Untitled

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Treading a thin line between satire and subversion, Richard Prince’s art seeks to disorient its audience with a sense of pseudo-familiarity. Foraging from photographs, billboards, and pulp fiction—the latter thanks to the artist’s ardent bibliophilic tendencies—Prince’s work destabilises our notions of authenticity and authorship. When taken against the wider context of Prince’s ‘re-photography’ techniques, Untitled is a work that similarly features the artist’s adoption and repackaging of the world around him; a plane rife with various racial and sexual neuroses, perpetuated by a smorgasbord of mainstream humour, mythical cowboys and fetishised pin-up girls.

    One of Prince’s most coveted figures, the trope of the ‘naughty nurse’ is a prevailing icon that continually resurfaces in the artist’s lexicon, and which originates from cabaret, pornography, and fashion magazines. From the late nineties onwards, and drawing from the covers of his own collection of mid-century Naughty Nurse books, Richard Prince created a series based on the same book titles, producing works from Millionaire Nurse to Man-Crazy Nurse. In these, Prince presents the viewer with a nurse-turned-seductress, masked and set against a dark, dripping surface, shown alongside a provocative yet ambiguous book title in neon. In de-contextualising the source of his protagonists, the nurses lend themselves to a renewed meditation of American pop culture that stretches beyond the boundaries of its original subject matter.

    In 2007, Prince would go on to collaborate with Marc Jacobs on a Spring/Summer 2008 Louis Vuitton collection based on such ‘Nurse Paintings’. The collaboration proved so iconic that the duo cooperated further in 2009, on Louis Vuitton x “After Dark”, an exploration of cityscapes at night. As Prince recounts, “The After Dark series is another subject matter that’s just starting for me. It started when I met with Marc Jacobs a couple of years ago. I started to come up with some ideas for a campaign and one of the ideas was Louis Vuitton after dark. I also just remembered I had all these ‘After Dark’ books in my library and what I liked about them was, aside from the suggestion of what that actually means, the books had been written in all these different cities that I would find. I tried to hunt them down and every country seemed to have an ‘After Dark’ book. I liked the little text that went with it and I liked the font.” (N.Skukur, ‘Interview with Richard Prince’, Russh Magazine, 2010).

    A sense of exoticism certainly prevails in such ‘After Dark’ works: coupled with the tantalising ambiguity and displacement of the heroines, the series demonstrates Prince’s ability to reveal and obscure his subjects, imbuing his canvases with an aura of anticipation, promiscuity and unabashed sensuality. Especially given its pink and red colour palette, the present work in particular is an investigation of the fetishisation of the Far East—the kitschy, stereotypical “Chinese Takeout” typeface of the title glowing above the topless figure can perhaps be considered a deliberate affront to such tawdry novellas, excavating such themes as colonisation, and its fetishisation and eroticisation of the “Orient”. In Prince’s rendition, the viewer is presented with a work that is a cipher, a riddle that is filled with layers of meaning. Prince has combined digital imaging with gestural brushwork in order to create a work that challenges not only notions of authorship, but also which summons the fetishisation and commodification of corruption in a seemingly calculated plunge into the depths of our collective psyche.

    Heralding art, fashion and exoticism, Richard Prince was invited once more by Louis Vuitton to create one of Hong Kong’s first public art installations, essentially packaging the exterior of the Hong Kong Museum of Art in celebration of the city’s annual Le French May Arts Festival and the 2009 exhibition Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation. The museum was wrapped with a monumental patchwork of replicas of the pulp-fiction novels that inspired the artist’s series—and it is perhaps especially fitting that the current work will be presently re-contextualised against an Asian setting, injecting the work with an added layer of significance.

    Deliberately subversive in his mode of execution, Richard Prince’s signature navigation and adoption of American subculture, idiosyncrasies, and vernacular are at the heart of his oeuvre. Remarkably, while Prince draws from a rich and complex tapestry laced with the Marlboro Man, nymphomaniac nurses, grunge, and pulp fiction central to American identity, the artist has been adept at creating a unique, universal language that is infused with his very own critique, commentary, and at times caricature of the world that surrounds him.

  • Catalogue Essay

    理查·普林斯的藝術介乎諷刺與顛覆破壞之間,以一種似是而非的熟悉感讓觀者迷茫疑惑。藝術家從相片、廣告牌和通俗小說中提取靈感,後者來自其對收集書籍的熱忱,普林斯的作品動搖了我們對真確性和原創性的認知,放在普林斯「翻製圖像」手法作品的大背景下,《無題》亦有相似的特性,突顯了藝術家對身邊世界的採納和重新包裝。在一個平面中充滿了各種種族和性別惶恐,加上一點主流幽默,傳奇般的牛仔和物化的海報女郎。

    普林斯最令人嚮往的作品之一是「俏皮護士」系列作品,此主題經常反復出現在藝術家的作品集中,亦來自歌舞廳、色情和時尚雜誌。自九十年代末開始,普林斯從五、六十年代「俏皮護士」書籍收藏中提取靈感,創造了一系列與書名相同題目的作品,包括《百萬護士》和《花癡護士》。在這些作品中,普林斯描繪護士形象的誘人女郎,面帶口罩,出現在黑暗、顏料淌流的畫面,旁邊的霓虹色而帶著既有挑逗性又模棱兩可的書名。撇除畫中人物來源背景,護士們成為對美國流行文化的嶄新反思,超越了其原本意義的界限。

    2007年,普林斯與馬克・雅克布在路易・威登的2008年春夏季系列合作,創作以「護士畫作」為根基的系列。該次合作引得極大反響,於是二人在2009再次合作,完成了路易・威登 x 「After Dark」(不夜城)在夜晚探索城市風景的項目。普林斯回憶道,「『不夜城』系列對我來說是一個剛起步的主題,是我兩年前認識馬克·雅克布後激發的。我開始形成一些活動的念頭,其一就是路易・威登的不夜城。我也想起我書房架上的那些『不夜城』書籍,我所感興趣的是,名字除了提示它的內容,這種書在各個不同的城市都有。我試著追溯下去,發現每個國家都好像有一本「不夜城」的書。我喜歡那精簡的文字和字體。」(N. Skukur,<理查·普林斯訪談>,《Russh 刊物》2010年)

    「不夜城」系列作品中總瀰漫著一種異國情調:令人困惑的不明確性加上女主角的錯置,此系列彰顯了普林斯自如揭示或隱藏其主題的能力,在畫面營造期待、混亂氣氛和滿不在乎的感官享受。本次作品的粉紅和紅色調更似對遠東物化的探討,那種庸俗、固定概念化「中餐外賣」招牌似的熒光題目,出現在赤裸上身的女子之上,似乎是刻意輕蔑這種俗艷小說,揭開東方的殖民主義、物化主義和情色主義等主題。透過普林斯的作品,觀者如見到一個蘊藏許多層含義的密碼或密語。普林斯更結合數碼圖像和動態筆觸,作品不僅挑戰所參考的原創之概念,更觸及物化和物戀的訛用,看似算計地投入我們的整體心靈深處。

    理查·普林斯是藝術、時裝和異國情調的先驅,再次受路易・威登的邀請,創作香港首個公眾裝置藝術,在2009年的年度「法國五月藝術節」和「路易・威登:熱情創意」展覽之際,包裝整個香港藝術館外墻,以帶給藝術家本系列作品靈感的通俗小說複製品做成巨大的拼貼,覆蓋藝術館,而此次作品再次於亞洲呈現,又為作品注入另一層含義。

    理查·普林斯的創作模式刻意具有破壞意味,其標誌性對美國次文化、風格演繹和語言的引導和採用是其作品的核心。普林斯創作來源豐富而複雜,包括萬寶路牛仔、花癡護士、頹廢搖滾、通俗小說等美國文化的象徵性代表,但同時營造出一種獨特又具普世性的語言,交織著其個人的批評、評註和對身邊世界的諷刺體現。

  • Artist Bio

    Richard Prince

    American • 1947

    For more than three decades, Prince's universally celebrated practice has pursued the subversive strategy of appropriating commonplace imagery and themes – such as photographs of quintessential Western cowboys and "biker chicks," the front covers of nurse romance novellas, and jokes and cartoons – to deconstruct singular notions of authorship, authenticity and identity.

    Starting his career as a member of the Pictures Generation in the 1970s alongside such contemporaries as Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo and Sherrie Levine, Prince is widely acknowledged as having expanded the accepted parameters of art-making with his so-called "re-photography" technique – a revolutionary appropriation strategy of photographing pre-existing images from magazine ads and presenting them as his own. Prince's practice of appropriating familiar subject matter exposes the inner mechanics of desire and power pervading the media and our cultural consciousness at large, particularly as they relate to identity and gender constructs.

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Untitled

2010
inkjet and acrylic on canvas
149.9 x 193 cm. (59 x 75 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2010.

Estimate
HK$2,000,000 - 3,000,000 
€228,000-342,000
$256,000-385,000

Place Advance Bid

Contact Specialist
Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019