Phillips to offer a seminal Yoshitomo Nara canvas

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Phillips to offer a seminal Yoshitomo Nara canvas
Yoshitomo Nara, Hot House Doll, in the White Room III, 1995, acrylic on canvas, 119.8 x 109.9 cm. Estimate Upon Request.

HONG KONG.- Phillips will offer Yoshitomo Nara’s Hot House Doll, in the White Room III as a highlight of the recently announced Phillips in Association with Poly 20th Century & Contemporary Art and Design Hong Kong Sales in November. The historically important Hot House Doll, in the White Room III was exhibited in numerous institutional exhibitions and appeared as the cover of the artist’s catalogue raisonné, Yoshitomo Nara Complete Works 1984–2010, published in 2011. In particular, it was featured in the ‘Major Works’ section of this publication, considered the most extensive literature and survey of Nara’s work ever published to date. Its highlight as the front cover of this monumental publication as well as having been handpicked by the artist to be included in a curated section highlight its eminence in the artist’s oeuvre.

Isaure de Viel Castel, Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Phillips Hong Kong, said, “Hot House Doll, in the White Room III is one of the finest examples of Yoshitomo Nara’s distinctive and touching portrayal of childhood, drawing from memories forged during those crucial years in Germany. The painting features a full body portrait of a little girl with a broody, mischievous sulk, along with the artist’s signature wide-open almond-shaped eyes, highlighting Nara’s fixation with the darker side of childhood innocence. The blue baby doll dress depicted in the present work is rare in the artist’s oeuvre, a motif that is only scattered sporadically throughout the 1990s. Phillips is honoured to be entrusted with the sale of this painting, which reappears at auction for the first time after 12 years having remained in a private collection, and we look forward to presenting it alongside other exciting and in-demand works in the groundbreaking collaborative sales this season co-hosted by Poly.”

Hot House Doll, in the White Room III was executed in 1995 – a particularly momentous year for Yoshitomo Nara, marked especially by the publication of his first ever book of paintings. In 1995, he also had his first show with Blum & Poe Gallery, which started representing him internationally in the same year, as well as a breakthrough solo exhibition, In the Deepest Puddle, at SCAI the Bathhouse in Tokyo. Since then, Nara’s position as one of the most acclaimed living Japanese artists has steadily solidified. The layered background in the present work showcases the artist’s unique way of building impasto to create soft and sensual backdrops, exemplifying a painterly technique that he gradually developed and refined in the 1990s. During his residence in Germany in the 1990s, the loneliness of living abroad catapulted Nara back to the days of acute loneliness in his childhood, and his profound sense of alienation manifested itself in his iconic portraits of solitary children, fueling refinement and development of his signature style.

Hot House Doll, in the White Room III is the first highlight of Phillips in Association with Poly 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale on November 29th. In this collaboration, Phillips and Poly Auction will work together to broaden their global reach, offering more collectors and art enthusiasts the unique opportunity to participate in sales of the very best 20th Century and Contemporary Art. Additional highlights of the sales will be announced in the coming weeks.

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