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  • Provenance

    Galleria Massimo de Carlo, Milan

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rudolf Stingel’s Untitled, 2004 is an elegant study in the unique uses of texture, design and composition; all formal elements utilized by the artist to create his series of gold monochromes. Hypnotizing in its repetition and construct, the ornamental forms emerge within shimmering gold layers defining a dynamic positive and negative space.The painting’s overarching patterning evokes those traditionally found in Damask, a woven textile originally produced from silk in Syria, and later applied to ornate rococo and baroque wallpaper and woodcarvings. It is within this “weave” or ”twill” that the gold oil paint emerges beneath, creating a dazzling effect – one which appears three-dimensional and layered. In her essay “SurfaceTension” Chrissie Iles draws a direct correlation between Stingel’s aesthetic tendencies and his early training as an artist. “Stingel’s upbringing in the ItalianTyrol and Vienna exposed him to the unusual aesthetic hybridity of rococo and baroque, in an area where northern and Mediterranean influences combined in the seventeenth century to form a unique aesthetic language. Stingel was educated at a Tyrolean high school known for its training in baroque, decorative church woodcarving, and his inclusion of the viewer in many of his works may owe more to Bavarian rococo’s democratic, peasant roots than to the legacy of American sociological theories of the 1960s.” F. Bonami, ed., Rudolf Stingel, Chicago/New Haven, 2007, p. 27. Untitled, 2004 articulates Stingel’s ability to engage his viewers through a masterful and distinctive approach to painting, one that manipulates the surface of the canvas and deliberately poses questions about expectations for the medium.Throughout his large and varied body of work, Stingel’s works have remained original and fresh. Notions of authorship and subversion are inherent to his conceptual investigation, yet in each work, as in the present lot, the art can stand alone as a testament to an artist with a defined visual language, one with the ability to produce objects of natural beauty.

  • 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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Oil and enamel on canvas.
79 x 59 in. (200.7 x 149.9 cm).

Signed and dated “Stingel 2004” on the reverse.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $931,400

Contemporary Art Part II

16 Nov 2007, 10am & 2pm
New York