ONLINE AUCTION
Post-War & Contemporary Art | Part One
4th Session

September 02 - September 30, 2021

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LOT 318

1956 -
Canadian

Onions, eggs, milk, butter, newspaper
laminated c-print on sintra, lacquer, enamel & aluminum
on verso signed and dated 1993 - 2010
72 x 95 5/8 x 1 7/8 in, 183 x 243 x 5 cm

Available for post auction sale.

PRICE: $25,000

Preview at: Heffel Vancouver

PROVENANCE
L.A. Galerie, Frankfurt
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Vancouver, 2010

LITERATURE
Ken Lum, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2011, reproduced page 32 and listed page 127

EXHIBITED
Vancouver Art Gallery, Ken Lum, February 12 - September 25, 2011, reproduced on the invitation for the exhibition opening


The works of Ken Lum’s Portrait-Repeated Text series explore the familiar experience of streetscapes, offering a bystander’s insight into the inner monologues, chanted reassurances, or emotional eruptions of anonymous passers-by. Onions, eggs, milk, butter, newspaper is a fantastic example. A small boy, presumably given strict instructions not to forget, repeats a shopping list on the way to the store. The bold blue text on a yellow field bears the graphic intensity and repetition of advertising copy, while the image has the documentary generality of a stock photograph, but the scene is immediately recognizable. The boy looks down so as not to be distracted, but distractions abound: discarded packaging, wildflowers, maybe a passing car all threaten to interrupt his focus. Moreover, the list threatens to fall apart altogether, as each mumbled repetition runs the risk of the words losing their semantic meaning. Presented with voyeuristic distance, the work exists at the tension between intimacy and detachment. Lum puts us in a questioning position - do we wait in idle expectation for the boy to make an inevitable mistake? Or do we offer him a pen and paper?

Onions, eggs, milk, butter, newspaper is an important work by Lum and was included in his 2011 retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

This work is Artist Proof 2A, plus an edition of 3.

Included with this photograph is a certificate of authenticity, signed by the artist and Lothar Albrecht, of L.A. Galerie, Frankfurt, in 2010.

Please note: this work is unframed.


All prices are in Canadian Dollars


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