the lure of auction previews

Don’t you just love auction previews? You can feel the surface texture of a stone carving, lean in really really close to a painting without sounding alarms, pick up a ceramic bowl to peer at its underside.  And, in theory if not always in practice, you could own each and every one of the pieces you fall in love with.   Asia Week is in full swing in New York and, yesterday, at Christie’s preview for its sale of the Doris Wiener Collection, I fell head over heels for this 9th-century Khmer statue of Vishnu — something about the way it hovers between presenting an idealized vision of the human body and expressing a naturalistic appreciation of it.  Perfect for the depiction of a god’s human avatar, wouldn’t you say?

9th century, Khmer statue of Vishnu, The Doris Wiener Collection on sale at Christie’s

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