Contemporary Art Online | New York

Contemporary Art Online | New York

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


Lot Closed

December 6, 05:03 PM GMT


30,000 - 40,000 USD

Lot Details



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.)

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)