• Post-War & Contemporary Art Da auction at Christies

    Sale 7756

    Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Auction

    17 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 128

    Rudolf Stingel (b. 1956)


    Price Realised  


    Rudolf Stingel (b. 1956)
    signed and dated 'Stingel 2006' (on the reverse)
    oil and enamel on canvas
    19 x 23in. (50.2 x 60.3cm.)
    Executed in 2006

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    Special Notice

    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.
    From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot which it owns in whole or in part. This is such a lot.


    Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note this lot should be starred in the catalogue.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Part of Stingel's series of Silver paintings, the handmade quality of Untitled is demystified in his limited edition artist's book of 1989 titled Instructions. In it, Stingel deconstructs the techniques for creating his seemingly expressive works in a deadpan step-by-step style that is complete with black-and-white photographs and an accompanying text that states the directions in six languages. Stingel's recipe describes how to whip a brightly-coloured oil paint with a kitchen hand mixer, brush it onto the canvas, lay a sheet of gauze over it, rub with a squeegee, spray on silver enamel paint with an air gun, and then remove the gauze to reveal the finished painting. Rather than providing a deep insight into the mystique of the artist's psyche, Stingel offers a do-it-yourself guide that democratically allows anyone to create one of his works. Ironically, a sense of aura still clings to the surface of Stingel's painting, entrenched in its formal beauty. It is characteristic of Stingel that even while providing a critique of painting he simultaneously celebrates its aesthetic and intellectual pleasures.

    The painterly facade of Untitled offers pure and immediate visual delectation, its delicately encrusted silver pigment shimmering with a range of ineffable effects. Through a veil of silver that varies in its effect from a hazy mist to a rumpled satin, a field of blue pulses subtly under the surface - an effect worthy of canonization into the Abstract Sublime. Yet Stingel uses this aesthetic gratification as a lure, only to ensnare the viewer in what is actually a conceptually rooted construction.