Norton Museum of Art 2024 Gala Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

Norton Museum of Art 2024 Gala Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 22. Moving On, Fire Island, New York Nonsite.

James Perkins

Moving On, Fire Island, New York Nonsite

Lot Closed

February 5, 08:22 PM GMT


15,000 - 20,000 USD

Lot Details


James Perkins

b. 1978

Moving On, Fire Island, New York Nonsite

Executed in 2021.

Silk, sun, sand, wind, wood, and rain

18 x 36 x 3 3/4 in. (45.7 x 91.4 x 9.5 cm)

Please note that while this auction is hosted on, it is being administered by the Norton Museum of Art (the “Norton”), and all post-sale matters (inclusive of invoicing and property pickup/shipment) will be handled by the Norton. As such, Sotheby’s will share the contact details for the winning bidders with the Norton so that they may be in touch directly post-sale.

Courtesy of Brintz Gallery

Taking up to two years to complete a single work, Perkins’, installations, deeply rooted in performance, harness the forces of nature to explore the beauty in weathering the vicissitudes of life. Silk is stretched over wooden frames to make each structure. The structure is then semi-buried, placed, or stacked outdoors in various locations for a period of time. Left to fade in the sun, endure the rain and wind, or interact with the ocean, snow, sand and animals, each work becomes its own environmental record. Perkins manipulates this process through his own interventions such as specifying burial sites and rotating the structures. In this process, the sculpture and the painting happen at once, abstracting form. Following the gestational period, the silk is removed from the sculpture and then re-stretched as a painting. The forces of nature are recorded on the facade of the paintings; there’s visible evidence of the surface being attacked by water while pollen, leaves, sand or even roots still cling to the surface. Classically, totems are defined as a natural object or animal that is believed to have spiritual significance. Perkins’ totems abstract the visual form while blending the past, present, and future. He believes that we all navigate totems and their historical and contemporary values to paint an identity either closer to or further away from a neutral existence. The exhibition also includes a sound sculpture and video work, A Meeting With The Sky (2016), demonstrating a post totem structure in situ on the beach.