Lot 614
  • 614

Tauba Auerbach

3,000,000 - 4,000,000 HKD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Tauba Auerbach
  • Slice III
  • woven canvas
  • 64 by 48 in. 162.6 by 121.9 cm.
signed and dated 2012 on the reverse


Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Private American Collection
Acquired by the present owner from the above 

Catalogue Note

The 2.5th Dimension 

Created in 2012, Tauba Auerbach’s Slice III (Lot 614) is an early and preeminent example of her iconic series of weave paintings. Expressing the artist’s acute interest in math, physics and the limits of perception, the present work represents her apogeal interrogation of the phenomenology of the painted surface. Through its entangled yet regimented web of geometric strands, Auerbach attempts to reveal new dimensional richness both within and beyond the limits of perception. As she has noted: "At the root of my interest is the question of what consciousness is: what it's made of and what its limitations might be. As creatures that operate in three dimensions, what capacity do we have to conceive of a dimension that's beyond, or even coiled within, the space that we experience?”1 Crafting a landscape of symmetrical patterns, in the current lot Auerbach enacts a radical expansion of the painted medium and, as such, it stands testament to the profound contribution that she has made to the history of contemporary art.

The present work stems from the same seminal year in which Auerbach first presented her weave paintings at the highly acclaimed exhibition "Tetrachromat" at the Bergen Kunsthalle. Extending the optical illusionism of her preceding series of fold paintings, Auerbach reduces her medium to the fundamental material that has supported the history of western painting: the raw canvas. As the artist noted, this consciously minimal methodology signaled a turning point in her conceptual practice: “The canvas was something that I had taken for granted. I was, after all, painting on a woven surface, not a seamless plane. I stopped thinking about other dimensions as "out there" and started wondering if they were within everything else in some way. I felt a need to burrow into the structure of the plane, to take it apart and put it back together in a more deliberate, dynamic way.”2 

As exemplified exquisitely in the present example, the monochromatic constitution of the canvas is transformed by delicate nuances of light and shadow that emanate from a mesmerising set of geometric patterns. The rhythmic regularity of the weave paradoxically expresses both a profound solidity and an inescapable sense of transience. The continuous undulation of each strand over and below its neighbouring form enacts a hypnotic optical game, always stable yet never certain. Amidst the systematic order, the patterns is itself disrupted with technical adeptness: whilst the majority of the weave consists of overlapping concentric squares, this uniformity is intercepted by a triangular swathe of vertically staggered weave that emulates the bound structure of brickwork. Much like the fold paintings, Slice III operates in the liminal space between painting and sculpture, an area that the artist has named the ‘2.5th Dimension’. In this sense Auerbach evokes Lucio Fontana whose revolutionary Tagli explored a new metaphysical space for painting in their punctured surfaces. Conflating the disciplines of art, science and math, Slice III illustrates Auerbach’s ultimate convergence of the analytic fields of knowledge that shape human perception and our experience of the world.

[1] Tauba Auerbach in conversation with Courtney Fiske in Art in America, June 21 2012, online)

[2] Refer to 1

Artist Biography

Tauba Auerbach (b. 1981, USA) graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Visual Art in 2003 and apprenticed as a sign painter from 2002-2005. Operating in the gap between conceptual art, abstraction and graphic art, Auerbach works across many disciplines including painting, artists’ books, photography and sculpture. The artist draws much of her inspiration from mathematics and physics, exploring the limits of our structures and systems of logic. She gained acclaim for her Fold paintings, first exhibited in 2009, which gives an illusion of three-dimensional space. Auerbach has held solo exhibitions at Paula Cooper Gallery (2012); Bergen Kunsthall in Norway (2011); and Deitch Projects (2006), amongst others. Notable group exhibitions include shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2012).