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Rudolf Stingel

Italian  •  b. 1956

Biography

Rudolf Stingel came to prominence in the late 1980s for his insistence on the conceptual act of painting in a context in which it had been famously declared dead. Despite the prevailing minimalist and conceptual narrative of the time, the Italian-born artist sought to confront the fundamental aspirations and failures of Modernist painting through the very medium of painting itself. While his works do not always conform to the traditional definitions of painting, their attention to surface, space, color and image provide new and expanded ways of thinking about the process and "idea" of painting. Central to his multifarious and prolific oeuvre is an examination of the passage of time and the probing of the fundamental questions of authenticity, meaning, hierarchy, authorship and context by dislocating painting both internally and in time and space. Stingel is best known for his wall-to-wall installations, constructed of fabric or malleable Celotex sheets, as well as his seemingly more traditional oil-on-canvas paintings.

Insights

  • As part of his affront to notions of authorship, Stingel famously invites individuals to draw or write into his pieces at various stages of the artistic process.

  • In 1989, Stingel released a how-to book at the Venice Biennale that instructed viewers in how to replicate one of his works.

  • Stingel's New York debut was in 1991 at Daniel Newburg Gallery, where he exhibited a bright orange rug in an otherwise empty white space.

  • Stingel is currently represented by Gagosian Gallery.

"Artists have always been accused of being decorators, so I just went to the extreme..."

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