Published: September 22, 2020
NEW YORK CITY – An auction record was set for Nancy Graves (1939-1995) when Doyle sold the American artist’s 1979 oil and encaustic on canvas “Vertigo” for $200,000 in the firm’s September 17 Important Paintings sale.
In 1969, Graves received a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum, becoming both the youngest person and the fifth woman to do so at the time.
“‘Vertigo’ is an encapsulation, in a sense, of Graves’ unique approach: large, bold gestures that are not representational forms, as much as we may wish they were,” wrote Doyle’s senior vice president and director of paintings Angelo Madrigale. “Graves provides no narrative, nor an identifiable picture plane. What elements are in the foreground? In the background? Graves was intent on exploring perception, on the time we need to look at a work in order to truly see it. She provides no singular focal point. As with many of Graves’ works, ‘Vertigo’ requires attention and focus, to look and look again, to approach from other angles and viewpoints.”
The work had provenance to M Knoedler & Co and a 1993 Christie’s sale. It measured 64 by 80 inches.
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