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  • Provenance

    Galleria A, Lugano
    Private Collection, Italy
    Private Collection, Switzerland

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rudolf Stingel’s work explores the essence of making, gesture and expression through questioning authenticity and authorship. Stingel was first recognised in the late 1980s for his monochromatic works, such as the present lot, in which he defies cultural notions of the artist as heroic individual. In 1989 he published a ‘how to’ book, a highly detailed instructional manual for producing a painting, and offering a more collaborative act as well as a more democratic experience that further engages the viewer. Characterized by a simultaneous attention to surface, image, colour and space, Stingel creates new paradigms for the meaning of painting, as the curator and art historian Francesco Bonami has written:

    “To comprehend why Stingel’s practice is not painting as a medium, or painting for the sake of painting, or even the self-mocking of painting, but the celebration of painting as the derma, or skin, of reality, a very thin surface where we can leave our marks, which are not necessarily always art. Stingel’s art is not Stingel’s painting. Stingel’s art is the understanding of painting as the impossibility of creating a ‘Painting’, and not only and endlessly creating, like Sisyphus, an infinite series of paintings as a self-portrait of painting.” (Francesco Bonami, Rudolf Stingel, New Haven and London, 2007, p. 17)

  • 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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124

Untitled

1986
oil and enamel on canvas
220 x 180 cm (86 5/8 x 70 7/8 in)
Signed and dated 'Stingel 86' on the reverse.

Estimate
£80,000 - 120,000 ‡ ♠

Contemporary Art Day Sale

29 June 2012
London