Bill Viola (b. 1951)
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Bill Viola (b. 1951)

Four Hands

Bill Viola (b. 1951)
Four Hands
black and white video polyptych on four LCD panel displays
7 x 46 1/3 x 2 7/8in. (17.8 x 117.5 x 7.1cm.)
Executed in 2001, this work is from an edition of twelve plus two artist's proofs
Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum; London, National Gallery; Madrid, Fundaciòn "la Caixa" and Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, The Passions, January 2003-November 2005 (another edition exhibited).
Rochester, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, On the Other Hand: New Media and Classic Photographs of Hands February-May 2005 (another edition exhibited).
Leeds, Harewood House, Works by Bill Viola, 1996.
Kilkenny, St John's Priory, The 34th Annual Kilkenny Arts Festival, Four Hands, August 2007.
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


"Four small flat-panel display screens mounted on an aluminum shelf present moving images of four pairs of hands. Shot with a black-and-white low-light camera, the hands of a young boy, a middle-aged woman and man, and an elderly woman are seen as they slowly and deliberately form a series of predetermined gestures. The gestures are both familiar and strange, influenced by a variety of sources from Buddhist mudras to 17th century English chirologia tables. The symbolic patterns of the motions of three generations of hands, son-mother-father-grandmother, describe a timeline that encompasses both the parallel actions of the individuals in the present moment and the larger movements of the stages of human life" (B. Viola, quoted in Bill Viola, The Passions, Los Angeles 2004).