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Rudolf Stingel (b. 1956)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
Rudolf Stingel (b. 1956)

Untitled

Details
Rudolf Stingel (b. 1956)
Untitled
signed and dated 'Stingel 2012' (on the reverse)
oil and enamel on canvas
83 ¼ x 67in. (211.5 x 170.5cm.)
Executed in 2012
Provenance
Gagosian Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2012.
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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Lot Essay

‘For nearly 20 years [Stingel] has made work that seduces the eye while also upending most notions of what, exactly, constitutes a painting, how it should be made and by whom … He combines a love of painting with the postmodern suspicion of it, and often achieves a near-perfect balance between the visual and the conceptual’
–Roberta Smith

‘Stingel may be categorized in the group of artists who passionately pursue painterly effects that for the most part appear almost autonomously on the picture’s surface. The texture of the material’s surface is proof of its manufacture’
–Reiner Zittl


With its dazzling textured surface rendered in opulent purple and silver tones, Untitled is a magnificent large-scale example of Rudolf Stingel’s distinctive abstract works. Created by spraying paint and enamel onto canvas through carefully positioned stencils, it develops the innovative technique deployed in his silver paintings of the early 1990s. Within an oeuvre that has sought to redefine the nature of flat art through a variety of media, these works are complex in their materiality, caught somewhere between painting and printing whilst simultaneously confronting the viewer as ornamental, almost architectural constructs. Stingel’s fascination with decorative vernaculars has been variously attributed to his upbringing in the Italian Tyrol and Vienna, where he was exposed to a fusion of Baroque and Rococo aesthetics at an early age. Looming before the viewer like a fragment of a mural, fresco or wallpaper, the work transforms the canvas into a physical object in and of itself. Throughout his practice Stingel has sought to reconfigure our relationship with visual objects, redefining walls, floors and carpets as sites of artistic activity. His painterly abstractions are deftly balanced between pure visual indulgence and critical commentaries on image-making, working in the legacy of Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. ‘For nearly 20 years he has made work that seduces the eye while also upending most notions of what, exactly, constitutes a painting, how it should be made and by whom’, writes Roberta Smith. ‘… He combines a love of painting with the postmodern suspicion of it, and often achieves a near-perfect balance between the visual and the conceptual’ (R. Smith, ‘DIY Art: Walk on It, Write on It, Stroke It’, The New York Times, 29 June 2007).

The method employed by Stingel in these works was first documented in his 1989 book Instructions, which provided a step-by-step guide to producing his paintings. Deliberately demystifying the artistic process, and challenging the aura of the artist’s hand, the deadpan instruction manual laid the groundwork for his subsequent practice. Much of his oeuvre has been directed towards a reinvention of the picture plane as a material surface, rather than as a field of representation. This notion has been expanded to literal proportions on various occasions giving rise to the conceptual use of carpet and laminate flooring as performative artworks – surfaces that become progressively worn and besmirched by the continual traffic of gallery visitors. In 2013 the artist covered the walls and floors of the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, in Oriental rugs, immersing the viewer in a world of tactility and pattern. In his major mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2007, Stingel covered the gallery walls with metallic Celotex insulation board and invited viewers to draw and write on its soft reflective plane. The topographical surface of the present work resonates with these endeavours, mirroring the complexities of woven carpet fabric and even the scrawled etchings of graffiti. In this sense, Untitled may be said to transcend simple abstraction, conjuring instead a multitude of material associations.

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