.8 cm)
acrylic on canvas


Galerie Barbara Farber, Amsterdam
Acquired from the above by the present owner


There is no evidence of inpainting under ultraviolet light. Overall this painting is in excellent condition.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

The map is one of the most fascinating forms of spatial

representation.  But I also [see] the map as the opposite to a

navigational instrument. For me the map was the instrument

for getting lost, not for finding myself. The map interested me

not to identify, to know where you are, but on the contrary:

to know where you are not. I have the impression that

all the maps I painted contain some element of this.1

--Guillermo Kuitca                   

Guillermo Kuitca's career began at the age of thirteen when he had his first exhibition at Galería Lirolay in Buenos Aires, a gallery noted for its early support of the 1960s Argentine group known as the Nueva Figuración (See Lots 34, 35, 36 and 37 for several examples of works by the artists that formed this vanguard group)—a historical antecedent that no doubt resonates well with this contemporary artist's own brand of figurative expressionism. Since those early years, Kuitca's career has flourished internationally and he has developed a remarkable and highly poetic body of work that focuses on the representation of space to evoke the pathos of modern life.

Kuitca's repertoire of spatial references includes floor plans, city and road maps, and architectural plans of stadiums and theatres. And although each series encompasses a distinct body of work, all are interconnected and respond to Kuitca's interest in investigating symbolic modes of inscription. His paintings function like palimpsests that reveal multiple levels of reality in which the boundaries between the personal and the public are often eroded.

His series of map paintings, first begun in the late 1980s, have become one of his most iconic, perhaps because they convey so eloquently the sense of alienation and uprootedness that has come to define our current global era. Executed in 1990, L'Enfance du Christ, like many of Kuitca's map paintings, appears upon first glance to be a factual or precise rendering of an actual map, however a closer inspection reveals the same name of a city, in this case Orléans, repeated numerous times across the pictorial surface. The latter asserts the imaginary quality of Kuitca's cartographies, while simultaneously negating their basic function as navigational tools. The reference to far away, remote places along with such suggestive titles, as the one employed here, further imbues these paintings with a profound sense of distance, longing and melancholy. Likewise, the gestural and painterly qualities of Kuitca's works seem to further challenge the limits between reality and fantasy. A quasi-surreal, dreamlike atmosphere prevails and despite the absence of the body, the corporeal is summoned via the lines typically used to demarcate territorial borders, bodies of water, railways and roads which are here likened to the arteries and veins of the human body. Indeed, Kuitca's map paintings are a poetic and powerful meditation on the notion of territories whether real or imagined, private or public, geographical or corporeal they operate at the fissures of these delicate zones.

1 As quoted in "Hans-Michael Herzog in Conversation with Guillermo Kuitca" in Hans-Michael Herzog, Das Lied von der Erde, Guillermo Kuitca (Zurich: Daro-Latin America, 2007), unpaginated