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MATT JOHNSON (b. 1978)

 
MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in. MATT JOHNSON - Pieta - cast bronze - 65 x 58 x 40 in.
Pieta200665 x 58 x 40 in. cast bronze
Provenance
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Private Collection, Idaho, 2006

230,000

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A leading figure in the Young British Artists movement in the late 1980s and 1990s, Damien Hirst garnered international attention with his striking displays with death as a central theme. The most recognizable examples include “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” (1991), a 14-foot-long glass tank with a shark preserved in formaldehyde, “Mother and Child Divided” (1993), an installation that featured a bisected cow and her calf displayed in four vitrines at that year’s Venice Biennale, and “For the Love of God” (2007), a diamond-encrusted human skull made of platinum. 
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<br>Some of Hirst’s most iconic images include Spot paintings, consisting of organized rows of colored circles, and Butterfly paintings, such as “Overwhelming Love” (2008). Hirst’s Butterfly paintings speak to his characteristic themes, offering the contradiction of death with the bright vitality of a butterfly's wings. Hirst explains: “I think rather than be personal you have to find universal triggers: everyone’s frightened of glass, everyone’s frightened of sharks, everyone loves butterflies.”
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<br>Damien Hirst Butterfly works feature prominently in his oeuvre, he started to incorporate them after flies, and other insects were accidentally affixed to some of his paintings. Hirst's record for paintings at auction is held by the butterfly painting "Eternity" which sold for $9.6 million in 2007.

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Richard Prince is one of the most influential names in contemporary art. Prince is part of The Pictures Generation, a loosely associated group of artists who appropriated mass media imagery to examine and question issues of stereotypes, cultural tropes, and the constructed narrative of images. Prince and The Pictures Generation helped to usher in post-modernism in art.
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<br>In the late 1970s, Richard Prince began taking photographs of photographs, appropriation art in line with the readymades of Marcel Duchamp. "Untitled (Portrait)(Boy)" was included in the sensational 2014 Gagosian exhibition, New Portraits. For this series, Prince himself commented on each of the Instagram images and appropriated them for this body of work, creating a precise snapshot of our time. This work and series ask us to question the meaning within the proliferation of “selfies” and how people use these images to create and to project a narrative of themselves. It also challenges ideas of authorship, both constructing and deconstructing the nature of images while capturing a sense of immediacy within the apparatus of social media.

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Ross Bleckner is a celebrated American painter whose works reference loss, memory, and change such as explorations of the cell during the AIDS epidemic or in response to his father’s cancer diagnosis. The 1965 MoMA exhibition that brought Op Art to the fore, The Responsive Eye and included artists Richard Anuszkiewicz, Tadasky, and Francis Celentano, had a profound influence on him as an artist. This painting, like his other immersive, large-scale works, elicit a powerful, hypnotic, dizzying effect. Aesthetically pleasing, Bleckner’s canvases explore perception – visual, emotional, physical, time. Bleckner is part of the same generation of and friends with Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Eric Fischl, and Peter Halley, all of whom returned painterly technique to the canvas.

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<br>Grosse is included in numerous museum collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and in 2019 was selected for a mural commission at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Untitled, 2015" has a prestigious exhibition history, having been included in: Venice Biennale Art, "All the World's Future," 2015 by Okwui Enwezor (curator).  
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<br>"That is the challenge for me, to find a way to make painting visible - make it a visceral part of our everyday life"- Katharina Grosse.

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