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Christie's to offer a stunning portrait of Joan Collins as part of the Collection of Douglas S. Cramer sale
John Currin, Gezellig ( Joan Collins). Oil on canvas, 36 x 28 in. Painted in 2006. Estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced the sale of works from the Collection of Douglas S. Cramer as a highlight of its highly anticipated Post-War & Contemporary Art sales in November 2012 in New York. Cramer is one of the most successful producers in the history of television and renowned for such legendary shows as Love Boat, Wonder Woman, Dynasty and for developing Batman, Peyton Place, and The Odd Couple. Among the works offered in the Evening sale on November 14th , Christie's will present a stunning portrait of Joan Collins, by John Currin.

John Currin’s Gezellig is an important painting that forms part of his recent series inspired by pornographic imagery. The in-your-face foreshortening of this composition is designed to challenge the viewer to look up at the model’s face, the usual first point of call in observing humans in real life or representations. Controversial and driven by his own unique vision, Currin has been heralded as one of the most important artists of his generation and in the powerful position of re-directing people back to discussions of painting's relevance. With Gezellig he appears to play on the idea of painting as fetish object, doomed to be a victim of the lustful, objectifying male voyeur, while humorously re-casting the subject of Gustav Courbet’s erotic masterpiece L’Origine du monde as a slightly bored, middle-class intellectual.

Despite this statement about his increasingly virtuosic technique, Currin has not lost his ambition or his ability to shock. Gezellig was created for Currin’s first exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery, in which more explicit content was presented than in any other images created by the politically incorrect provocateur. The painting was exhibited with several scenes of group sex and climaxing couples based on both vintage porn and the Venus’ of centuries old paintings. Gezellig’s sultry brunette is modeled on a cover image from a 1970s sex magazine showing soap super-star Joan Collins in scanty black lace lingerie. Currin has undressed the actress even further here, completely exposing her erogenous zones while placing a book in her hand and toning down her make-up to partially diffuse the photograph’s aggressive sexuality. This is the inverse of the portraits of dowdy menopausal women that first brought Currin attention in the early 1990s. The source image of a then 45-year-old Collins, taken during her 1978 movie The Stud, showed she was clearly still in her prime, indeed it caught her in the upswing of her fame, a couple of years before she was offered a role in Dynasty. Currin retains much of her charm and physical beauty in this painting, somehow sidestepping his typical exaggeration of the body to preserve her sexual allure.





Today's News

October 8, 2012

Exhibition at the Grand Palais seeks to shed light on Edward Hopper's works of art

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei gets showcase at Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Rothko mural defaced by a vandal who scrawled graffiti on the painting at London's Tate Modern

Major exhibition offers unprecedented examination of Picasso's black-and-white palette

One of the most important collections of 20th Century German and Austrian art in the world on view at Richard Nagy

Exhibition of new paintings by Luc Tuymans inaugurate David Zwirner's new space in London

Sotheby's Hong Kong 20th Century Chinese Art Fall Sale totals $24.6 million

Major exhibition at Turner Contemporary brings together a selection of Alex Katz' works

The Museum of Modern Art presents Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972

Iraqi-American artist Ahmed Alsoudani opens first exhibition at Haunch of Venison in New York

Bertoia's announces Nov. 10 auction of Dick Claus antique boat and nautical toy collection - Part II

Benrimon Contemporary opens exhibition in conjunction with the publication of Thank You Andy Warhol

Kunsthal Rotterdam presents "Avant-Gardes: The collection of the Triton Foundation"

Amon Carter presents "To See as Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection"

Dayton Art Institute exhibition features the 'Lightpaintings' of artist Stephen Knapp

Christie's to offer a stunning portrait of Joan Collins as part of the Collection of Douglas S. Cramer sale

Tampa Museum of Art fall exhibition celebrates the works of legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson

Hamilton College opens new Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art

Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian paintings sale achieves $15.5 million

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