Richard Prince - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 11, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, New York
    Acquired from the above by the previous owner
    Private Collection

  • Literature

    N. Spector, Richard Prince, New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2007, p. 248 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Plucked from the covers of medical romance novels, a subgenre of pulp fiction, Prince’s nurses are a seductive lot. You can just imagine them forming a retinue of hospital playmates, femme fatales, and angels of mercy across one of his library shelves, waiting for their moment in the spotlight. Prince brings these images to life, as it were, by enlarging and transferring inkjet prints of the covers to canvas, masking out all supporting characters and text other than the titles, and applying layers of smudged and dripping pigment… With each image, Prince conflates the various sociosexual stereotypes embodied by the figure of the nurse: Good Samaritan, naughty seductress, old battle-ax, and devil incarnate. He depicts each figure as both vamp and victim, undone by desire.

    (N. Spector, Richard Prince, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2007 pp. 52-53)

  • 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 (almost original)

gouache, oil, and pencil on board, with original paperback book cover, in artist's frame
41 x 33 in. (104.1 x 83.8 cm)
Signed and dated "Richard Prince 2001" lower margin of painting, and signed and dated "Richard Prince 2005" on the reverse.

$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $182,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

Contemporary Art Day
11 May 2012
New York