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Francis Alÿs (Belgian, b.1959)
LOT ID: 79504
The Who, 2000

Mixed Media, on tracing paper
11 х 8.5 in. (27.94 x 21.59 cm.)
Signed, dated, and titled, on recto.
Lot description
Framed size is 18.2 x 15.7 in., under Denglas. There are two minor chips to the wooden frame, lower center and lower left. There are no condition issues with the work itself.

This 2000 drawing evokes the projects, or ‘walks’, which have earned Francis Alÿs international recognition. In one of his most well-known videos from the same year, “Re-enactments”, the artist walks through the crowded streets of Mexico City carrying a loaded gun until he is ultimately arrested. A tangible record of his often ephemeral work, “The Who” exemplifies Alÿs’ exploration of urbanity and social justice through interaction and direct interjections into the world around him.

Although he studied as an architect, Francis Alÿs (b. 1959) decided to become a visual artist after moving to Mexico City from his native Belgium in 1986. Inspired by the unrest he observed in Mexico, Alÿs’ work addresses the economic, social, and cultural issues that come with urbanization. His works are interactive, often employing volunteers in his performances such as his piece “When Faith Moves Mountains”, where Alÿs had 500 people move a shovelful of sand just a few inches to make a new hill. Alÿs has exhibited at institutions the world over including recent solo shows at Tate Modern, London, England; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Wiels Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels, Belgium; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland, among countless others. He lives and works in Mexico City.

Selected Public Collections:
Tate Collection, London, England
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
National Gallery of Canada, Ontario, Canada
Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Museum für Moderner Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Who by Francis Alÿs
  • The Who by Francis Alÿs
  • The Who by Francis Alÿs
  • The Who by Francis Alÿs
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