Richard Prince - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles

  • Exhibited

    Los Angeles, Gagosian Gallery, Richard Prince: Check Paintings, February 25 – April 9, 2005

  • Literature

    Gagosian Gallery, ed., Richard Prince: Check Paintings, Montreal, 2005, pp. 36-37 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Have you ever found a canceled check on the street? (Usually stapled to a creepy frisson: a naked, trivial, damaged thing that doesn’t belong.) Battered effluvia. Classic detritus—though uncomfortably incongruous in a special way excluding typical urban discard. One steps over a canceled check the way one avoids turning over a Polaroid flipped onto its white back like a 2-D turtle. You don’t really want to know the details. Do you? A dirty check on the street is maimed, gangbanged, alternately dead and living and desecrated, a dazed, unconscious whore. You’re the John or the Richard or the Bruce who doesn’t know who to call. Richard Prince writes Checks To Self then disinters, sheathes, and reconstructs," (B.Wagner, Richard Prince, Montreal, 2005).
    The present lot, Untitled (Check Painting) #6, is a prime example of Richard Prince’s Check Paintings series.The artist has inserted his own checks, with his printed name and address, for various bills into the painting. In a voyeuristic ecstasy the viewer can see what Richard Prince owed Con Edison. On the reverse of the painting is another delightful inclusion: a joke painting with three jokes in neon yellow and hot pink including his famous use of, “I never had a penny to my name, so I changed my name.”

  • 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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Untitled (Check Painting) # 6


Acrylic and paper collage on screenprinting frame.

49 7/8 x 44 7/8 in. (126.7 x 114 cm).

$150,000 - 200,000 

Contemporary Art Part I

14 May 2009, 7pm
New York