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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, New York
    Tilton Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in May 2008

  • Exhibited

    New York, Gagosian Gallery, Richard Prince: Original, April 9 - June 20, 2015

  • Catalogue Essay

    For more than three decades, Richard Prince's universally celebrated practice has pursued the subversive strategy of appropriating commonplace imagery and themes. Riffing on such ubiquitous and intrinsically American images as photographs of Western cowboys and "biker chicks," the front covers of nurse romance novellas, and jokes and cartoons, Prince deconstructs singular notions of authorship, authenticity, and identity.

    Working as an employee for Time-Life, the American print-media conglomerate, in the 1970s, Prince began re-photographing advertising images; by cropping them and removing text repeatedly, he became fascinated by appropriative processes. Untitled (Original), which originates from a larger series by the artist, displays his infamous “re-photography” technique, through which he artist recaptures pre-existing images and claims them as his own. In this work, Prince presents the cover of a vintage romance novel, Very Private Secretary, pairing it with the original painting for the cover of the book. In a meticulous process, the artist creates a diptych, confronting the viewer with the transformative nature of re-photography, observable as the painting and book jacket appear quite distinct. While Prince pairs the two images together, Untitled (Original) displays the signature of the painter, blurring the boundary between creator and collector and questioning the notion of authorship.

  • 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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42

Untitled (original)

original illustration and paperback book, in artist's frame
41 x 35 in. (104.1 x 88.9 cm)
Executed in 2012.

Estimate
$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $100,000

Contact Specialist

Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219

New Now

New York Auction 30 September 2020