Work of the Week: Jordy Kerwick’s ‘Le Tigre’ (2022)

This bold rug is an updated version of the work that set the artist's auction record.

Jordy Kerwick (b. 1982), Le Tigre, 2022. Courtesy of Vigo Gallery

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Summer has finally arrived in London this week, and so has the city’s annual June art week, which sees a busy line-up of auctions and fairs. One of them is Eye of the Collector, a curated boutique event that showcases 20th- and 21st-century art and design from 18 exhibitors from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. This year, it’s taking place at the Grade II–listed Garrison Chapel at the capital city’s Chelsea Barracks.

Among the works that caught our eye is Le Tigre (2022), a rug version of a canvas work of the same name by the artist Jordy Kerwick. Born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1982, the self-taught artist is now based in Albi, France. He took up painting in 2016, and uses a bold palette to create dreamy depictions of animals and mythical creatures. They have won him a solid following, and he has had exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, and Madrid, where he showed nine works at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza earlier this year.

The canvas version of Le Tigre (2020) holds the artist’s record at auction, having sold for $277,200 (including fees) against a fees-free high estimate of $35,000 at Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Curated sale in March 2022.

Made with hand-knotted recycled sari silk in Persian knots, Kerwick’s rug measures about 9 feet by 8 feet and has some iconography not present on the original canvas, like objects and animals surrounding the tigers that suggest additional pictorial narratives. The texture of the textile has also added an extra sense of depth to the composition. If you missed out on winning the earlier Le Tigre at auction, you may have more luck with the rug. The example on view is one of two artist’s proofs from an edition of 10.

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