Lot 235
  • 235

Rosemarie Trockel

50,000 - 70,000 GBP
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  • Rosemarie Trockel
  • Vitrine
  • glass, metal and paper
  • 125 by 25 by 25cm.; 49 1/4 by 9 7/8 by 9 7/8 in.
  • Executed circa 1988.


Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Colour: The colours in the catalogue illustration are fairly accurate. Condition: This work is in very good and original condition. Close inspection reveals some faint rubmarks to the plinth.
"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

From the ancient humanism of Plato to the existential declarations of French philosopher René Descartes, throughout history, man’s cultural achievements have been guided by a questioning of the situational and libidinal parameters that define us as human beings.  Comprising of seven individually outstanding contemporary artworks, each bound by the curatorial vision of a discerning and passionate couple, the following group of works selected from an important Scandinavian collection provide another such insight into man’s greatest artistic preoccupation: the human condition. The collection to which the present group belongs was born out of a desire from the couple to question and challenge each other's positions, resulting in an excellent selection that reflects their shared passions and interests.

Antony Gormley’s sustained fixation on the existential plight of man has secured his status as one of the important British sculptor working today. Focusing on figuration and the placement of bodies in an environment, Gormley interrogates both the physiological and psychological states of humans as lone entities in a vast universe. His strikingly intimate work Heart enacts an especially deep interrogation of the human body; cast in the elemental metal lead and abstracted with pristine geometric clarity, it monumentalises the fundamental life support system that is romanticised as the centre of human desire.  Another highlight of this collection comes in the form of Rosemarie Trockel’s Vitrine. As an artist who often presents the human body as dislocated semiotic entities, this striking work evokes the latent sense of isolation common to Gormley’s oeuvre through a central bodily mass wrapped and suspended in a web of wires.

Alluding to the artist’s restless sense of self, Martin Kippenberger’s mutilated portrait shows an intimately drafted example of his renowned series of hotel drawings. As a set of ad hoc sketches on hotel stationary, they document his vagrant existence between spaces and obsession with artistic identity. Emulating the symmetrical ink blots of a Rorschach psychology test, yet painted in a visceral blood red colour, Raymond Pettibon’s striking Self-Portrait (Since It has Already Been Analyzed, I Merely Refer to It) calls upon his idiosyncratic marrying of peculiar portraiture with unsettling and ambiguous texts.  In this case, Cartesian dimensions of selfhood and self-scrutiny are paramount.

Human identity also comes into question in Elizabeth Peyton’s ghostly watercolour portrait. Articulated as an ethereal echo of a past presence, much like the negative of a photograph, it provides a perfect complement to Marlene Dumas’ voyeuristic portrait Untitled which posits human introspection at its core.  A profound sense of aesthetic and thematic allegiance can similarly be drawn with Luc Tuyman’s delicate ink and watercolour study, Untitled, which shows an anonymous military figure in contemplation. Both intimate and distant at once, a common thread of existential angst and unstable identity binds this tight collection of powerful works.