53
53
Rudolf Stingel
UNTITLED
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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.
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,395,000 USD
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53
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.
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.
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,395,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
New York

Rudolf Stingel
B. 1956
UNTITLED
signed and dated 2012 on the reverse
oil and enamel on canvas
95 1/4 by 76 in. 242 by 193 cm.
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Provenance

Gagosian Gallery, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 2016

Exhibited

New York, Gagosian Gallery, Rudolf Stingel: Part II, March - April 2016

Catalogue Note

Monumental and opulent in its rich golden hue, Untitled by Rudolf Stingel is an impressive example from the limited series of the artist's 'chain-link' paintings; both abstract and figurative, the present work is a resounding testament to the singular ability of the artist to challenge traditional notions of representation. Scintillatingly luminous and exuding a luxuriant air of readymade elegance, Untitled was displayed during Stingel’s year-long series of exhibitions in 2016-17, which comprised eight installations at Gagosian Gallery  in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. In 2013-14, a comparable silver-toned chain-link painting was exhibited at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, where the artist held a major site-specific solo exhibition – the second living artist at the time to be bestowed with the honor. The present work embraces the opulence and grandeur of gold, a metallic hue used extensively by the artist in his wide-ranging oeuvre that centers on the process of creation and the cerebral interrogation of painting as an expressive medium. The present work is a rare and exquisitely refined example of the artist’s conceptual practice.

Born in 1956 in the Alpine town of Merano, Stingel rose to prominence in the late 1980s for his rigorous engagement with the formal and conceptual attributes of painting. Celebrated for his experimentation with immersive installations and unorthodox materials to challenge the very limits of the medium, his innovative use of Celotex, a thermal insulation material with a metallic silver sheen, questions the notion of artistic authorship and highlights the passage of time; in his 2007 mid-career retrospective shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York, Stingel lined the gallery walls with Celotex insulation boards, inviting viewers to write and draw on them as they wished. After each exhibition, fragments of the graffitied boards were cast in copper and electroplated with gold, further confusing the concept of authorship while accumulating a tangible record of museum-goers’ acts in a participatory exploration of relational aesthetics.

Audience participation, temporality, and memory are recurring themes in Stingel’s oeuvre. The present work combines the very best of the artist’s works on canvas, featuring repetitive, carefully stenciled patterns — in this case, the fence-like chain-link which the artist first depicted in 2008 — and process-based golden surfaces that recall his earlier gold-plated graffiti works in their metallic tone. Just as these preceding works presented viewers with the opportunity to leave their mark on Stingel’s insulation boards, Untitled invites us to consider its formal complexity, either through the semi-reflective surface of the painting in an introspective contemplation of participatory authorship, or via the gravity-induced drips that make visible the temporality of painting. Roberta Smith of the New York Times astutely observes: “Opulence is countered by austerity, spectacle is undercut by banality.” (Roberta Smith, “DIY Art: Walk on It, Write on It, Stroke It”, The New York Times, 29 June 2007) The unadorned chain-link fence pattern, presented against a resplendent backdrop of glittering gold, reveals the hazy distinction between painting and ornamentation, incorporating an arresting pattern that would otherwise be considered purely functional in its physical form, while repetition suggests the possibility of an infinite expanse beyond the canvas. Commenting on modes of austere formal modernism, while pushing his abstraction into the world of representation, Stingel's Untitled articulates this dynamic tension that suffuses his best work.

The present work pits form and function against one another in a thrilling dichotomy. With regard to his wallpaper paintings, which employ intricate damask patterns, Stingel explains that “artists have always been accused of being decorators, so I just went to the extreme and painted the wallpaper.” (the artist cited in Linda Yablonsky, “The Carpet That Ate Grand Central”, The New York Times, 27 June 2004) Just as Stingel chose to depict decorative damask for his wallpaper paintings to remove it from its ornamental context and disrupt our expectations of painting, so too does he portray chain-link fencing, spartan and practical, by taking this appropriated imagery from its functional context and situating it in a painting to erase preconceived notions of utility. At once compelling and perspicacious, Untitled masterfully transcends the conventions of painting in an adept balance between a pure exploration of the medium and aesthetic indulgence.

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
New York