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Rudolf Stingel (B. 1956)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Rudolf Stingel (B. 1956)


Rudolf Stingel (B. 1956)
signed and dated 'Rudolf Stingel 2007' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
15 x 20 ½in. (38.5 x 52.2cm.)
Painted in 2007
Sadie Coles, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007.
London, Sadie Coles, Rudolf Stingel, 2007.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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Francis Outred
Francis Outred

Lot Essay

Executed in 2007, Untitled builds on Stingel's silver monochrome paintings from the late 1980s created through his own unique strategy of semi-automatic methods, utilizing enamel and tulle fabric. Here in Untitled, Stingel uses a stencil to produce the feeling of a baroque-inspired fabric rendered by paint alone, conflating the visual richness of decorative painting with a Minimalist commitment to serialization and mechanized modes of creation. However, in a nod to the hand of the artist, Stingel intentionally inflects the surface with small deviations and highlights. Deeply interested in the seductive, tactile quality of painting, Stingel's applicative process imbues the surface with deceptive complexity, with his pattern taking on a raised, woven quality which not only alludes to the method of its creation but also contrasts with the arabesque pattern. By conflating the qualities of the painting with that of architecture and even sculpture, Stingel's practice is an investigation into Modernist precepts surrounding the definitions of artistic mediums.

Throughout his career Rudolf Stingel has put pressure on the modernist resistance to decoration, presenting the stylized floral design of a Baroque-inspired wallpaper as a freestanding abstract painting. While the familiar pattern might at first appear to be a merely banal fragment of a wall covering, upon closer inspection the painting reveals itself to be spatially ambiguous, as the variations of silver paint tones push and pull against each other to create a scintillating effect. In this way, Stingel's work alludes to the complex spatial interplay of Baroque art, but with a distinctly contemporary twist.

The particular decorative vocabulary present in Untitled relates to Stingel's roots, as he grew up in the Italian Tyrol and Vienna and was exposed at an early age to their histories of Baroque and Rococo art. The Baroque was a historical, aesthetic and stylistic pursuit that conflated artistic disciplines, bringing together painting, sculpture and architecture for dramatic and theatrical ends. In Stingel's practice, and especially in Untitled laden with the historical antecedents engendered in the pattern itself, the parameters of painting and architecture are amalgamated. Taking Robert Ryman's painterly investigations of the 1960s a step further, Stingel has spent the past thirty years investigating the boundaries of the medium through surface and materiality. His installations have progressed from silver celotex walls where viewers are invited to make their own mark on the surface to expanses of shag carpets that merge the surface and materiality of paint into one fused object. The thread which links all of his interrogations is that of the surface, and the potential for its tactility to engage us to leave a mark in the everyday. As one example of his exploration of this methodology from his monochrome series, the materials from Untitled both capture the presence of his gesture as well as the gesture itself, allowing the surface of his canvas to become an impressionable space.

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