Lot 18
  • 18

Tauba Auerbach

600,000 - 800,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Tauba Auerbach
  • Untitled
  • signed and dated 2010 on the overlap
  • acrylic on canvas
  • 152.4 by 114.3 cm. 60 by 45 in.


Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2010

Catalogue Note

Executed in 2010, Tauba Auerbach’s mesmerising Untitled is at the forefront of contemporary avante-garde painting. Peaks of diffused pink, green and soft blue pigment seem to crest and plummet across a completely smooth canvas surface, miming the sculptural effect of crumpled cloth and topography. The Fold Paintings have been championed as one of the most innovative developments in painting in the new millennium. Begun in 2009, these luminous, delicately textured works operate in the liminal space between painting and sculpture, an indeterminate area that the artist has coined the ‘2.5th dimension’. In doing so, Auerbach positions her practice at the apogee of a long art historical lineage that has explored this mysterious zone, from the luxurious painted folds in the drapery of Renaissance paintings to Lucio Fontana’s revolutionary Tagli in which the artist innovatively punctured the surface of the canvas and dissolved the barrier between painting and sculpture. Attesting to the importance of the Fold Paintings, other examples are held in the permanent collections of numerous prestigious institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

To create these hypnotic, illusionary networks of creases Auerbach meticulously crumples, contorts and folds canvas into precisely chosen, yet chaotic shapes. To preserve these wrinkled forms the artist irons or places weights onto the canvas, and leaves the creases to settle and sink in over several days. The purposefully folded canvas is then gently spread on the floor and sprayed directionally with acrylic paint to emphasise and mimic the tonal patterns of light falling on a creased surface. Once dry, the canvas is then pulled taught over the stretcher leaving behind a sculptural impression of folds: a three dimensional object on an utterly flat surface. This intriguing and constructed interplay between light and shadow takes centre stage in Untitled as ripples of hazy colour pulsate and radiate, springing up from the canvas surface as though a majestic mountain range. As the artist explains, “this is my take on trompe-l'oeil or traditional realist painting, one that relies on strategy rather than virtuosity” (Tauba Auerbach cited in: Exh. Cat., Bergen, Bergen Kunsthall (and travelling), Folds: Tauba Auerbach, 2012, p. 105).