On the occasion of the 20th century Art 1950 to present auction, a rare ensemble of 36 artworks from Philippe Hiquily’s private collection will be presented.
“Sculptor, Philippe Hiquily, passed away almost six years ago, on 27th March 2013, the day of his 88th birthday, having lived a long and full life and having produced works that spanned a period of over 60 years. This auction brings together his personal collection, which comprises a number of works he decided to keep in his home in Concremiers, a small village in the Berry region, along with 4 items of furniture made of aluminum, which were specially created for the Hiquily suite in the Hotel Lutetia in Paris. The Hiquily suite was created in 2010 and comprised a large number of original pieces of furniture selected by the artist. He felt totally at home in the illustrious rive gauche palace hotel, which had become his second residence. With this suite dedicated to his furniture, he felt even more at home. Whether it was made of cast aluminium made by the Bocquel foundry or of hammered sheets of aluminium, the furniture had a style of its own because of the originality of the material from which it was made. Although Hiquily’s furniture was always best known for being made from brass, the sculptor used cast aluminium as early as the start of the 1970s for a console table with a Plexiglas table top by Jean-Claude Farhi. The auction also comprises an original console table and a skittle table produced by Yves Gastou in 2009 in both brass and aluminium versions with table tops in petrified wood. This furniture accompanied the artist for many years, first in his apartment in the 14th arrondissement, and finally in his house in the Berry. Three major works also feature in the artist’s personal collection, and as he dedicated all of his work to Woman, it is ironic that they should be masculine sculptures. His Autoportrait from 1972, with his photograph of Maurice Rheims, is representative of Hiquily’s work in the 1970s. Here provocation and derision are at their climax, in the same way that in the two other works presented in this auction, which are also like self-portraits where Man is in turn enchained and hung by himself (Prométhée, 1982) or covered in padlocks (Onan, 1991), the sculptor seems to portray himself as a prisoner of his erotic desires. Finally, come several pictorial works which testify to Hiquily’s taste for experimentation with unusual techniques and supports. Thus, La Voix was created in 1973 using an electronic process called a video synthesiser which autonomously generated assortments of colours and shapes. Hiquily spent the last years of his life in Tahiti, where his wife, Yen, was born and where he carried out several series of paintings on tapa, reviving this ancestral Polynesian practice and dealing with one of his great preoccupations, that of getting inside the “skin” of an artist of the primitive peoples.”
Tara Hiquily, 9th February 2019