41
41
KAWS
AT THIS TIME 
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Double Dagger
Indicates that the lot is being sold whilst subject to Temporary Importation, and that VAT is due at the reduced rate
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
700,000900,000
LOT SOLD. 867,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
41
KAWS
AT THIS TIME 
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Double Dagger
Indicates that the lot is being sold whilst subject to Temporary Importation, and that VAT is due at the reduced rate
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
700,000900,000
LOT SOLD. 867,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
London

KAWS
B. 1974
AT THIS TIME 
afromosia wood
250 by 116 by 93 cm. 98 1/2 by 45 7/8 by 36 1/2 in.
Executed in 2013, this work is number 2 from an edition of 3, plus 2 artist’s proofs. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Friedman Benda, New York 
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2014

Exhibited

Fort Worth, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; and Shanghai, Yuz Museum, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, October 2016 - July 2017, pp. 116 and 118-19, illustrated in colour (installation view, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, edition no. unknown)

Catalogue Note

“The most direct reference to the postmodern ideas of the hyperreal and of authorship and originality can be found in KAWS’s recurring sculptural figure COMPANION.”
Andrea Karnes, Exh. Cat., Font Worth, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, 2016, p. 49. 

Towering over the viewer at eight feet tall, KAWS’s monumental wooden sculpture AT THIS TIME belongs to the artist’s signature series of COMPANION sculptures. KAWS’s COMPANIONS rank amongst the most emblematic figures within the American artist’s pervasive visual lexicon. In recent years, Brooklyn-based Brian Donnelly – known more widely by his moniker KAWS – has not only earned his position as one of the most acclaimed sculptors of our generation but has also become firmly established as a universally recognised household name. It is principally through his large-scale public sculptures that KAWS successfully traverses the realms of high art and mass culture, with his trademark COMPANION character at the very forefront of this campaign. Global icons of our time, the COMPANION figures are simultaneously endearing and sinister, playful and psychologically charged. Their universal appeal lies in KAWS’s attention grabbing aesthetic “that merges,” as writer Emily Gosling attests, “childhood nostalgia with the macabre... [to join] up the dots between street art, fine art and merch” (Emily Gosling, ‘No KAWS for concern’, It’s Nice That, 4 February 2016, online). Housed in numerous public collections including Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park; and High Museum, Atlanta, works such as the present are poignant emblems of our contemporary society.

The figure in AT THIS TIME stands with his head tilted backwards and his hands pressed firmly into his eyes, as if in a state of mock despair. Two large X’s – the hallmark of KAWS’s practice – are carved into his hands. Simultaneously celebrating and mourning a globalised age of capitalism, mass consumption and accelerated diffusion of information, the present sculpture encompasses the unique duality of joy and anguish that characterises our contemporary moment. While his X-eyes are simultaneously closed yet all-seeing in defiance of a world pervaded with brands, logos, and homogenised consumerism, the figure’s cartoon presence harnesses our childhood memories to remind us of the power of hope and faith in humanity.

One of the most prominent heirs of Pop art alongside artists such as Jeff Koons, KAWS studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. After graduating, he worked briefly as a freelance illustrator before adopting the name KAWS as a young graffiti artist in Jersey City. In the 1990s, after moving to New York, he began to practice ‘subvertising’ to parody and spoof corporate and political advertisements on bus shelters, phone booths and billboards. Gradually, the artist expanded his imagery beyond graffiti, inventing his own host of characters appropriated from classic cartoons including SpongeBob SquarePants, The Simpsons and Garfield. Extending the art historical lineage of appropriated images by Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, KAWS supplants his characters’ heads with his skull motif, updating the universally cherished childhood iconography for our contemporary context. With works such as AT THIS TIME, KAWS compellingly infiltrates the realm of mass consumerism, reinventing a truly distinctive lexicon that permeates the world of contemporary art and popular culture. In the artist’s own words: “[COMPANION] deals with life the way everyone does… [and] is more real in dealing with contemporary human circumstances. He reflects attitudes we all have” (KAWS cited in: Exh. Cat., Fort Worth, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, 2016, p. 5).

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
London