Sandblasting, Solvent, Oxidation

I sometimes worry about posting too much stuff from auctions. But then I’ll see two works I haven’t thought about in a long time, and have never thought about together, and it only happened because they both happen to be for sale the same day.

Michael Heizer’s Sandblasted Etched Glass Window, 1976, installed in Peter Freeman’s booth at TEFAF 2019

In the early 70s Michael Heizer made a show, and maybe a series, of Sandblasted Etched Glass Windows. Peter Freeman had one installed at TEFAF NY 2019, and it really worked, like Heizer drawing on a framed landscape.

Michael Heizer, Sandblasted Etched Glass Window, 1974, glass & wood, 218 x 278 x 89 cm, lot 115 on 20 June 2024 at LA Modern

Seeing this one in a freestanding frame at LA Modern’s upcoming auction immediately made me think of Duchamp’s Large Glass, though, which felt new. Indeed, it’s as long as the Large Glass is tall, but the other dimension is bigger. Heizer’s Larger Glass.

Pae White, Ghost and Host, 2003, Plexiglas, solvent, mirror, 96 x 48 in., lot 141 on 20 June 2024 at LA Modern

Meanwhile, I had not kept up with Pae White’s work for a while, but I definitely remembered seeing the Summer group show this sculpture was in at Petzel in 2003. There were several of these distorted Plexiglas sheets in different colors, leaning on the walls like crack-addled McCrackens.

Pae White’s Ghost and Host, 2003, as installed at Friedrich Petzel, Summer 2003

It’s interesting to see the install shots from 2003, where the mirror backing is more evident, the opposite of Heizer’s window.

A large Warhol Oxidation Painting, 1979, 132 x 193 cm, which didn’t sell? at Bonham’s in 2005

Especially because it’s listed as an element of the work, the solvent made me think of Warhol’s oxidation paintings, which I happened to have heard mentioned on podcasts twice in the last couple of days: Blake Gopnik talking about handmade [sic] Warhol on The Art Angle; and the Nota Bene Boys discussing a sublime oxidation painting install in an NYC private collection.

And now when I imagine White pouring her solvent onto Plexi on the floor, and Heizer waving his sandblasting gun around, there’s Warhol and his assistants, too, hard at work, or working hard.