Rudolf Stingel - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
    Paul Frank McCabe

  • Literature

    F. Bonami, ed., Rudolf Stingel, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007, pp. 113 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Always one to challenge the boundaries of art, Rudolf Stingel strives to dispel the preconceptions based around art’s elevated status and actively negates any notions of hierarchy within its production. Using a broad range of mediums and techniques, Stingel explores various means of artistic expression, however, what transcends all of his pieces is an inherently reductionist approach. Peeling away areas, scratching into surfaces, carving out patches in his material, are just some of the ways the artist signals his presence. In this manner, Stingel refuses to conform to notions of the artist’s hand bringing clarity and development.

    Untitled is a powerful testimony to the core values that lie at the heart of Stingel’s paintings. Furthermore, painted in the late 1990s, it is a mature example from a series of paintings that consumed his artistic preoccupations that decade. Working on a painted black canvas, Stingel sprayed brilliant colour through gauzes that he had placed on the surface. Thus, once these were removed, a highly tactile and irregular pattern would emerge. The vivid tones used in this series illuminate the wondrous effects made possible through the stencil technique employed in his earlier strictly silver paintings. By using the gauze in such a manner, Stingel tries to disassociate himself from the final outcome; like Warhol in his Factory, his cruder method of printing brings to the fore wider theories on the artist’s role. In this manner, Stingel’s paintings lie in discourse with the Anthropometry paintings and FC (Fire Colour) works by Yves Klein that negate typical notions of painting through their innovative production process. Arguably, the choice of deep blue for this work only heightens the connection with Yves Klein’s repertoire.

    At the Venice Biennale in 1989, Stingel published an illustrated 'do-it-yourself' manual in English, Italian, German, French, Spanish and Japanese that gave a step-by-step account of how to make one of his paintings. In this forthright way, the artist therefore, further disassociated himself from his works suggesting that anyone can make a ‘Stingel’. This controversial ideology runs parallel to Warhol’s philosophy, summarised in his Do it Yourself (Landscape) from 1962. Consequently, a defining characteristic of Stingel’s paintings are their ability to nod to the art of the key artistic figures of the twentieth-century whilst, paradoxically questioning the very possibility of originality and ownership.

  • 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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Property from the Estate of Dr. Fredric S. Brandt, Miami



oil on canvas
244 x 198.5 cm (96 1/8 x 78 1/8 in.)
Signed and dated 'Stingel 96-97' on the reverse.

£700,000 - 1,000,000 ‡♠

Sold for £1,930,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 14 October 2015 7pm