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Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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Londres

Polly Morgan
B. 1980
SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION
taxidermy finches, taxidermy canaries, steel and leather
130 by 113 by 113cm.; 51 1/8 by 44 1/2 by 44 1/2 in.
Executed in 2010.
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Provenance

Haunch of Venison, London
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

Exposition

London, Haunch of Venison, Polly Morgan: Psychopomps, 2010, illustrated in colour on the cover and pp. 25-7
Venice, Workshop Arte Contemporanea, Polly Morgan: Burials, 2011

Description

Systemic Inflammation is one of the most ambitious and impressively scaled of Polly Morgan’s bird-related works to date: a magnificently constructed celebration of the complex art of taxidermy. Twenty tiny finches and canaries appear to soar through the air, holding aloft a curious cage-like contraption with the power of their wings. The vibrant orange of the feathers, alongside the blackened frame of the cage, suggests a desperate attempt to escape from the heat of a scorching furnace or flames: Morgan carried out lengthy experiments on feathers with different shades of hair dye to achieve the desired glowing hue. The striking composition was primarily inspired by an illustration included in Scientific American in 1865 which depicted a man being carried within a cage by a flock of birds. Systemic Inflammation is a contemporary re-imagination of this fantastical scene, as Morgan recalled, “I like the idea that it’s not quite clear whether the passenger or the birds are free. The passenger has the freedom to travel while the birds are tethered, yet they have the real ability to fly while he is caged. I like that dichotomy between the human and the animal. We harness them in all kinds of ways but they are the ones with ultimate power” (the artist, cited in Exhibition Catalogue, London, Haunch of Venison, Polly Morgan, Psychopomps, 2010, p. 13). Systemic Inflammation expresses this concept of ‘ultimate power’ with extraordinary grace.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
Londres