48
48
Richard Hambleton
UNTITLED (MARLBORO MAN)
Estimation
30 00050 000
Lot. Vendu 225,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
48
Richard Hambleton
UNTITLED (MARLBORO MAN)
Estimation
30 00050 000
Lot. Vendu 225,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Curated

|
New York

Richard Hambleton
1952 - 2017
UNTITLED (MARLBORO MAN)
signed
acrylic on canvas
51 1/2 by 38 in. 130.8 by 96.5 cm.
Executed in 1983.
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Provenance

Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
Rago Arts and Auction Center, New York, 27 October 2007, Lot 278
Private Collection, New York

Description

Executed in 1983, Richard Hambleton’s Untitled (Marlboro Man) is an expressionistic investigation of iconic American symbolism, subverting the bravado of the Marlboro Man by incorporating that cultural signifier into the lexicon of street art. Long called the “Shadowman” for the spectral, splashy, black silhouettes that he painted throughout Lower Manhattan beginning in 1980, the artist’s practice was defined by his anonymous figures, which seemed to emerge from nowhere, leaping in heroic action or skulking undetected. For Hambleton, these figures “could represent watchmen or danger or the shadows of a human body after a nuclear holocaust or even my own shadow” (The artist quoted in, The New York Times, “Richard Hambleton, ‘Shadowman’ of the ’80s Art Scene, Dies at 65,” November 13, 2017).

Hambleton began his Marlboro Men series in 1983-84, of which the present work is an early example. A smoker himself, Hambleton was counted as part of a pioneering generation of street artists, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who resided in lower Manhattan and appropriated popular culture and urban references into their artistic practices. Untitled (Marlboro Man) synthesizes Hambleton’s earlier Shadowmen with the highly recognizable cultural figure, capturing its eponymous subject in a display of gallant strength and skill. The figure rides a bucking horse, swinging a lasso overhead, coalescing in a classic image of Western machismo and the tobacco industry. Despite this easily recognizable silhouette, Hambleton’s trademark paint application complicates a straightforward reading of the work. Delineated with lashings of white paint, the figure is an ethereal presence, the borders of its form threatening to buckle beneath a darkness encroaching on all sides. Through a combination of his subject matter and paint application, Hambleton interrogates the cultural significate of the Marlboro Man, filtering it through his unique stylistic lens to draw attention to the symbol’s use in society, and what it acts to conceal.

Contemporary Curated

|
New York