Richard Prince - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Thursday, July 9, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Description

    Playtime: A Vision of Innocence and Eroticism
    Connecting the dots between art and sex, love and eroticism, 'Playtime' spans our Evening (Lot 18) and Day Sales (Lots 180-195), encompassing mediums from painting and sculpture, to prints and photography.


  • Provenance

    Massimo De Carlo, Hong Kong
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    "The material I appropriate is available to anyone who cares to use it. The fact that the material has possibly been observed or unconsciously collected by person's other than myself, in effect defines its desires and threats." Richard Prince quoted on his website, 1977

    Édouard Manet
    Olympia, 1863
    Collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris
    As one of the most provocative artists working today, Richard Prince is critically acclaimed for his remarkable artistic progression, having explored themes including appropriation, authenticity, and identity for more than three decades. After moving to New York City in 1973, Prince started to work in Time Life Publications’ (now Time Inc.) tear sheet department, cutting out editorials and adverts to prove to the contributing writers that their content had been published. At the end of each workday, Prince was left with an array of scraps featuring the clichés and patterns employed repeatedly in the contemporary language of advertising. Perfectly situated to embark upon his appropriation strategies, the artist reworked his collected images to introduce new interpretations, thus elevating their status to that of high art.

    Pablo Picasso
    Nude in a rocking chair, 1956
    Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
    Executed in 2014, both works draw directly from vintage erotic photography, featuring the black-and-white image of a nude female, redesigned by Prince through the addition of juxtaposing collaged sections. Throughout the history of art, the representation of the female nude has a long trajectory of being explicitly constructed to appeal to the male gaze as an object of masculine desire. In the photographs Prince alters in both works, the artist cuts away at the models’ most alluring features, therefore revealing his hand-scrawled versions beneath. Nodding to both Édouard Manet’s controversially appropriated masterpiece Olympia, as well as Pablo Picasso’s semi-abstract depictions of the female body, Prince’s modified variants succeed in disrupting the viewer’s anticipated experience. In doing so, Prince’s audience is confronted with the implications of objectification as the artist introduces an entirely new aesthetic that instead, emphasises gesture and expression. Confirming the significance of Prince’s practice within the global art historical canon, his works are held in numerous prestigious museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, both in New York; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, amongst others.

  • Artist Biography

    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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ink jet, charcoal and oil crayon on paper
47.5 x 33 cm. (18 3/4 x 12 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2014.

HK$280,000 - 380,000 

Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 9 July 2020