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 16. Words cannot touch it, thought cannot reach it.

Mai-Thu Perret

Words cannot touch it, thought cannot reach it

Lot Closed

February 5, 08:16 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 USD

Lot Details


Mai-Thu Perret

b. 1976

Words cannot touch it, thought cannot reach it

Executed in 2022.

Glazed ceramic

19 1/8 x 14 5/8 x 1 7/8 in. (48.6 x 37.1 x 4.8 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 the Artist and David Kordansky Gallery

Mai-Thu Perret: Mother Sky, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, March 18 - April 22, 2023

The sculptures, paintings, ceramic works, performances, and texts of Mai-Thu Perret (b. 1976, Geneva) exist at the intersection of contemporary culture, art historical critique, and visceral materiality. She explores (and generates) feminist narratives and counter-narratives that cast the role of the art object in new light, introducing utilitarian, symbolic, and even mystical possibilities in contexts that are often limited to formalist readings. In her encompassing vision, for instance, the development of modernism appears not only as a story about increasing abstraction, but as the outgrowth of biological and neurological patterns that have informed human expression throughout the globe for thousands of years. Perret’s work shows how bodies are always implicit subjects of artistic discourse, and how impulses for utopian transcendence (aesthetic, political, or otherwise) can always be traced back to the physicality of desire. Mai-Thu Perret has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including Istituto Svizzero, Rome (2022); Le Portique – centre régional d’art contemporain du Havre, France (2020); Musée d’art modern et contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva (2019); Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2019); Spike Island, Bristol, England (2019); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2016); Le Magasin, Grenoble, France (2012); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2011); University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (2010); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008); and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2006). Recent group exhibitions include &, curated by John Armleder, Musée d’art modern et contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva (2022); New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, California (2021); The Musical Brain, High Line, New York (2021); New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2019); and Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now), Met Breuer, New York (2018). Her work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Collection Aargauer Kunsthaus, Arau, Switzerland; Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Perret lives and works in Geneva.