Lot 626
  • 626

Christian Rosa

120,000 - 200,000 HKD
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  • Christian Rosa
  • Papi Not Mami
  • oil, charcoal, pencil, resin and rabbit skin glue on canvas
signed and dated 2014 on the reverse


White Cube, London
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Catalogue Note

The Mysterious Life of Colour

Papi not Mami (Lot 626) is a particularly outstanding and charismatic example of Christian Rosa’s lyrical abstract universes. Featuring a large expanse of cheerful yellow, eloquently tumbling scribbles and bold smudges and smears, the painting was executed during a period in which the young Brazilian rising star’s technique and market success evolved by leaps and bounds. While Rosa’s minimalist aesthetic of sparse forms, primary color and negative space is superficially reminiscent of Wassily Kandinsky, his approach takes abstraction further by incorporating a powerful dynamic emergence and gesturality that evades any sense of fixability. As Kathy Grayson writes, the isolated pictorial elements of Rosa’s canvases are “linked together not through commingling, but instead as a kind of Rube Goldberg machine, where the blue ball falls down the hole, rolls around the grey track, knocks over the yellow rectangle, which falls into the brown cup”.1 The interrelated sequential occurrences construct new modes of communication between the disparate preliminary forms, creating a dynamic energy of chance, potential and possibility. Just as Kandinsky advocated for non-objective art where “each colour lives by its mysterious life”, Rosa’s pictorial worlds allows colour and form to live, breathe and frolic by their own mystery.

[1] Kathy Grayson, “Catch Up with Rising Star Christian Rosa", Artnet, 12 May 2014

Artist Biography

Christian Rosa (b. 1982, Brazil) gained recognition internationally for his gestural paintings that evoke action and the absence thereof through eloquent lines and deliberate use of negative space. Rosa’s work is sparse and evocative, offering tokens of motion against a raw canvas. His works are distinctly open-ended and ask the viewer to expand on the narrative with their personal, subjective reactions. Rosa studied under Daniel Richter at the Akademie der bildenden Künste, graduating in 2012. Rosa has participated in a number of notable shows at Ibid Projects, London (2015); Whitecube, London (2015); Saatchi Gallery, London (2014); Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (2014); Venice Biennale, Venice (2013); Greene Naftali Gallery, New York (2010); and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf (2009).