Lot 209
  • 209

BRIAN UHING | The Plight of Lady Vanity

150,000 - 250,000 HKD
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  • Brian Uhing
  • The Plight of Lady Vanity
  • Signed
  • Oil on canvas
  • 116.5 by 101.5 cm; 46 by 40 in.

Catalogue Note

Lady Vanity peers at herself in the mirror, lids half-closed. Her hair is a magnificent, precarious tangle of treasured mementoes and hoarded fruit — as if a child, unseen, had played with it. The owl casts an evil eye at the bobbing feather.

The lady in crimson seems set in stone. The light of the world streaming through the window beckons, the lilies at the edge of the table are about to fall, the clock ticks, but Lady Vanity dares not
move. What is the Plight of Lady Vanity? Is it self-idolatry, the usurpation of the godhead of Venus? Is it the shallow, impossible preservation of beauty? Or is it a more haunting, primal malady that gnaws at each and every breast?

With resplendent flair, Brian Uhing holds up the mirror in front of us and invites us to sift through the shadow of our spite and judgments. In Latin, vanitas means “emptiness.” Looking in the mirror, our vanity is revealed — paralyzing fear of the abyss, the agony of slipping time, despair at the seeming fruitlessness of human labors. And like Lady Vanity, in red fury, we rail at this futility, we stand to defy
the absolute, we cling to innocence, purity and life.

With compassion and understanding, Uhing leads us to the heart of the human condition — the adamant search for meaning, the unyielding hope for relevance. The Plight of Lady Vanity is the longing for the infinite.