David Humphrey (b.1955)
Horsey Love
signed, titled and dated 'Horsey Love 2014 David Humphrey' (on the reverse)
acrylic on canvas
60¼ x 72in. (153 x 183cm.)
Painted in 2014

Please note this lot is the property of a trader. See H1 of the Conditions of Sale.
Fredericks and Freiser, New York.
Irena Hochman Fine Art Ltd., New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2014.
New York, Fredericks and Freiser, David Humphrey: Work and Play, 2014.
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Lot Essay

David Humphrey is a renowned writer, critic and teacher as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship-winning artist. The monumental painting Horsey Love exemplifies his outlandish, intriguing and oddly comforting style. Against a neutral grey background, a pinkish-orange foal cosies up to a vast, sherbet-yellow silhouette of a horse’s head. The foal stands on mint-green turf; one foot plunges into a muddy puddle, while the other trails off the canvas into seeming infinity. A warm glow emanates from the animals’ point of contact. The equine affection – between two animals, or perhaps between the foal and a dreamt or imagined other, or alter ego – is palpable, even as the language of painting as we know it is taken apart. ‘To me,’ says Humphrey, ‘painting is evidence of a series of contacts; the matter of paint is deposited by touching, stroking, and pouring in psychologically charged ways’. Humphrey came of age in the postmodernist wave of the late seventies and early eighties, emerging alongside such artists as George Condo, Carroll Dunham and Kenny Scharf. As he explains of that time, ‘the impulse to break conventional pictorial language apart or mix it up was very pervasive. The assumption was that if you rubbed heterogeneous languages against each other you could either neutralize their power, or draw something else out as a new kind of power. I was interested in the latter … At first I wasn’t sure that there was a place for what I was doing in the context of the art world, mostly because what I was doing seemed too warm for that cool and analytic climate. But I imagined it possible to perform those detached operations with a humanist language, and still feel that way.’
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