Christie’s Contemporary Sculpture Show at Waddesdon Manor, U.K.

Urs Fischer (b. 1973) Bad Timing, Lamb Chop! Polyurethane enamel on cast aluminium 177.1/8 x 129.7/8 x 90.1/2in.
(450 x 330 x 230cm.) Executed in 2004-05, this work is from an edition of two plus one artist proof.

An extraordinary confluence of the past and the present is manifesting itself through October at the legendary Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, U.K. Christie’s Private Sales has organized “House of Cards,” an exhibition of major contemporary sculpture inspired by the Rothschild Collection’s recent purchase of Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin’s 1735 painting Boy Building a House of Cards. Scattered throughout the expansive grounds of the Manor—completed in 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild and still the collection’s home—are 33 works that Christie’s sees as “contemporary responses” to Chardin’s introspective work. (A parallel show, “Taking Time,” featuring all of the painter’s variations on the subject, is also being shown at Waddesdon Manor through July 15th.) Perhaps the most overtly connected is Richard Serra’s titular work, House of Cards, executed between 1969 and 1978. But the fun lies in seeing how and why certain pieces were chosen, including Urs Fischer’s Bad Timing, Lamb Chop!, Jeff Koons’ Aqualung and Damien Hirst’s This Little Piggy Went to Market, This Little Piggy Stayed at Home. New works from artists such as Anish Kapoor and Jeppe Hein are also included. And though a few of the works are on loan, most are for sale, for prices ranging from $100,000 to $12 million.

Richard Serra (b. 1939) House of Cards. Steel, in four parts
54.3/8 x 54.3/8 x 54.3/8in. (138 x 138 x 138cm.) Executed in 1969-78.

Tony Smith (1912-1980) Moondog, painted aluminium 205.1/8 x 188.5/8 x 163.3/8in. (521 x 479 x 415cm.)
Executed in 1964-1997, this work is from an edition of three.

Jeff Koons (b. 1955) Aqualung, bronze 27 x 17.1/2 x 17.1/2in. (68.6 x 44.5 x 44.5cm.) Executed in 1985,
this work is the artist proof from an edition of three plus one artist proof.

Damien Hirst (b. 1965) This Little Piggy Went to Market, This Little Piggy Stayed at Home. Glass, steel, GRP composites,
formaldehyde solution, pig and electric motor 181.1/8 x 48.3/4 x 65in. (460 x 124 x 165cm.) Executed in 1996.

Jean-Siméon Chardin, Boy building a House of Cards, 1735. Oil on canvas, 81.0 x 101.0 cm. Waddesdon, The Rothschild
Collection (Rothschild Family Trusts) © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor. Photo: Mike Fear

© Christie’s Images Limited 2012



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  1. The Chardin illustrated is not the version from a Rothschild Family Trust but is The Son of Monsieur Le Noir amusing Himself in making a House of Cards or The House of Cards, c. 1736-37 on loan from the National Gallery

    sarah rancans Jul 14 / 9:00 am