Lot 101
  • 101

Pamela Rosenkranz

15,000 - 20,000 GBP
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  • Pamela Rosenkranz
  • Because They Try to Bore Holes in My Greatest and Most Beautiful Work (Relief of Avarice)
  • signed on a label affixed to the backing board
  • inkjet print on photographic paper with mounting glue and plexiglass
  • framed: 203.5 by 142cm.; 80 1/8 by 55 7/8 in.
  • Executed in 2012.


Private Collection, Europe


Colour: The colours in the catalogue illustration are fairly accurate, although the overall tonality is a bright IKB in the original. The cataloge illustration also fails to convey the rich texture visible in the original. Condition: This work is in very good condition. All surface irregularities are in keeping with the artist's choice of medium and working process.
"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

As one of the most exciting artists to emerge in recent years, Pamela Rosenkranz represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 2015 after having already participated at the 5th Berlin Biennale and Manifesta 7 in 2008. Her challenging conceptual approach is closely related to the philosophy of Speculative Realism as she melds unfamiliar substances and textures to draw parallels between the composition of things and that of humans in terms of their material reality and synthetic appearance.
Executed in 2012, Because They Try to Bore Holes in My Greatest and Most Beautiful Work (Relief of Avarice) is a contemporary homage to the seminal French artist Yves Klein and his chromatic trademark, the patented pigment colour International Klein Blue (IKB). The present work is from an eponymous series of works Rosenkranz created between 2011 and 2012, whose title refers to an excerpt from Klein’s famous ‘Chelsea Hotel Manifesto’, in which he refers to his first monochrome. Recalling a moment of reverie when, as an adolescent, he lay stretched upon the beach of Nice, Klein felt “hatred for birds which flew back and forth across my blue, cloudless sky because they tried to bore holes in my greatest and most beautiful work” (Yves Klein, 'Chelsea Hotel Manifesto', in: Klaus Ottmann, Overcoming the Problematics of Art: The Writings of Yves Klein, New York 2007, p. 200).
Taking Klein, whose conception of aesthetics tended towards the metaphysical and the sublime, as a point of departure, Rosenkranz comments on the impossibility of such a perception of art in the digital age of the Internet and social media. Klein’s utopian purity, once punctuated by the hated birds, is further disrupted by Rosenkranz as she takes images of Klein’s monochromes from the internet and blows them up to human scale. In the present work, problems of digital representation and translation pair with an imperfect mounting process by which the artist glues the prints onto plexiglass supports. The resultant scarring and wrinkling reveals Rosenkranz’s structural dependence on process and chance in the production of her monochromes, creating elongated linear patterns that further make formal reference to the exaggerated bodily forms of Klein’s Anthropometries, which were painted by pressing or dragging a painted female body across the canvas. Concerned with paint’s toxicity as a metaphor for the historicity of painting, Because They Try to Bore Holes in My Greatest and Most Beautiful Work (Relief of Avarice) is the continuation of Rosenkranz’s aesthetic dialogue with one of the most radical and revolutionary artists of the Twentieth Century. As the Swiss artist comments herself: “New art comes into art history as a challenge to the immune system of discourse. That is how, generation after generation, art history continues to alter perception” (Pamela Rosenkranz quoted in: Nicolas Bourriaud, 'Art as Virus', Parkett, No. 96, 2015, pp. 77-78).