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signed and dated 'Stingel 92' (on the reverse)
oil and enamel on canvas
47 1⁄2 x 39 3⁄8in. (120.5 x 100cm.)
Executed in 1992
Metropol Gallery, Vienna.
Private Collection, Vienna.
Private Collection, Germany (acquired from the above circa 1994).
Anon. sale, Christie's London, 14 February 2013, lot 244.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
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.
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay

With its gleaming, iridescent surface, Untitled is a seductive large-scale painting by Rudolf Stingel. Diaphanous silver succumbs to swathes of yellow as metallic flashes shimmer across the misty, mutable expanse. These daring veils of colour seemingly defy the traditional division between abstraction and figuration. Executed in 1992, Untitled forms part of the artist’s series of ‘silver paintings’, in which he sprays metallic enamel through a layer of gauzy fabric that has been laid over a chromatic backdrop. The resulting works carry hazy impressions of the folded and creased material, creating a rich dynamic of lustrous surface and glowing undertones. The present example ripples with chromatic possibility; the silver of the surface is never static, but rather offers a vision of constant flux.

‘Mr. Stingel,’ wrote critic Roberta Smith, ‘is among the great anti-painting painters of our age, a descendant of Warhol but much more involved with painting’s conventions and processes, which he alternately spurns, embraces, parodies or exaggerates. His art asks what are paintings, who makes them, and how?’ (R. Smith, ‘The Threads That Tie a Show Together,’ New York Times, 20 August 2013). Stingel, who was the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel in 2019, has devoted his career to redefining his medium. In 1989 he published Instructions, a step-by-step guide explaining exactly how to make a silver painting. Stingel democratised  his methods, allowing anyone who wanted to paint a ‘Stingel’ the means to do so. By questioning ideas of authorship and authenticity, Stingel’s practice challenges accepted conventions and destabilises the perceived aura of the individual artwork. Aiming to demystify both the art object as well as the artistic process itself, Untitled presents a challenge to the very nature of painting.

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