Rudolf Stingel - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Throughout the last seven centuries, moments of profound change have been articulated aesthetically through ruptures in the illusionistic space of painting and its relationship to architectural space. In Rudolf Stingel’s work, the parameters of painting and architecture are turned inside out. The traditional qualities of painting – pictorialism, flatness, illusion, composition and autonomy – become corrupted by a new symbolic framework, I which painting metamorphoses – sometimes literally, sometimes through association – into a fragment of rococo wallpaper or stucco work, a mirrored floor, a thick rectangle of Styrofoam trampled by foot prints, an oversized photograph, or a dirty carpet.

    C. Iles, ‘Surface Tension’ in Rudolf Stingel, London, 2007, p. 23

    Optical intensity without sentimentality might be Mr. Stingel’s motto. He seems to define paintings foremost as flat surfaces that radiate visual power in unfamiliar terms. His art connects to European monochromists like Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni and also to skeptical painters like Albert Oehlen and Christopher Wool, but it may be best understood as an Americanized, Warholian version of Arte Povera; Mr. Stingel often favors cheap materials (Styrofoam, for example), but instead of being distressed they are always brand new, industrial and somehow implicitly American.

    R. Smith, ‘DIY Art: Walk on It, Write on It, Stroke It’ in The New York Times Art Review, June 29, 2007

  • 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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Extruded polystyrene insulation in four parts.
243.8 x 243.8 cm. (96 x 96 in).

£200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for £328,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

28 Feb 2008, 7pm