Concrete Contemporary Art

October 20 — 25, 2018
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 44

Lot 44


Lot 44 Details


waterjet-cut aluminum
signed and numbered 6/9 on the reverse
30.25 ins x 42 ins; 76.8 cms x 106.7 cms

Estimate $6,000-$9,000

Realised: $6,000
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images

Private Collection, Tornoto


Ed Pien’s career frequently evokes questions of the body, archetypes, and the convergences of history and beliefs. Tree of Life explores this mutability, fusing together bodies and cultures into a cohesive gestalt. A central trunk fans out in fractal branches, becoming a labyrinth of limbs and figures. Emerging out of the knot are pagodas, birds, other trees; human figures with avian heads hover on the periphery, about to leap off into the air. The sculpture almost denies its material truth: it is thinly made, flattened, delicately cut out of a sheet of aluminum. It has no depth, and no heaviness. Rather, it takes on the image of a shadow puppet, or the large scale paper cutouts that Pien has made previously. As a result, the trees, the figures and structures that comprise the sculpture don’t seem to have any tangible weight that would force us to consider them as real, tangible subjects - they are too flimsy, too delicate, too mercurial. The hybridised bodies are malleable and generative, freely able to shift from one form to another as they organise the sculpture: skin becomes feathers becomes wood becomes limbs. These dreamlike, protean drifts don’t signal a visual instability but a kind of magic - a willingness to play with the body within the treescape’s tangled network.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 44

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.