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  • Provenance

    Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    R. Brooks, J. Rian, L. Sante, Richard Prince, New York, 2003, p. 25 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Untitled (Cowboy), 1999 is among Richard Prince’s most iconic works from
    the Cowboy Series.The image of the smiling cowboy at rest is one that is
    quintessentially American. By re-photographing original Marlboro
    cigarettes ads, Prince found a way to tap into the heart of the “American
    Experience” creating something universally appealing and democratic.
    “‘Normalcy as special effect’ is how the artist himself described this group
    of works.These images are rephotographed cigarettes advertisements.
    Devoid of any text and generally focusing on single characters on
    horseback in western landscapes, they could have been called ‘Banal
    Americana’.They represent the country’s most undeniable image of itself,
    and as such pass through culture with no friction.The image of the cowboy,
    a rural, mythic figure who symbolizes solitude and self-reliance in an urban
    culture of corporate independence, is a paradox.The fact that the cowboy
    was made redundant (indeed tabooed culturally) by the need to control
    the advertising of cigarettes for health reasons, was clearly of interest
    to Prince. As always with Prince, the act of appropriation raises the ethical
    question as to whether this is an act of collusion with corporatism, or
    of alienated subversion. Perhaps it is closer to the truth to suggest that by
    exploiting the seductive power that Marlboro was forced to abandon-the
    image of the lone cowboy riding through the wilderness-Prince creates
    an eschatological sense of cultural termination, the end of wilderness, and
    of the romantic image of the cowboy.” R. Brooks, J. Rian and L. Sante,
    Richard Prince, NewYork, 2003, pp. 56-62.
    Prince succeeds in his quest to capture something truly authentic within
    our culture and does so by sifting through, and re-contextulizing images
    loaded with meaning. It is through this act that Prince has generated
    images that appear timeless and important within a contemporary lens.

  • 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 (Cowboy)


Ektacolor print.

24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm).
Signed, numbered of two and dated “R Prince 1999” on the reverse. This work is from an edition of two.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $265,000

Contemporary Art Part II

16 Nov 2007, 10am & 2pm
New York