- Rudolf Stingel
- signed and dated 2011 on the reverse
- oil and enamel on canvas
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Rudolf Stingel, Untitled (After Sam), 2005 © Sotheby's New York
Rudolf Stingel is doubtless one of the most radical and unclassifiable artists of our time. Exploring the great genres of art history in compositions that at first glance appear to be strictly figurative or strictly abstract, the artist creates a constant dialogue between these two polarities, inviting the spectator to reflect upon the very idea of reproduction and the very contemporary concept of the appropriation of images.
In Untitled, 2011, Stingel creates confusion by inversing the viewer’s conventional spatial relationship with the painting’s subject: a rug. Performing an ingenious displacement in space, this figurative painting suddenly becomes enigmatic, thus reinforcing the existential and experiential aspects of the work.
Here lies the second essential key to an understanding of Stingel’s artistic practice in general and of Untitled, 2011 in particular. The choice of motif and the technique employed here indeed reveal the artist’s fundamental thoughts since the beginning of his career on memory and time. The choice of a rug, a subject he explores since 1991, - the year he began covering entire rooms in woven wool, from floor to ceiling, moving beyond the limits of the frame in revolutionary fashion- recalls the ancient histories of many civilizations and cultures. The golden and silver palette also plays its role as memento mori, the remains of a bygone decorative decadence and bounty. The almost ghostly line, the half-faded relief, as if fixed in its ultimate form, the insulated texture that creates the impression of a cocoon, protecting us from the incessant and deafening noise of modern life… Beyond all appearances, Stingel here invites us on a veritable journey into a space and time tinted with romanticism, dressed in paradox and subtlety.