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Untitled (‘The peeled white body of the beheaded whale flashes like a marble sepulchre;...Slowly it floats more and more away, the water round it torn and splashed by the insatiate sharks, and the air above vexed with rapacious flights of screaming fowls, whose beaks are like so many insulting poniards in the whale. The vast white headless phantom floats further and further from the ship, and every rod that it so floats, what seem square roods of sharks and cubic roods of fowls, augment the murderous din.’)

2014 – 2016
Solid cast glass with as-cast surfaces, with oculus
Unique
72.4 cm / 28.5 in (height)
106.7 cm / 42 in (diameter)

USD 1,500,000

Roni Horn

Using drawing, photography, installation, sculpture and literature, Roni Horn’s work consistently questions and generates uncertainty to thwart closure in her work, engaging with many different concerns and materials. Important across her oeuvre is her longstanding interest to the protean nature of identity, meaning, and perception, as well as the notion of doubling; issues which continue to propel Horn’s practice.

Untitled (‘The peeled white body of the beheaded whale flashes like a marble sepulchre;…Slowly it floats more and more away, the water round it torn and splashed by the insatiate sharks, and the air above vexed with rapacious flights of screaming fowls, whose beaks are like so many insulting poniards in the whale. The vast white headless phantom floats further and further from the ship, and every rod that it so floats, what seem square roods of sharks and cubic roods of fowls, augment the murderous din.’)

Roni Horn’s pellucid ice-blue sculptures belong to the world of natural forces, to the gorgeous mass and mutability of the elements. Created throughout the course of 2014 to 2016, ‘Untitled’ is part of monumental body of cast-glass sculpture that Horn has made since the 1990s. To produce this work, Horn poured delicately colored molten glass into a mold. The liquid-hot glass assumed the mold’s shape and qualities as it gradually annealed over the course of three to four months. A trace of the mold remains visible on the sides and bottom of the sculpture, creating a frosted appearance that contrasts with the sculpture’s fire-polished top — its Pantheonic ‘oculus’ — characterized by a glossy surface that resembles a crystalline pool of water, a kinship emphasized by its gelid blue hue.

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Celebrating Basel Basel

In 2016, Fondation Beyeler presented an exhibition devoted to Roni Horn including photographic series, works on paper, and cast glass sculptures. Curated by Theodora Vischer, the exhibition was conceived for the museum spaces in close collaboration with the artist, focusing on ideas of identity and mutability.