Richard Prince - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited


  • Catalogue Essay

    Richard Prince created his first Joke Painting in 1986 when he silk-screened onto a monochromatic canvas a risqué joke which he appropriated from American popular culture. For the Protest paintings, a body of work created from the late 1980s to mid 1990s, Prince builds on his original Joke Paintings by recycling and silk-screening on canvas additional found materials from American popular culture: advertising images and cartoons. These protest paintings have demonstrated his propensity for not only pop-cultural appropriation but the recycling of his own motifs as well: the same shopworn jokes reappear as the subject of these paintings, but in a different context, as Prince’s Protest Paintings take the form of the signs and placards so common to protest rallies and demonstrations.

    “Jokes and cartoons are part of any mainstream magazine. Especially magazines like the New Yorker or Playboy. They’re right up there with the editorial and advertisements and table of contents and letters to the editors. They’re part of the layout, part of the ‘sights’ and ‘gags.’ Sometimes they’re political, sometimes they just make fun of everyday life. Once in awhile they drive people to protest and storm foreign embassies and kill people.” (R. Ruf, Richard Prince: Jokes and Cartoons, Zurich, 2006).

  • 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 (Protest Painting)

Acrylic, silkscreen, graphite and paper on canvas.
90.5 x 45.5 cm. (35 3/4 x 18 in).

Signed and dated ‘R.Prince 1990’ on the reverse.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £120,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

28 Feb 2008, 7pm