View full screen - View 1 of Lot 131. RICHARD HAMBLETON | SHADOW HEAD PORTRAIT (PINK).





1952 – 2017


acrylic and glitter on neon poster board

Sheet: 24 by 17¼ in. (61 by 44 cm.)

Framed: 26¾ by 21⅞ in. (68 by 55.6 cm.)

Executed circa 1990.


Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist)

This work is in very good condition overall. The sheet is hinged along the edges of the reverse to the backing board. There is a slight undulation to the overall sheet, due to the artists chosen media. There are faint scattered scratches and losses and evidence of exposure to moisture at the upper right corner, potentially inherent to the artists working method. Framed under Optium Museum Tru Vue Invisible Acrylic.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist)

An American-Canadian graffiti artist, Richard Hambleton initially attracted public attention by painting faux crime-scene outlines of bodies on pavements. In the early 1980s, Hambleton painted buildings in the Lower East Side of New York City alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, during which time the artist also began to portray iterations of his highly recognized Shadowman figures onto found objects and canvases. According to the artist, “they could represent watchmen or danger or the shadows of a human body after a nuclear holocaust or even my own shadow”.

Richard Hambleton’s work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in 1984 and 1985, and as part of the Venice Biennales of 1984 and 1988, respectively, where he painted his signature shadowmen across Venice. A subsequent tour of Europe brought his figures to the streets of Paris, Rome and London. He also travelled to Berlin to paint seventeen life-size shadowmen on the eastern side of Berlin Wall, returning a year later to paint more on the western side. The Shadowman stands as a symbol of a moment in time, an instantly recognizable figure that will forever permeate our psyche.