Richard Prince's excellent show at 303 Gallery doesn't take art history, art theory, or the art world too seriously, but that doesn't mean he thinks making art is funny. Here's his enigmatic (and amusing) statement for the show:
Some people see leaves falling from a tree and see it as, leaves falling from a tree. Others see it as an inexhaustible mystery of the signified from the mundane closed-off simulation of a world sign.
The world is intolerably dreary. You escape it by seeing and naming what had heretofore been unspeakable.
Naming the unnamable and hearing it named.
These paintings should be shown to the man from Mars.
Want to free yourself from experience? Don't pay any attention to it.
You don't address an audience, you create an audience.
The best images have sensations of unreality, illimitable vastness, brilliant light, and the gloss and smoothness of material things.
A joke is a reaction to the main event of any culture. It recovers the integral person.
These paintings could have been played at CBGB's.
I like consenting to be part of a dynamic mechanism in an artificially contrived situation. In other words, I like to play the game.
The higher you climb, the more I see of your ass.
Texture instead of semantic meanings.
Normality as a special effect might be another from of hysteria.
These paintings are like an unrecognized dinosaur... a beautifully feathered tyrant.
25 x 22 7/8 inches (framed)
4 panels: 26 3/8 x 20 7/8 inches (each framed)
In the NYTimes today Roberta Smith gives the show a thumbs up, too:
On first sight each appears to feature a single irregular polygonal shape outlined in black on a brushy white ground....Closer examination reveals them to be black rubber bands, stapled at each point of the shape onto the surface, which is usually newsprint and contributes to the white’s patchiness....But they also extend the Modernist love of humble materials, precise yet nonchalant methods and the setting of limits, whose precedents include the relaxed geometries of Richard Tuttle and Mel Bochner as well as Jasper Johns’s careful use of newsprint. How much art can still be eked out of black rubber bands, white paint and the daily papers? If attention is paid, more than enough.
"Richard Prince: 14 Paintings," 303 Gallery, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through June 22, 2012.
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