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Čís. položky 273


Bill Viola


(born in New York in 1951)
Union, 2000, color video diptych on 2 plasma displays mounted vertically side by side on wall, 102,9 x 127 x 17,8 cm

This work is no. 1 of an edition of 5 plus 1 artist’s proof

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, an instruction manual and archival documents.



Provenance:
James Cohan Gallery, New York
Private Collection – acquired from the above in late 2000/early 2001
Phillips de Pury & Company New York, 8 November 2010, Lot 123
Tina Kim Gallery, New York
European Private Collection – acquired from the above in 2011

We are grateful to Bill Viola Studio, New York, for their kind assistance with cataloguing of this work.

Exhibited:
New York, James Cohan Gallery, Bill Viola,
14 October - 26 November 2000 (another example)
London, The National Gallery, Bill Viola: The Passions,
22 October 2003 – 4 January 2004 (another example)

Literature:
D. Frankel, Bill Viola at James Cohan Gallery, ArtForum, December 2000
J. Walsch ed., Bill Viola, The Passions, Los Angeles, 2003, page 265, illustrated (another example)
Y. Aznar, Bill Viola Repertorio de Pasiones/ Bill Viola: Repertoire of Passions, Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, Series VII, Historia del Arte, t.17, 2004, page 361

The American artist Bill Viola is one of the most renowned representatives of video art and has been instrumental in establishing this medium as a living form of contemporary art since the early 1970s. He addresses universal human experiences and deals intensively with the body, divergent temporal orders, spirituality and transcendence in his visually powerful works. His videos and installation-based worlds of experience are convincing in their technical precision as well as their contemplative presence and immediate emotionality.

The “Union” diptych is part of a series called “The Passions”, in which Viola explores intense emotions such as suffering and ecstasy, endurance and release. Inspired by the traditional painting and sculpture of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, he translates his motifs into powerful contemporary aesthetics.

“Union” consists of two flat screens placed side by side, showing a woman and a man contorting their bodies in their struggle to reach the source of the bright light overhead. Both are in a highly emotional state, but they experience this intensity in isolation, unaware of each other. When their physical and mental exertions reach their peak, they finally experience a kind of release. Their exhausted bodies relax, and their faces are full of amazement and wonder.
The video shows the couple’s actions in ultra-slow motion, which is typical of many of Viola’s works. By extending a one-minute performance to eight minutes, the artist exposes subtle nuances in the two figures’ expressions that would barely be perceptible in real time. This radical deceleration makes their emotional states seem both ephemeral and eternal, and thus a universal metaphor of human existence.

In formal terms, the couple’s gestures and half-length representation are reminiscent of the inward gazes and body language of medieval devotional paintings, such as the mourning Virgin, or Jesus as Man of Sorrows. Designed to arouse compassion like these historic images, Viola’s work aims to build an internal relationship with the viewer. Furthermore, his video’s visionary poetics impressively transcend our perception of the real world.

Expert: Mag. Patricia Pálffy Mag. Patricia Pálffy
+43-1-515 60-386

patricia.palffy@dorotheum.at

30.11.2022 - 18:00

Odhadní cena:
EUR 120.000,- do EUR 160.000,-

Bill Viola


(born in New York in 1951)
Union, 2000, color video diptych on 2 plasma displays mounted vertically side by side on wall, 102,9 x 127 x 17,8 cm

This work is no. 1 of an edition of 5 plus 1 artist’s proof

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, an instruction manual and archival documents.



Provenance:
James Cohan Gallery, New York
Private Collection – acquired from the above in late 2000/early 2001
Phillips de Pury & Company New York, 8 November 2010, Lot 123
Tina Kim Gallery, New York
European Private Collection – acquired from the above in 2011

We are grateful to Bill Viola Studio, New York, for their kind assistance with cataloguing of this work.

Exhibited:
New York, James Cohan Gallery, Bill Viola,
14 October - 26 November 2000 (another example)
London, The National Gallery, Bill Viola: The Passions,
22 October 2003 – 4 January 2004 (another example)

Literature:
D. Frankel, Bill Viola at James Cohan Gallery, ArtForum, December 2000
J. Walsch ed., Bill Viola, The Passions, Los Angeles, 2003, page 265, illustrated (another example)
Y. Aznar, Bill Viola Repertorio de Pasiones/ Bill Viola: Repertoire of Passions, Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, Series VII, Historia del Arte, t.17, 2004, page 361

The American artist Bill Viola is one of the most renowned representatives of video art and has been instrumental in establishing this medium as a living form of contemporary art since the early 1970s. He addresses universal human experiences and deals intensively with the body, divergent temporal orders, spirituality and transcendence in his visually powerful works. His videos and installation-based worlds of experience are convincing in their technical precision as well as their contemplative presence and immediate emotionality.

The “Union” diptych is part of a series called “The Passions”, in which Viola explores intense emotions such as suffering and ecstasy, endurance and release. Inspired by the traditional painting and sculpture of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, he translates his motifs into powerful contemporary aesthetics.

“Union” consists of two flat screens placed side by side, showing a woman and a man contorting their bodies in their struggle to reach the source of the bright light overhead. Both are in a highly emotional state, but they experience this intensity in isolation, unaware of each other. When their physical and mental exertions reach their peak, they finally experience a kind of release. Their exhausted bodies relax, and their faces are full of amazement and wonder.
The video shows the couple’s actions in ultra-slow motion, which is typical of many of Viola’s works. By extending a one-minute performance to eight minutes, the artist exposes subtle nuances in the two figures’ expressions that would barely be perceptible in real time. This radical deceleration makes their emotional states seem both ephemeral and eternal, and thus a universal metaphor of human existence.

In formal terms, the couple’s gestures and half-length representation are reminiscent of the inward gazes and body language of medieval devotional paintings, such as the mourning Virgin, or Jesus as Man of Sorrows. Designed to arouse compassion like these historic images, Viola’s work aims to build an internal relationship with the viewer. Furthermore, his video’s visionary poetics impressively transcend our perception of the real world.

Expert: Mag. Patricia Pálffy Mag. Patricia Pálffy
+43-1-515 60-386

patricia.palffy@dorotheum.at


Horká linka kupujících Po-Pá: 10.00 - 17.00
kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Aukce: Současné umění I
Datum: 30.11.2022 - 18:00
Místo konání aukce: Wien | Palais Dorotheum
Prohlídka: 22.11. - 30.11.2022