Untitled, alongside similar works by Stingel, arguably transcends the concept of traditional painting: neither abstract nor strictly objective, the image is devoted to pure pattern as an art form in itself. Michelle Grabner reinforces this idea, declaring that: ”Stingel has made a career dancing around the idea of painting. He skirts its authority by looking at its components, its physical identity, its visual language and its history. Representation, abstraction, process, pattern, performance, subjectivity and the audience are all his subjects.” (Michelle Grabner, "Rudolf Stingel, Museum of Contemporary Art," in: Frieze Magazine, 14/04/07, n.p.). Whilst the motif invites associations with the repeated shapes found within wallpaper, the unfamiliar context into which the pattern has been placed enigmatically calls into question the very nature of our perception and awareness. There is an inherent sense of wit and irony underlying Stingel’s entire oeuvre: in 1989 the artist published a treatise in which he outlined the methods used to create his distinctive works, theoretically enabling the population at large to make their own ‘version’ of his masterpieces. Yet, despite this de-mystification of the creative process, Stingel’s works arouse a unique sensation of wonder and awe within the viewer due to their sheer splendour and exquisite decorative beauty; qualities which are magnificently epitomised within Untitled.
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