On February 11 in London, Christie's sells Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, oil on linen 197 x 249 cm, lot 36 estimated £ 480K. This artwork is dated 1997-1998 by the young artist, at the time of her first successes.
The scene takes place on an intensely colorful fragmented background that follows the enigmatic abstract landscapes painted by de Kooning. The reference for the title is a musical film by Stanley Donen in which a bride played by Jane Powell narrowly escapes polyandry in the wild mountains of Oregon.
Two nude figures are easily identifiable: a man seen from behind is progressing toward a reclining woman. The title plays a major role in the magic of the image, inviting the viewer to discover in the rest of the scene some pornographic or orgiastic details which are or are not therein.
The tangle of colors is such that an overall interpretation is impossible regardless of the time spent by the observer in his contemplation. This subtle game between the fantasy and the perceived goes beyond the figures covered by Pollock and Klein. Cecily Brown is the first artist to have brought a feminine sensibility to abstract expressionism.