Untitled (Couples)

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Ο ♦24

Untitled (Couples)

1977
each 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)
Ektacolor photographs
This work is numbered 1 from an edition 10 and 2 artist's proofs.

Estimate
£80,000 - 120,000 ‡

sold for £152,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
psumner@phillips.com
+44 207 318 4063

  • Provenance

    Regen Projects, L.A.
    Private Collection, Oslo
    Peder Lund, Oslo

  • Exhibited

    Basel, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Richard Prince: Photographs, 8 December 2001 - 24 February 2002
    Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Richard Prince: Principal. Gemalde un Fotografien 1977-2001, 27 April - 28 July 2002

  • Catalogue Essay

    Richard Prince is a master of appropriation, best known for his ‘re-photography’ technique. Taking pictures of found photographs and subsequently recontextualising them, he asks what it means to author a work. As he repurposes these societal artefacts, he inscribes them with renewed meaning, rejoicing in the surface qualities of the contemporary image from adverts to amateur photographs.

    Prince started to use this technique in the late 1970’s, soon after he arrived in New York City. The artist’s work during this period articulates the confidence he had at the time with the technique and the compositions he was producing. Untitled (Couples) is a re-appropriation of two images, likely lifted form advertisements at the time of conception, inspiring the American dream. Consisting of two well dressed, middle class couples, seemingly happy and in love evident through the close contact between the figures, the work brings the desire to be in a similar situation to the forefront of the viewer’s mind.

    The use of such a traditional image, alluding to the American dream is a recurring theme to Prince’s early re-appropriation works. The present lot being an excellent example of this seminal period of the artist’s career.

  • Artist Bio

    Richard Prince

    American • 1947

    While some artists are known for a signature style, Richard Prince is most closely associated with his subject matter: for instance, Cowboys, his series of the Marlboro man magnified between 1980 and 1994; Nurses, sinister yet seductive, all copies from pulp novel covers; joke text paintings, simple block lettering of his own or appropriated jokes. Often labelled an artist of the Pictures Generation alongside Cindy Sherman and Robert Longo, Prince has been said to be the contemporary artist who most understands the depth and influence of mass media over life in the 20th and 21st centuries. In whichever medium Prince chooses to work, he stays within the realm of appropriation.

    Of course Prince is not met without controversy, and he has been on the losing end of several lawsuits involving copyright infringement. His "Instagram" series — unedited reproductions of content posted by models, influencers and celebrities on their personal feeds — sold for upwards of $100,000 at primary market, making for a memorable moment at Frieze Week New York in 2015.

    View More Works

Ο ♦24

Untitled (Couples)

1977
each 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)
Ektacolor photographs
This work is numbered 1 from an edition 10 and 2 artist's proofs.

Estimate
£80,000 - 120,000 ‡

sold for £152,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
psumner@phillips.com
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 14 October 2015 7pm

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