Lot Details

Completed in 1990, this mixed media work by Haim Steinbach perfectly captures his style of using found objects and combining them into a single work which speaks to the inundation of commercialism, kitsch, and low brow themes as translated through banal everyday things. Using a Bart Simpson rubber mask as the focal point, the artist aligns a row of four breast mugs in the background and carefully arranges everything on a yellow box. Exploring themes of Pop culture and the comically unabashed, Steinbach exemplifies his iconic use of transforming readymade objects into a something that makes the viewer stop and truly think about what it is they’re seeing.

Born in Rehovot, Israel and immigrating to the United States in 1944, artist Haim Steinbach (B. 1944) is known for incorporating a range of ordinary found objects in ways that symbolize a world overrun by consumerism, appropriation, and pop culture. Steinbach explores the relationship of objects within a cultural, societal, psychological, and traditional context to tease out visual perceptions, identities, and aesthetics. Carefully arranging his work on triangular shelves or boxes, Steinbach elevates his ordinary objects into the world of high art, much like Marcel Duchamp and his famous readymades, transcending the boundaries of what’s traditionally considered art. He received his BFA from the Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY), a diploma from the Université d’Aix Marseille (Marseille, France), and his MFA from Yale University (New Haven, CT). The artist has exhibited at numerous institutions worldwide including the Israel Museum (Jerusalem, Israel), Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY), LAMOCA (Los Angeles, CA), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and the National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto, Japan), among others.

Select Public Collections:
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Tate Modern, London
Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna

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The seller has recorded the following condition for this lot:
Are there any restorations?
Date: 2012/y
Location: Shelf edges.
Notes: There has been restoration completed on the shelf's edges.
Degree: Moderate
Date: Unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Location: Edge
Notes: Two minor chips are visible along the edges of the shelves. The areas are so small they cannot be photographed.

Conservation report available upon request.
Degree: Minor
Further information unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Surface Cracking (on synthetic materials, rubber, etc.)
Specific Areas Yes
Date: Unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Location: Mask
Notes: there are cracks visible throughout the rubber mask. The artist has viewed the work and confirms that the condition is consistent with age.
Degree: Moderate

Definition Key
Image The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Margin Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
Edge The farthest edge of the object.
Verso The reverse/back of the object.

Minor An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Moderate Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Major Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Extreme Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.

  • Jay Gorney Gallery, New York; Galerie Eric Van de Weghe, Brussels; Vanthournout Collection, Belgium; Sotheby’s New York, Sale #N08244, Nov. 15, 2006, Lot #422; Current owner, California
  • Pickup Location: California, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 45 x 28.4 x 25.5 in. (114.3 x 72.14 x 64.77 cm.)

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