London Exhibitions. Richard Prince: Protest Paintings. 15 October – 20 December 2013. Skarstedt London
Richard Prince: Protest Paintings (1986 – 1994) will be on view at Skarstedt London from October 2013. Protest Paintings is the artist’s sixth solo exhibition at Skarstedt. A detailed catalogue will be published on the Protest Paintings, marking the first publication to be devoted solely to this exceptional body of work. Rising to prominence in the 1980s, Richard Prince is a celebrated pioneer of a critical approach to art making. Appropriating images and text from advertising and popular culture, his photographs, sculptures and paintings explore ideas of American identity and consumerism, whilst simultaneously challenging ideas of authorship and the privileged status of the unique artwork. Prince has been the subject of solo exhibitions at leading institutions worldwide, including Serpentine Gallery, London; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and IVAM, Valencia amongst others.
Painted on a vertical canvas in the shape of a protest placard, the Protest Paintings alternate between monochromatic minimalism and richly layered colourful abstraction. Incorporating recycled jokes, printed and hand-written, as well as mined pattern details silkscreened onto the canvas, these paintings are characteristic of Prince’s tenet of appropriation. A mainstay in his art, the classic one-liners offer comic respite, whilst also challenging the high/low art divide. Masking a menacing truth behind a veil of humour, the jokes are subversive in their purpose. As the curator Nancy Spector writes in an essay on Prince: ‘humor is a serious business.’
Skarstedt was founded in 1994 by Per Skarstedt to mount historical exhibitions by contemporary European and American artists. This core expertise was developed in Sweden and New York over two decades from the late 1980s. Skarstedt’s New York gallery is located on 79 Street and Madison Avenue in an historic building, formerly the renowned Rosenberg Gallery. In October 2012, Skarstedt opened its London space on Old Bond Street with the inaugural exhibition Andy Warhol: The American Indian.