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Richard Prince (b. 1949)
PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
Richard Prince (b. 1949)

Untitled (Cartoon)

Details
Richard Prince (b. 1949)
Untitled (Cartoon)
signed three times, inscribed and dated '1990 J. Dogg R. Prince 1967' (lower right); signed again, dated again and inscribed 'Two Pants Suit R. Prince 1989 R. Prince 1989-1990' (on the overlap)
acrylic, silkscreen ink and spray enamel on canvas
75 x 58 in. (190.5 x 147.3 cm.)
Painted in 1989-1990.
Provenance
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Literature
S. Regen, Richard Prince: Women, exh. cat, Los Angeles, 2004, no. 17 (illustrated in color in an unfinished state).

Brought to you by

Robert Manley
Robert Manley

Lot Essay

Richard Prince's series of White Paintings, executed between 1985 and 1989, amalgamate captions, fragments of drawings and cartoons to produce a complex variant of his Joke paintings. Untitled (Cartoon) is part of that series, a cartoon image from the 1950s that Prince overlaid with the text of a "joke" about two girls from the Bronx. The girls are the joke's subject because of their accent, a fact Prince emphasizes with the repeated phonetic spelling of their "mispronunciation" that runs down the left-hand side of the canvas. Prince's jokes are not designed merely to be lighthearted and funny. Like much humor, they produce a laugh at the expense of someone else. As Freud showed, a joke often includes an element of hostility, a hidden desire to demonstrate one's superiority over someone else.
Prince used jokes in a way similar to the way in which he appropriated media imagery. In both cases, he constructed experiences through weaving together collective sources. By simply embedding the words onto the canvas, he brands the joke as his and not belonging to the public anymore. Untitled (Cartoon) is quintessential Prince, both playful and challenging, with intersecting polarities that imbue the work with enduring appeal.

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