View full screen - View 1 of Lot 103. MICHAEL KREBBER | UNTITLED.





b. 1954


signed with the artist's initials and dated 2002 on the stretcher bar

oil on canvas

51⅛ by 51⅛ in. (129.8 by 129.8 cm.)

This work is in very good condition overall. There is minor soiling to the corners and turning edges, visible upon very close inspection. There are three very minor accretions, one in the lower right corner, one along the lower left edge and one in the top right quadrant, each visible upon close inspection. Unframed.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Greene Naftali Gallery, New York

Acquired from the above by the present owner in January 2008

“As I made my way around the gallery, two quotes kept repeating in my head. The first was from John Kelsey’s 2005 Artforum article on [Michael Krebber], ‘Stop Painting Painting’: ‘All the paint in Krebber’s last two shows [in New York] couldn’t fill one small canvas by Dana Schutz or John Currin.’ The second came from Krebber himself, who wrote in a press release for a 2010 show at Galerie Buchholz in Berlin: ‘I should like to perform in this exhibition that it doesn’t matter what I do, whether it is good or bad, or that it conforms however to whatever criteria—the fact that I call myself an artist is enough here.’ While the quotes refer to specific exhibitions, I find them applicable to Krebber’s work in general, which is characterized by an economy of material and a simultaneous affirmation and negation of painting as a medium. Krebber claims to occupy an aesthetic realm where no intent can go wrong—a realm of a romantic irony steeped in both skeptical detachment and radical self-acceptance. 

[…] While the artist problematizes painting’s pretentions with nonchalant dandyism, the works, most of the time, are quite pleasing to look at, even if they may have taken only ten minutes to make. The perceived “laziness” serves as a comment on the art world’s paradoxical denial of its own power structures by sometimes welcoming rhetorical negation and self-aware levity. What at first seems apolitical, nonobjective, and innocuous is in fact loaded with perplexing questions related to status, taste, inequality, and value. Krebber is the post-painting painter par excellence, capable of both contriving elaborate conceptual gambits and creating generous, occasionally sublime surfaces.”

(Alex Bienstock, “Michael Krebber”, Art In America, 1 February 2019, online)