Lot 4
  • 4

Rudolf Stingel

350,000 - 550,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Rudolf Stingel
  • Untitled
  • signed and dated 93 on the reverse
  • oil and enamel on canvas
  • 198 by 157.5cm.
  • 78 by 62in.


Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Private Collection, San Francisco
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

Catalogue Note

"By disrupting painting's assumption of material, process, and placement, Stingel not only bursts open the conventions of painting, but creates unique ways of thinking about the medium and its reception." (Francesco Bonami in: Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Rudolf Stingel, 2007, p. 10)

The delicate epidermis of Rudolf Stingel's Untitled emits a burnished silvery glow that evinces an optical intensity and total absorption comparable to a Minimalist Colour-field painting.  Visually enveloping in its large scale, the present work enfolds and seduces the viewer via an exquisite opalescent schema of silver tonality undulated with pink hues.  Created as part of Stingel's series of Silver paintings, the expressive painterly quality of the surface is drolly undercut by the limited edition book published by the artist in 1989.   In this publication Stingel deconstructs the mythic artistry and technical production of his Silver paintings through a step-by-step instruction guide and technical manual. Democratising his work in this manner, Stingel wittily strips himself of the gravitas attached to expressionistic painters and commodifies the supposed mysticism of 'painterliness'.  Nonetheless, conflating this de-mystification with the absolute principles of the European Monochromists, such as Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni, Stingel approaches painting as an access to a certain rudimentary truth.  Fundamentally the painted surface is conceived as a symbolic plane, an elemental epidermis that testifies to the reality of the world; according to Francesco Bonami, for Stingel "painting is just the protection under which the muscles and bones of the real keep moving, living, and dying" (Francesco Bonami in: Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Rudolf Stingel, 2007, p. 16).  Redolent of the sceptical queries of painters such as Christopher Wool, whilst calling upon the use of Warholian materials of industry, Stingel brings into question a vast weight of art history, through a work that ironically maintains an immense formal beauty despite its conceptual subversion of precedent.