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  • Provenance

    Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Richard Prince: Spiritual America, September 28, 2007 – January 9, 2008. This exhibition later traveled to The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, March 22 – June 15, 2008 (another example exhibited)
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Into the Sunset: Photography’s Image of the American West, March 24 – June 8, 2009

  • Literature

    N. Spector, Richard Prince: Spiritual America, New York, 2007, p. 100-101 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Richard Prince’s Untitled (Cowboy), 2003, is a testament to the classical image of masculinity in American culture. One of Prince’s famous “rephotographs”, Untitled (Cowboy) traces its origins to the now extinct advertising campaigns of Marlboro cigarettes, featuring that symbol of rugged solitude, the Marlboro Man. Prince’s genius in his on-going Cowboys series (now more than thirty years in the making) is that he distills the historical conscious of America into its “most undeniable image of itself, and as such [it passes] through culture with no friction”(R. Brooks. “A Prince of Light or Darkness?”, Richard Prince, New York, 2003, p. 56). Prince delivers us an image steeped in our own identity.

    In the present lot, Prince shows us America’s most celebrated stock-figure in both a literal and spiritual elevation. Indeed, the cowboy has been extolled to such an unparalleled folk status in American culture that we could accurately describe him as the patron saint of the American West. As the lasso winds beneath his feet, our hero is forever in command of his destiny, determined to greet every day with physical vigor, mental toughness, and a vision of relentless optimism. Or so Madison Avenue would have us think. Prince’s appropriations of advertisements leads us to question our constantly shifting definitions of American masculinity, for perhaps the fantasy of the lone ranger is mere fiction, one relegated to a remote past in America’s history. Today, he exists only as an symbol of virility and uncompromising manhood. As such, Richard Prince cannot recreate the past, but only our images of it.

  • 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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PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN COLLECTION

Ο14

Untitled (Cowboy)

2003
Ektacolor photograph
39 5/8 x 30 in. (100.6 x 76.2 cm)
Signed, dated “Prince, 2003” and numbered of two on the reverse.
This work is from an edition of two plus one artist’s proof.

Estimate
$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for $578,500

Contemporary Art Part I

7 November 2011
New York