Rudolf Stingel - Contemporary Art Part I New York Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    With the present lot, “Stingel imports the sign-language of toilets, underpasses, and bus-stops into the museum, not by quoting and portraying it, but by turning the very act of so-called vandalism into a constitutive element of his art in the museum.

    Suddenly the path from the formal aesthetic abstraction to real-world social concretion is very short. But it is not illustrative and instrumental (like the model of interactivity commonly encountered in media art: the visitor as laboratory mouse), but interpretative and structural (suggesting independent decisions on usage and interpretation). “Minimalist sculptures were never really primary structures” Felix Gonzalez-Torres once said, “but structures that were embedded in meaning.” Gonzalez-Torres reads classical minimal art against its own explicit rhetoric. The artistic consequence that he draws from this matches that of Stingel’s in two ways. Firstly, if art is “ embedded in a multitude of meanings,” it must also be linked with a multitude of possible ways for the viewer to use the work. And secondly, the object character must be precarious, associated with the periphery, the trace, or the ‘skin’ taken to the verge of dissolution – dissolved in the space or in usage.” (J.Heiser, ‘Medium and Membrane”, Parkett, Zurich/New York, no. 77, 2006, p. 125).

  • Artist Biography

    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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Celotex insulation board, wood and aluminum in two parts.
Overall 94 1/4 x 67 1/8 in. (239.4 x 170.5 cm).
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $734,400

Contemporary Art Part I

17 May 2007
7pm New York