From the Catalogue: Property from an Important Miami Collection

Feb 14, 2017 11:02PM

Diverse in scope and unique in vision, the following selection of works from an Important Miami Collection features artists ranging from America’s minimalist pioneers to the YBAs and beyond, working across many different disciplines and styles. Though varied in style and origin, this special collection, built over the last 50 years is linked by each artist’s unique use of humor and unexpected materials to challenge the traditional notions of “high art” and probe at complex sociopolitical issues. In utilizing playful imagery to generate social commentary, or found materials to provoke a nostalgic reaction, each of the following artists challenges the idea of what art can and is meant to do by directly connecting with the viewer. 

Standout artists within the collection heralded for their exploration of alternative materials include Louise Nevelson, Richard Tuttle and Richard Artschwager, all of whom make use of familiar items to construct uniquely personal objects that question the boundaries between sculpture and painting. The intimate scale of Nevelson’s white wood construction, Floating Cloud Cryptic III resembles a jewelry box or a drawer, allowing the viewer to fill its crevices with personal memories and interpretations. Similarly engaging, Tuttle’s low wall relief sculptures from his Whiteness series, each a unique triptych of found elements arranged in asymmetrical balance, confront the viewer at eye level. Further bridging the disciplines of minimalist sculpture and abstract painting, Richard Artschwager utilizes the rough side of the industrial material Celotex to create a highly texturized acrylic painting. As the artist has described of his Weave series, “Sculpture is for the touch, painting is for the eye. I wanted to make a sculpture for the eye and a painting for the touch.”

While more traditional in medium, many of the drawings and paintings in the collection similarly challenge art’s canonical traditions. The cartoonish designs of San Francisco-born Peter Saul draw heavily from 1940s comics, and, while vibrant and playful in appearance, prompt the viewer to question the hidden meanings behind graphics. Similarly, British artist David Shrigley incorporates deceptively simple imagery of smiling faces and handwritten text that paradoxically recall a personal, often melancholic, inner monologue. 

It is this personal narrative that links each of the featured artists in the following selection of uniquely intimate, humorous and original works. With these important collectors’ active and continued support throughout the included artists’ careers—from their time as students up to their success at international museum exhibitions, biennials and art fairs—it is the distinctive originality found in each of these works that motivated the assemblage of this special collection. Phillips is thrilled to have the chance to offer this property across our New Now, Photography and Editions sales this spring.

Explore Phillips: New Now on Artsy, and place max bids on nearly 200 artworks. Live bidding opens Tuesday, February 28th, at 2:00pm ET.