Roni Horn (American, 1955) When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 1993

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Lot 27
Roni Horn
(American, 1955)
When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863
1993 / 2000

Sold for US$ 200,075 inc. premium
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT BAY AREA COLLECTION
Roni Horn (American, 1955)
When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863
1993 / 2000

incised '863' (on one end of each element)
solid cast black plastic and aluminum, in four parts

Smallest Element: 41 3/4 by 2 by 2 1/8 in.
106 by 5.1 by 5.4 cm.

Largest Element: 61 by 2 by 2 1/8 in.
155 by 5.1 by 5.4 cm.

This work was executed in 2000, and is number 2 from an edition of 3.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Galerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 2002


    That Distance was between Us
    That is not of Mile or Main —
    The Will it is that situates —
    Equator — never can —

    Emily Dickinson


    Hailing from one of the artist's best-known series, When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 (1993) is a superb example of sculpture that would define her practice.

    Horn has created four series employing the writings of the infamously aloof nineteenth-century American poet and writer Emily Dickinson. The present series, When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, is made up of six works each illustrating a complete poem by Dickinson. Beginning in the early 1990s, Horn began employing Dickinson's letters and poems with the title of the present series stemming from a line in a letter written by Dickinson to a friend in 1870 in which she wrote: 'to shut my eyes is to travel.' Whilst Dickinson spent much of her life in isolation, in some cases never leaving her bedroom, Horn is an avid traveler particularly to Iceland about which Horn said: 'Dickinson stayed home to get at the world. But home is an island like [Iceland]. And I come to this island to get at the very center of the world' (the artist in: 'I Go To Iceland' in Roni Horn, London 2000). The language of this particular poem, implying distance between two halves, further instills the sense of place that runs throughout this series.

    Employing Dickinson's succinct and singular approach to language, Horn divides the lines of her poem across sleek, highly engineered rods. This encourages the viewer to fully parse and explore each line of the poem both physically and regarding the literature. As one moves about the work the text oscillates between Dickinson's words and abstract black lines segmenting the rods, underlying each person's unique reading of the text. The leaning nature of the rods also means that no one viewing, or reading, will be alike, encouraging an ongoing journey of both the text and the work.

    Coming to auction for the first time, the present work has been in an important private collection since its acquisition in 2002. Horn has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at The University Museum of Contemporary Art, Amherst; the Menil Collection, Houston; Pinakothek der Moderne Kunst, Munich; the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas and Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland. Her works are in the permanent collections of the worlds most celebrated museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Kunstmuseum, Basel; the Art Institute of Chicago and the Tate, London.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the date of this work is 1993/2000. This work was conceived in 1993 and executed in 2000.
Contacts
Roni Horn (American, 1955) When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 1993
Roni Horn (American, 1955) When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 1993
Roni Horn (American, 1955) When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 1993
Roni Horn (American, 1955) When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 1993
Roni Horn (American, 1955) When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 1993
Roni Horn (American, 1955) When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 1993
Roni Horn (American, 1955) When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863 1993
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