Nov 16, 2023 - Sale 2653

Sale 2653 - Lot 280

Price Realized: $ 11,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 8,000
Untitled (David).

Painted plaster multiple, 1990. 430x254x127 mm; 17x10x5 inches. Edition of 18.

Provenance: Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne; private collection, New York.

Feldmann (1941-2023) was a German visual artist, a figure in the conceptual art movement and practitioner in the artist book and multiple formats, known in particular for his appropriation of famous artistic images. Among his most recognized appropriations, which he developed through numerous different painted plaster multiples, including the current version, a similar bust version published by the Edition Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, and a full length version, is that of Michelangelo's marble David sculpture. In the 1980s, the artist withdrew from the world of art in response to the increasing importance of money in the artistic sphere. He returned to art in the 1990s and chose to produce unlimited editions of works, which he no longer signed, thereby challenging the traditional codes and norms of the art market.

According to The New Yorker which reviewed Feldmann's exhibition at 303 Gallery, New York, September 15-October 29, 2016, "When the German artist won the Guggenheim's Hugo Boss Prize, in 2010, he used his prize money—a hundred thousand dollars—to paper the walls of the subsequent exhibition with one-dollar bills. You'll find the same wry humor and preoccupation with display in this winning show of found paintings, some of which have been playfully doctored. Aristocratic Prussians now sport red clown noses or heavy-metal tattoos; nudes seen from behind include a creditable copy of Ingres's Valpinçon Bather alongside garage-sale pinups; choppy seascapes might have been made en plein air or churned out for hotel décor. (Most of the paintings are suspended from wires, and their versos disclose which are vintage and which, such as a Venus of Urbino with a bikini tan, are not.) What makes Feldmann's installation more than a jape is his evident passion for the history of art: he's like a pining teen-ager who mocks his desire because he can't bring himself to say he's in love."