Untitled

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Massimo de Carlo, Milan
    Private Collection, Europe
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Mr. Stingel is among the great anti-painting painters of our age,” wrote the renowned art critic Roberta Smith, “a descendant of Warhol but much more involved with painting’s conventions and processes, which he alternately spurns, embraces, parodies or exaggerates. His art asks what are paintings, who makes them, and how?” (Roberta Smith, 'The Threads That Tie a Show Together', The New York Times, 20 August 2013, online).

    Rudolf Stingel is an Italian Conceptual artist, and a renowned provocateur of the contemporary art world. Born in a small town in south Tyrol, Italy, Stingel came of age during the 1960s and 1970s, a time when "questioning" was "what art was supposed to be" (the artist quoted in Farah Nayeri, 'Rudolf Stingel and a Career That Redefined Painting', The New York Times, 11 June 2019, online). Stingel moved to New York in 1987 for what was supposed to be a three-month stint but ended up staying. The New York art scene was a world apart - the playground of icons such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons - and Stingel was faced with a necessary period of self-reflection. “In Europe, you never had to deal with the question ‘What is your work about?’” he said. “I had no idea what my work was about.” (the artist quoted in Farah Nayeri, 'Rudolf Stingel and a Career That Redefined Painting', The New York Times, 11 June 2019, online).

    What eventuated was a breakthrough in clarity for Stingel. Stingel gained critical acclaim during the late 1980s for his beautifully-textured silver paintings with primary-coloured undertones and Untitled, 1989-1990 is a prime example from this early period. Untitled, 1989-1990 is a masterful study of colour and materiality, with a field of purple and gold shimmering subtly through a veil of silver that transforms from a hazy mist to intricate metallic embossing depending on the painting’s angle. Without the restraints of traditional practices and materials, Stingel’s use of industrial materials and methods to deform his own paintings parallels Gerhard Richter’s painterly experiments in the 1960s in disfiguring his own photorealist images with haptic swirls of grey paint (see for example Tisch (Table), 1962), and a subsequent body of grey textural monochromes exploring the effects of different methods of paint application.

    But what arose from this body of work in the late 1980s was nothing less than an outright act of rebellion against the institution of painting itself. At the 1989 Venice Biennale Stingel published an illustrated "do-it-yourself" manual entitled “Instruzioni (Instructions)”, available in six languages, revealing how to create a painting just like Untitled, 1989-1990. The steps were simple: firstly by applying a thick layer of blended paint to a canvas, laying a piece of tulle on top, adding a layer of silver enamel paint with a spray gun, and finally removing the fabric to reveal a richly textured abstract surface.

    Stripping away the mystique of painterly creation, and fearlessly deconstructing the simple origins of his celebrated paintings, Stingel declared himself freed from the traditional tropes of art theory and criticism: authenticity, meaning, hierarchy and context. Challenging his audience to engage in a deeper understanding and experience of the traditional art object, Stingel "not only bursts open the conventions of painting, but creates unique ways of thinking about the medium and its reception" (Francesco Bonami, Rudolf Stingel, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2007, p. 10). This act of artistic iconoclasm foreshadowed his move towards bold explorations of colour abstraction during the 1990s, and his avant-garde experiments with industrial materials such as rubber, carpet, Celotex, and Styrofoam in the late 1990s and early 2000s, an extension of the Italian Arte povera (‘poor art’) movement’s use of a wide range of materials including soil, rags and twigs to challenge and disrupt the values of the increasingly commercialised contemporary art world.

    Prolific and varied in his artistic production, yet meticulous and unceasingly bold in his explorations of painting, Stingel is one of the most celebrated painters of his generation. He has exhibited internationally, with solo shows including those at Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2013); Secession, Vienna (2012); and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2010); and a major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007). His work was included in the 2003, 1999 and 1993 Venice Biennales.

  • Catalogue Essay

    「斯丁格爾先生是我們這個時代最偉大的反繪畫藝術家之一,」著名的藝評家羅伯塔·史密斯說:「作為沃荷的接班人,但更多地關注繪畫的傳統和過程,同時又交替對它們進行抵抗、擁護、諧擬或誇大。他的藝術提出什麼是繪畫、是誰創作的、以及如何創作的?」(羅伯塔·史密斯,《將展覽聯繫在一起的線》,《紐約時報》,2013年8月20日,截自網路)。

    魯道夫·斯丁格爾是一位意大利觀念藝術家,也是當代藝術界的一位著名的先行者。出生於義大利南蒂羅爾的一個小鎮,斯丁格爾成長於1960和1970年代,一個「質疑」正是「藝術理所當然的樣子」之時代(藝術家引自Farah Nayeri,《魯道夫·斯丁格爾與其重新定義繪畫的藝術生涯》,《紐約時報》,2019年6月11日,截自網路)。斯丁格爾於1987年搬至紐約,原本為期三個月的逗留,最終變成留在了那裡。紐約的藝術界截然不同——那是凱斯·哈林、尚·米榭·巴斯奇亞、傑夫·昆斯;等偶像級人物的遊樂場——斯丁格爾由此面臨著一個必要的自我反思時期。「在歐洲,你永遠無需去想『你的作品是關於什麼的?』這個問題。」他說。「我完全不知道我的作品是關於什麼的。」(藝術家引自Farah Nayeri,《魯道夫·斯丁格爾與其重新定義繪畫的藝術生涯》,《紐約時報》,2019年6月11日,截自網路)。

    最終的結果是斯丁格爾找到一種突破。斯丁格爾在1980年代後期以其質地精美的、以三原色為底的銀色繪畫而獲得廣泛讚譽,而《無題》(1989-1990年)正是出自這個早期的典型例子。《無題》(1989-1990年)是對色彩和材質性的精湛展現,隨著作品角度的改變,其表面的一層薄薄的銀色從朦朧的霧狀轉變成錯綜複雜的金屬壓花,一處紫色和金色透過這層表面微微閃爍。在不受傳統方法和材料約束的情況下,斯丁格爾使用工業材料和創作手法來改變自己繪畫的型式,與格哈特·里希特在1960年代進行的繪畫實驗有著相似性,後者採用灰色顏料的有形漩渦來破壞他的照相寫實主義圖像,隨後用具有肌理感的一片灰色單色來探索顏料運用上的不同方法所產生之效果。

    但是從1980年代後期的這些作品中產生的,絕不僅僅是對正統繪畫本身的完全叛逆行為。在1989年的威尼斯雙年展上,斯丁格爾出版了一本標題為《Instruzioni》(使用說明)插圖本「自己動手做」手冊,用六種語言,展示如何創作一幅像《無題》(Untitled)(1989-1990年)那樣的繪畫。步驟很簡單:首先在畫布上塗上一層厚厚的混合顏料,在上面放一塊薄紗,然後用噴槍添加一層銀色瓷漆,最後將紗布移開,露出的就是一個紋理豐富的抽象表面。

    通過剔除繪畫創作的神秘色彩,並且無畏地解構自己著名的繪畫作品之簡單起源,斯丁格爾宣布自己擺脫了藝術理論和批評的傳統主題:原創性、意義、等級和語境。挑戰觀眾去更深刻地理解和體驗這一傳統藝術,斯丁格爾「不僅扯破了繪畫的慣例,而且創造了對於這一媒介及其接受形式的獨特思維方式」(弗朗西斯科·博納米,《魯道夫·斯丁格爾》,展覽畫冊, 芝加哥當代藝術博物館,芝加哥,2007年,第10頁)。這一藝術上的偶像破壞主義行為,預示著他在1990年代對色彩抽象的大膽探索,以及他在1990年代末和2000年代初對橡膠、地毯、絕緣板和泡沫塑料等工業材料進行的前衛實驗,成為繼義大利貧窮藝術運動中使用包括土壤、抹布和樹枝在內的多種材料,來挑戰和擾亂日益商業化的當代藝術世界的價值觀之一種延伸。

    多產且具有豐富樣貌的藝術創作,一絲不苟又不斷大膽地對他的繪畫進行探索,斯丁格爾是他這一代最受讚譽的藝術家之一。他的作品在國際上舉辦過許多展覽,其中包括在威尼斯格拉西宮當代藝術博物館(2013年)、維也納分離派展覽館(2012年),以及柏林新國家藝廊(2010 年)舉辦的個展,以及在芝加哥當代藝術博物館和紐約惠特尼美國藝術博物館(2007年)舉辦的大型回顧展等等。他的作品曾參加2003年、1999年和1993年的威尼斯雙年展。

  • Artist Bio

    Rudolf Stingel

    Italian • 1956

    Rudolf Stingel came to prominence in the late 1980s for his insistence on the conceptual act of painting in a context in which it had been famously declared dead. Despite the prevailing minimalist and conceptual narrative of the time, the Italian-born artist sought to confront the fundamental aspirations and failures of Modernist painting through the very medium of painting itself. While his works do not always conform to the traditional definitions of painting, their attention to surface, space, color and image provide new and expanded ways of thinking about the process and "idea" of painting. Central to his multifarious and prolific oeuvre is an examination of the passage of time and the probing of the fundamental questions of authenticity, meaning, hierarchy, authorship and context by dislocating painting both internally and in time and space. Stingel is best known for his wall-to-wall installations, constructed of fabric or malleable Celotex sheets, as well as his seemingly more traditional oil-on-canvas paintings.

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Untitled

1989-1990
oil and enamel on canvas
167 x 111.6 cm. (65 3/4 x 43 3/4 in.)
Executed in 1989-1990.

Estimate
HK$5,500,000 - 7,000,000 
€639,000-813,000
$705,000-897,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Evening Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 24 November 2019