Canadian Fine Art Auction

May 28, 2018

LOT 84

Lot 84


Lot 84 Details


acrylic on canvas, unframed
signed, titled and dated /84 on the reverse
60 ins x 81 ins; 152.4 cms x 205.7 cms

Estimate $10,000-$15,000

Realised: $12,000
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report


Acquired directly from the artist
Private Collection, Massachusetts



Carol Wainio (b.1955) is interested in Walter Benjamin’s concept of experience: for him, “Experience was what occurred in slower times when sensory matter slipped, un-registered, into memory… Benjamin saw this kind of experience overtaken by a kind of self-consciousness resulting from the “shocks” of industrialism, urbanism, technology, and the sudden speeding up of life.” Rather than the slowness of experience, which allowed an individual’s memory to merge with a collective history, modern life demanded a self-conscious readiness - an anticipatory awareness of new technologies and the new speeds of life. These are registered as a shock, a disenchantment, and constant self-reflection.

From her early career, Experience and Self-Consciousness demonstrates Wainio’s early interest in exploring these competing ideas with dramatic flair. Bodies emerge from the painting: tall figures resembling female forms or ancient philosophers are stitched together, woven with broad strokes of colour which function as promenades for smaller, evidently historical figures. These tall figures are perhaps structural pillars, as the right hand of the painting dissolves into a quasi-interior. Throughout there is a sense of velocity and action: sweeping brushstrokes and blurs of colour merge and collide, while promenaders dawdle across the indistinct planes. A woman’s face peers out at us, curious, perhaps looking for our input in explaining what’s going on. Rather than providing a resolution, Experience and Self-Consciousness demands that we question our place between these two modes of knowledge, and how we can understand them through the ongoing relationship between modernity and our own lived experience.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 84

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.