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Lot No. 4
Ryan and Trevor Oakes


  • NYC Benefit Auction

  • Tribeca Rooftop

Have No Narrow Perspectives: Field Museum, 2011
Pigment inkjet, cotton paper, linen tape, museum board, ink
Edition 4/5, hand-fabricated multiple
40 × 42 × 20 inches

Wrote The New York Times about identical twins and collaborators Ryan and Trevor Oakes: “The brothers, who have been engaged in a deep colloquy on the nature of bifocal vision since toddlerhood, have recently developed one of the most intriguing breakthroughs in the depiction of physical reality since the Renaissance: They have come up with a method for tracing camera-obscura-exact renderings of the world before them onto a concave grid with no other optical equipment (no lenses, no pinholes) except their own unaided eyes.”

Intrigued by double vision, they taught their eyes to resist acting in concert, and built a custom easel grid, which instead of holding one sheet of paper accommodates horizontal strips of paper.  When the drawing is complete, in fantastic detail as you see in this work of the Field Museum in Chicago, the strips are taped to create a convex cup shape that mimics the contour of the human eye. Looking at their unique work, you will journey with them as they explore the logic of art, the beauty of mathematics, and the spaces where these two arenas of knowledge become inextricably intertwined. The process is as physically grueling as it sounds, with one drawing taking up to several months, as they navigate a new relationship between sight, space, and the mysteries of perception.

The Oakes brothers, who live and work in New York, have had solo exhibitions at the National Museum of Mathematics, New York; The Field Museum, Chicago; and Spertus Museum, Chicago. Their works are in the collections of the Getty Research Institute; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Field Museum, Chicago; and the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles, among others. In October, you can find them daily at the New York Public Library drawing the Rose Room, and their work is on view at MASS MoCA in Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder, on view through March 19, 2017.

Please note: This work is being exhibited currently at MASS MoCA and will be available for transport after March 19, 2017.

Estimated value: $8,500

The October 25 live auction will be conducted by Eric Widing, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Americas. To place an absentee bid, fill out this form, and email it to Rebecca Wehry at rwehry@massmoca.org by 10am on October 25.