Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction


Art & Language
stamped with the artists' signature, signed and dated 1986 on the reverse
oil on canvas with two oil on canvas inserts laid down on board 
overall: 176 by 273.5 cm. 69 3/8 by 107 3/4 in.
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Lisson Gallery, London
Anton and Annick Herbert Collection, Ghent
Christie's, New York, Selected Works from The Collection of Anton & Annick Herbert for the Benefit of the Herbert Foundation, 9 November 2011, Lot 52
Acquired from the above by the present owner


London, Lisson Gallery, Art & Language, Confessions: Incidents in a Museum, 1986, pp. 18 and 31, illustrated
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Art & Language: Les Peintures, 1987, p.66, no. 26, illustrated in colour
Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Transformation, 1992


Richard Francis, "Your "if" is the only Peacemaker... Art & Language's Museum Paintings" in Artscribe, June-July 1986, pp. 22-23, illustrated

Catalogue Note

“In the world they propose, the prospective artistic objects of curatorial celebration and enthusiasm already have their being as travesties, fragments and ruins. The museum in question is a figurative presence in every work in the series. It does not appear each time in the same guise or under the same aspect, but it is plausibly the same institution which is referred to in each of the paintings, and in each of them this institution serves to establish the dimensions of a large illusory space. It also serves to define and to delimit a form of allegorical world, a world aesthetically removed from the actual conditions of distribution of high culture, yet one within which those conditions can be referred to and their paradoxes figuratively elaborated and explored.”

essays on Art and Language, MIT PRESS, 2001, p. 217

Contemporary Art Day Auction