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

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  • Provenance

    Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York; Lucas Schoormans, New York

  • Exhibited

    Magasin Centre National d’Art Contemporin de Grenoble, Richard Prince, 25 September – 27 November, 1988; Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel, Richard Prince Photographs, 8 December, 2001 – 24 February, 2002; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Richard Prince Principal Gemälde und Fotografien 1977 – 2001, 27 April – 28 July, 2002

  • Literature

    Exhibition Catalogue, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel; Kunsthalle Zürich, Richard Prince: Photographs 2002, p.88 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The simultaneous embrace and critique of mass culture that is at the core of Prince’s art is powerfully articulated in the Cowboys, the series of photographs begun in 1980, appropriated from the long-running advertising campaign for Marlboro cigarettes. Elevated in the public imagination from humble ranch hand to individualistic hero, the cowboy is the ultimate icon of American manhood. The Marlboro men embody this archetype, aided by expansive natural backdrops that draw on both the tradition of American landscape painting and the spectacle of Hollywood Westerns. While Prince amplifies the seductive appeal of these stylized images and studiously eschews any overt moral commentary, the irony of pressing an ideal of rugged health into the service of selling addiction is ever present in the work. Solomon R. Guggenheim, Press Release, Richard Prince: Spiritual America, 2007

  • 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 (Cowboys)

Ektacolour print.
101.6 x 68.6 cm. (40 x 27 in).
This work is from an edition of two.

£150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for £334,100

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

28 Feb 2008, 7pm