Sale 14575
Modern/British Art online
Online 2 - 13 December 2016

Maddox was active as a surrealist until 2003 and became increasingly irritated with the growing assumption that Surrealism had ended shortly after the Second World War. His annoyance came to a head in 1978, when the Hayward Gallery’s exhibition Dada and Surrealism Reviewed presented Surrealism as defunct by the 1940s. To prove this wrong, Maddox mounted the simultaneous and appositely titled exhibition Surrealism Unlimited, which demonstrated the converse. Even before then, Maddox had been challenging what he regarded as a misguided obsession with dates among academics. To this end he occasionally mis-dated some of his works, either making them earlier or later than their completion. In Maddox’s own words, this was ‘a Surrealist joke’ to rebuff those who considered the date of a work more important than its content. He used two methods of mis-dating; ‘primary’, when the hoax dating would be made from the outset, or ‘secondary’, when an inscribed date would be altered, sometimes years after the work’s completion. Like Passage de l’Opéra (1940/1970) in Tate, Conquest of the Irrational incorporates a ‘primary’ hoax dating. We are very grateful to Silvano Levy for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry, and those for lots 26 and 28.

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This lot is offered by Christie Manson & Woods Ltd