Rudolf Stingel - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Sunday, November 8, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
    Private Collection, New York
    Private Collection, London

  • Exhibited

    New York, L&M Arts, The Complexity of the Simple, December 1, 2007 - February 2, 2008

  • Catalogue Essay

    Working across the various media of painting, sculpture and installation, Rudolf Stingel has always challenged the very nature of artistic practices in order to critically reveal the technical processes that lies behind them. In the present lot Untitled, 2007 Stingel presents us with a lustrous gold surface that is at once decorative and minimalist. Influenced by the ornate qualities of Rococo paintings, the work turns abstract linearity into a series of glittering gold stripes. These vertical lines juxtaposed with textured white paint make for a unique composition that fuses the minimalist style of painter Barnett Nauman with an ornamental, decorative and historical aesthetic.

    In 2004, Stingel stated “...artists have always been accused of being decorators, so I just went to the extreme and painted the wallpaper” (Rudolf Stingel in L. Yablonsky, “The Carpet that Ate Grand Central,” The New York Times, June 27, 2004) Stingel’s interest in the decorative is derived from his upbringing in Italy and Vienna, where he was exposed to the realms of the Baroque and Rococo styles. Gleaning from these decorative fashions, Stingel creates a large-scale work, which engulfs the viewer in the same way that wallpaper does, yet upon close inspection, is extremely nuanced with the textured surface that can be seen throughout Stingel’s paintings.

    The present lot occupies a characteristic spot in the artist’s oeuvre, composed of uneven paint strokes, tonal differentiation and areas of rigid texture arise. Detailed views of the work’s surface reveal the technical process behind the masterpiece – an almost-mechanical technique of layering patterned tulle and interspersing it with strokes of paint in varying directions. This technique strongly resembles the manner in which Stingel produced his stunning silver paintings of the 1990s. Stingel’s practice reveals bodies of work which are diverse in style yet bound together by their thoughtful contemplation and meticulous execution.“Stingel is hard to pigeon-hole: the industrial procedures and mechanically produced materials he uses relate to the Minimalist tradition, while the color, size and lavishness of his works deny this connection” (A. Coulson, "Rudolf Stingel", Frieze, No. 86, October 2004). Indeed, Stingel completely defies all categorization, occupying a unique niche in the contemporary art field, his practices simultaneously recall the past while pioneering processes of contemporary creation. The present lot thus represents a nostalgic, yet relevant aesthetic that is both simple and uniquely beautiful.

  • 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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enamel and oil on linen
94 7/8 x 76 in. (241 x 193 cm)
Signed, inscribed and dated "Stingel 2007 GS-3" on the reverse.

$1,500,000 - 2,000,000 

Sold for $1,685,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 8 November 2015 7pm