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Home » Go See – Paris: “De Kooning” by Richard Prince at Gagosian Gallery through May 21st 2011

Go See – Paris: “De Kooning” by Richard Prince at Gagosian Gallery through May 21st 2011

April 17th, 2011


Untitled (de kooning)
(2008) by Richard Prince, via Gagosian Gallery

Currently on view at Gagosian Gallery in Paris is “Richard Prince: De Kooning” an exhibition of paintings and works on paper  by American artist Richard Prince which pays homage to the late abstract expressionist. The show takes places at the same time as “Richard Prince: American Prayer” at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.  Prince’s “De Kooning” series references iconic images from the work of the renowned American-Dutch Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning.  Also, relevant to this show’s continuation of Prince’s appropriative artistic dialog, is the artist and the Gagosian Gallery’s recent loss of a lawsuit (which will likely be appealed) against Patrick Cariou regarding Prince’s “Canal Zone” exhibition at Gagosian in 2008.


Untitled (de kooning)
(2009) by Richard Prince, via Gagosian Gallery

More images and text after the jump….




Untitled (de kooning)
(2009) by Richard Prince, via Gagosian Gallery

“It was time to pay homage to an artist I really like. Some people worship at the altar- I believe in de Kooning,” states Prince. The intense works in “De Kooning” incorporate the artist’s own creative interpretation of De Kooning’s established images, such as adding a man next to one of De Kooning’s women or sketching new thighs, genitalia, and facial features on images, many of which are cut and pasted from catalogs and vintage porn magazines.


Untitled (de kooning)
(2009) by Richard Prince, via Gagosian Gallery

The overworking of De Kooning’s paintings coupled with Prince’s fierce drawing result in montages of elements from the Abstract Expressionist master and the American pop artist. So intense are the efforts on canvas that the image sometimes loses the distinction between the styles of the two. Prince’s “De Kooning” paintings are very much an homage but also a destruction; they embody what Prince upholds as a “Spiritual America,” referring to the need to reinvent and also honor the artistic past. His rebellious works once again provoke controversy.


Richard Prince “De Kooning” Installation View, via Gagosian Gallery

Prince’s artistic “borrowing” from mass media and pop culture, as well as the works of other esteemed artists, softens the line between the integrity of the globalized image and art, as well as emphasizing issues of ownership and copyright. He is also an avid collector of American ephemera and particularly of books from what he calls the “BeatHippiePunk” era. His collection includes important works from the writers of Beat generation such as Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs, and can be currently viewed at his exhibit Richard Prince: American Prayer at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.


Richard Prince “De Kooning” Installation View, via Gagosian Gallery


Richard Prince “De Kooning” Installation View, via Gagosian Gallery


Richard Prince “De Kooning” Installation View, via Gagosian Gallery

-R.A. Proctor

Related Links:

Exhibition Page [Gagosian Gallery]
Prince of Paris? Richard Prince Shows Electrify Electrify the French Capital, but the Controversial Artists Goes AWOL [Artdaily]
Richard Prince: An American in Paris [The Independent]

2 Responses to “Go See – Paris: “De Kooning” by Richard Prince at Gagosian Gallery through May 21st 2011”

  1. Michael Koontz Says:

    Wow, what terrible imitations. I mean, maybe if Prince could actually draw or paint, but poorly executed drawings/collages hovering over pastel color fields? C’mon…they’re pathetic.

  2. THIBEAULT Says:

    Not so Mike, they are quite WELL executed and prophetic not pathetic. Just look back at Prince’s work(I suspect you haven’t actually seen these) and you wil see that he is ACTUALLY a very acomplished draftsman and Painter.

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