Rudolf Stingel - Contemporary Art Evening London Thursday, February 11, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Switzerland

  • Catalogue Essay

    First recognised in the late 1980s for his monochromatic works, Rudolf Stingel has developed a singular approach to painting aiming to undermine the very essence of the creative act. With simultaneous attention to surface, image, colour and space, he creates new paradigms for the meaning of painting. Reflecting upon the fundamental questions concerning painting today – authenticity, meaning, hierarchy and context – his abstract works stand in close tradition to Gerhard Richter. Yet unlike Richter, Stingel’s works form a new approach, trying to overcome the gap between figuration and abstraction, constantly negotiating a balance between kairos and kronos – that is, between the exact moment of time in which the viewer is confronted with the present – or its illusion, for that matter – and eternal time which never ends but results in abstraction. Stingel thus moves painting one step further, understanding that it carries energy as well as consuming it, and that abstraction happens when the power goes off momentarily.
    “To paint is to act. Yet this action does not necessarily produce a painting. Most of the time, the result is an approximation of an ideal painting that exists in the mind of the painter. Although painting can be an action, it must also be an observation. The mere act of painting does not create a Painting but simply some painting. But if the action of painting is used as a lens to observe reality to create another reality, then we have a Painting. Stingel creates a transitive way to recede from abstraction into the subject and to push the subject into a different kind of time.”
    (Francesco Bonami, ed., ‘Paintings of Paintings for Paintings – The Kairology and Kronology of Rudolf Stingel’ in Rudolf Stingel, London, 2007, pp. 13–14)

  • 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.
220.7 x 180 cm. (86 7/8 x 70 7/8 in).
Signed and dated 'Stingel 86' on the reverse.

£120,000 - 180,000 ‡ ♠

Contemporary Art Evening

12 Feb 2010