Richard Prince will open his new paintings and related newsprint collages, entitled ‘Tiffany Paintings’, at Gagosian Gallery ‘s Madison Avenue in New York on May 7th 2010. The image of the painting above, entitled ‘The Moon’, is as Prince puts it himself, ”These things looked like something that should be painted.”
Prince first attracted attention in the early 1980s with images re-photographed from magazine ads, through which he defined for himself the concepts of authorship, ownership, and aura. Applying his understanding of the complex transactions of representation to the making of art, he has evolved a unique signature filled with echoes of other signatures yet that is unquestionably his own. The highly anticipated show will run through until June 19th 2010.
Begun in 2004 at the juncture of the Nurse and De Kooning paintings and evolving through the Canal Zone and After Darkseries, the Tiffany paintings reflect Prince’s continuing attentiveness to the recurring patterns and suggestive potential of advertising, honed by years of perusing newspapers and magazines. These almost abstract, monochrome paintings treat the plain yet distinctive ads that New York’s most famous jewelry brand has run daily for many years in the upper right hand corner of the same page of The New York Times, while echoing associations with another classic, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, whose object of desire Holly Golightly lures admirers only to elude them later.
Prince’s Tiffany paintings are terse, tenuous combines of material reference and literary allusion comprising, in addition to the aforementioned Tiffany ads, scanned news events, obituaries, and the occasional autobiographical note. This field of reference is then painted over in a manner evocative of post-war Abstract Expressionism, from its sedimentary layers and floating blocks of color to the swipes and splatters of its more animated moments. In some cases, words and phrases snatched from the ad copy – “will be girls,” “undecided, and “Picasso”– are echoed suggestively in the titles of paintings; in others, such as Poetry, headlines charged with dread and import loom through obfuscating veils of paint.
Above text extracted from ‘Tiffany Paintings’ press release.