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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT DISTINGUISHED EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Rudolf Stingel
UNTITLED
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Artist's Resale Right
Purchase of lots marked with this symbol will be subject to the payment of the artist's resale right.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
700,0001,000,000
LOT SOLD. 789,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
31

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT DISTINGUISHED EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Rudolf Stingel
UNTITLED
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Artist's Resale Right
Purchase of lots marked with this symbol will be subject to the payment of the artist's resale right.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
700,0001,000,000
LOT SOLD. 789,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

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London

Rudolf Stingel
B. 1956
UNTITLED
oil and enamel on linen
130 by 130 cm. 51 1/8 by 51 1/8 in.
Executed in 1991.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Gagosian Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2013

Catalogue Note

"Beauty, humour, euphoria, a democratic slant and a resolute sense of economy form the core of Mr. Stingel's art. He combines a love of painting with the postmodern suspicion of it, and often achieves a near-perfect balance between the visual and the conceptual."

Roberta Smith, 'DIY Art: Walk on It, Write on It, Stroke It', The New York Times, 29 June 2007.

The meditative contemplation inspired by Rudolf Stingel’s Untitled inherits the tradition of Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, artists who forged a radical new type of looking during the mid-Twentieth Century. Described by curator Garry Carrion as “sublime aesthetic reflection”, the immersive nature of Stingel’s abstract paintings pulls the viewer into a state of sombre contemplation as the eye roves over his paintings’ wave-like clefts and peaks  (Garry Carrion – Murayari, ‘Untitled’, in: Exh. Cat., Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, (and travelling), Rudolf Stingel, 2007, p. 11). Belonging to the artist’s seminal Instruction Paintings of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the present work possesses idiosyncratic screens of silver-enamel paint beneath which a monochrome background of deep Rothko-esque red undulates. At the lower edge, a paroxysmal trace of hastily applied paint is left uncovered next to the mechanically applied layers of metallic enamel. As though a curtain is being raised, Stingel reveals his illusion and hence his technique, a technique that was first de-mystified in 1989 when Stingel published his limited edition Instructions book in which he explained how one could create their own Rudolf Stingel painting. In the present work therefore, the viewer is invited to unravel the work’s execution, and perhaps, even to imitate it.

In Untitled, boundaries are dissolved and the viewer is subconsciously drawn into the physical space of the painting via its seductive layers of paint. Untitled sets a solemn tone: a transformative red unravels behind a silver screen, and imposes itself by way of a thick border at the bottom of the raw canvas edge. Beginning his craft in the 1980s, Stingel found himself trapped between the worlds of Neo-Expressionism and a new wave of conceptual and minimalist art. Choosing neither, he rejected the stagnant trends of the period, choosing instead to push the subject of painting into a different time and place by imbuing his work with a transcendental energy – one that not only emanated from himself, but also from his viewers. Stingel thus invites his audience to take up what is traditionally the artist’s role and invites the viewer to, in the words of curator Francesco Bonami, “observe reality to create another reality” (Francesco Bonami, ‘Paintings of Paintings for Paintings, The Kairology and Kronology of Rudolf Stingel’, in: Exh. Cat., Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rudolf Stingel, 2007, p. 13)

Untitled is a prime example of Stingel peeling off the derma of his work, revealing that painting is but a “symbolic surface”, a “protection under which the muscles and bones of the real keep moving, living and dying” (Ibid., p. 16). Beneath this surface lies the conceptual and fundamental dialogue surrounding the nature of painting: the authority of the artist, the authenticity of originality, and the role of the viewer. Created only two years after Stingel first published his radical Instructions, Untitled employs the same mechanical and somewhat industrial execution. Paradoxically, however, this work, and each work created following the artist’s step-by-step guide, is unique. Stingel’s craft does not inhibit originality and diversity, instead, the artist calls forth conceptually and physically stunning works that skirt the boundaries between lyrical abstraction and mechanised production.

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

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London