Sir Peter Blake (British, born 1932) Madame X 36.5 x 23.1 cm. (14 3/8 x 9 1/8 in.)

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Lot 3AR
Sir Peter Blake
(British, born 1932)
Madame X 36.5 x 23.1 cm. (14 3/8 x 9 1/8 in.)

Sold for £ 43,812 (US$ 54,451) inc. premium
Sir Peter Blake (British, born 1932)
Madame X
signed, inscribed and dated 'A Ficticious Lady Wrestler/'MADAM X' (?)/Peter Blake 2002' (on the backboard)
oil and collage on board with attached ornament
36.5 x 23.1 cm. (14 3/8 x 9 1/8 in.)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    With Waddington Galleries, London, 19 February 2007, where acquired by the present owner

    Exhibited
    New York, Paul Morris Gallery, Sir Peter Blake: And Now We Are 70, 16 November-21 December 2002
    Brussels, Artiscope, The Use of Speech II, April-May 2003
    Stockholm, Wetterling Gallery, Peter Blake: 1975-2005, 9 March-13 April 2006

    One aspect of wrestling which Blake has returned to on several occasions is its employment of masks. It has been suggested that the appeal for the artist is two-fold, firstly in the symmetry between the concealment of a wrestler's identity underneath an alter-ego and that underneath the apparent machismo they are really performers acting out a choregraphed routine. But also on a more personal level:

    'That many of the wrestlers also hide behind masks hints that beneath the bluster they may suffer from the same shyness as Blake himself who, as we know, grew a beard in his late teens in order to cover the scars of his cycling accident, in effect creating a lifelong mask for his own face. The wrestlers emerged as a subject in the same year that he painted Self-Portrait with Badges (1961). Was this just a coincidence? It suggests at least the possibility of a direct link between his representation of himself – and his adoption of multiple guises in a constantly shifting artistic identity – and his creation of an endless cast of compelling characters that function on at least a subliminal level as the exciting alter-egos for a man who knew himself to be quiet, retiring and self-effacing' (Marco Livingstone, Peter Blake, One Man Show, Lund Humphries, Farnham, 2009, p.97).
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