Richard Prince - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Untitled (Mumbai After Dark), from 2009, marks the beginning of the collaboration between the artist Richard Prince and the fashion brand Louis Vuitton. The design brand’s creative director Marc Jacobs stated in an interview that after he had asked Prince to collaborate with him, Prince started to look for cheap paperbacks that were set in exotic cities with ‘after dark’ in the title. As Jacobs put it, “[Prince] asked me, what about Louis Vuitton after dark?” (this and the following quotations are from N.Skukur, ‘Interview with Richard Prince’, Russh Magazine, 2010).

    “The After Dark series is another subject matter that’s just starting for me. It started when I met with Marc Jacobs a couple of years ago. I started to come up with some ideas for a campaign and one of the ideas was Louis Vuitton after dark. I also just remembered I had all these ‘After Dark’ books in my library and what I liked about them was, aside from the suggestion of what that actually means, the books had been written in all these different cities that I would find. I tried to hunt them down and
    every country seemed to have an ‘After Dark’ book. I liked the little text that went with it and I liked the font.”

    Not only did the Louis Vuitton Spring collection in 2008 spark the After Dark series, it also was inspired quite directly by Prince’s Nurse Paintings. One year later, Prince covered the entire exterior of the Hong Kong Museum with printed fabrics featuring bright colours and animated graphics in close collaboration with Louis Vuitton. Each panel illustrates after-midnight stories in different cities around the world, with every other panel representing ‘Hong Kong After Dark’. Prince remarked: “It was sort of like a performance that evening [at the opening of the Hong Kong Museum of Art]. They had nurses coming out with the handbags. It was quite exciting. I had never been to a fashion show and my daughter was very excited – the music and the cameras, the paparazzi and the celebrities.”

    Including the well-known paintings such as London After Dark, Berlin After Dark, Moscow After Dark and Mumbai After Dark, Prince found 17 books of the series that were published in the late 1960s and 70s. After the main body that stands out through a Turner-like makeover, Prince decided to prolong the series and produce his own ‘after
    dark’ books: “What you can do now with technology is you can publish your own book very quickly so we’re making our own After Dark books in the studio and the copy we’re putting on the books really has nothing to do with the image or the city, the copy comes out of a series of sentences that I’ve written over the years called Bird Talk.”

  • 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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Mumbai after Dark

inkjet and acrylic on canvas
150 x 188 cm (59 x 74 in)

£300,000 - 500,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

10 October 2012