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Fugitive Artist: The Early Work of Richard Prince, 1974-77

January 28, 2007 - June 24, 2007

 

Since the early 1980s, Richard Prince has been one of the leading artists of the "Pictures Generation," along with such contemporaries as Cindy Sherman, Sherrie Levine and Jack Goldstein. Prince became one of the key practitioners of appropriation art by taking pre-existing photographs, often from magazine and newspaper ads, and re-photographing them to create new imagery that commented on contemporary cultural values. Since that time, through work in such varied mediums as painting, sculpture and photography, he has established himself as one of the most original and influential figures on the contemporary art scene. Yet the origins of his practice have remained obscure.

Through careful and painstaking research, Michael Lobel, Ph.D., uncovered Prince's early work, created in the mid-1970s. "It was stunning," says Lobel, who is Assistant Professor of Art History and Director of the M.A. Program in Modern and Contemporary Art, Criticism, and Theory at Purchase College, State University of New York. "One could trace his path, the development of the techniques and subject matter that led to the work for which he is now best known. We see Prince toying with the imagery he would eventually use in his appropriated photographs, and beginning to experiment with re-photography itself."

Thus, the landmark exhibition Fugitive Artist: The Early Work of Richard Prince, 1974-77 was born. According to Lobel, this show of over 50 works is certain to alter existing views of the artist's oeuvre. Prince's drawings, prints, altered text works and mixed media photo-collages, created between 1974 and 1977, provide a significant and compelling new context for his more recognizable works in their exploration of themes of authorship, repetition and identity. Just as significantly, they offer insight into an important period in the history of contemporary art that is in need of further investigation. As Lobel describes it:

"Prince's early work was made during a period when the conceptual art tendencies of the late 1960s and early 1970s were beginning to give way to the concern with media and advertising that would characterize the postmodernist art of the 1980s." The title of the exhibition is derived from one of the artist's works in the show. "It also describes how Prince has created an artistic persona that's hard to pin down," says Lobel. "He seems to have worked to excise his pre-appropriationist activities from the public record of his career. This is not unusual for artists. Sometimes they destroy or alter their early work to shape their own career narratives. And sometimes an art historian comes along and adds to those narratives or revises them in some way."

Fugitive Artist: The Early Work of Richard Prince, 1974-77 will be on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art/Purchase College from January 28 through June 24, 2007. Exhibition support is generously provided by the Strypemonde Foundation; the Westchester Arts Council, with funds from Westchester County Government; and the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art. Media sponsorship is provided by WFUV.

 

Program in conjunction with Fugitive Artist

PANEL: Issues of Attribution in Recent Art
Thursday, April 26, 7:30 pm
 
Curators convene to address issues concerning attribution, the authentication of recent art, and intellectual property rights. Richard Prince's disavowal of his early work raises a number of challenging questions that the panel will address through the work of Richard Prince, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. Moderated by Thom Collins, Director, Neuberger Museum of Art, the panel features Michael Lobel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Art History and Director of the M.A. Program in Modern and Contemporary Art, Criticism, and Theory, Purchase College; Ellen G. Landau, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, and curator of "Pollock Matters;" and Richard Polsky, a private dealer in San Francisco and the author of I Bought Andy Warhol (Abrams). Fee.
 

Checklist for the exhibition as of 12/20/06

 
RICHARD PRINCE
American, born Panama Canal Zone, 1949
 
Matches (Like Most Everybody Else. . .), 1974
Etching
15 _ x 10 _
Courtesy Angus Whyte, San Francisco, CA
 
Matches (There's No Dessert/Really There's No Dessert), 1974
Etching
20 3/8 x 25 _
Courtesy Kathryn Markel, New York, NY
 
Venus, 1974
Graphite and collage on paper
14 _ x 11 _
Courtesy Angus Whyte, San Francisco, CA
 
Flavored Language Letter, c. 1974
Typed letter
8 _ x 11
Courtesy Angus Whyte, San Francisco, CA
 
Form Letter no. 3, Flavored Language Series, c. 1974
Typed letter
8 _ x 11
Courtesy Angus Whyte, San Francisco, CA
 
Form Letter No. 4, Flavored Language Series, c. 1974
Typed letter
8 _ x 11
Courtesy Angus Whyte, San Francisco, CA
 
Hey Man, c. 1974
Typed letter
8 _ x 11
Courtesy Angus Whyte, San Francisco, CA
 
Can I Say Rock N Roll, 1975
Monoprint, collage, engraving on paper
26 _ x 20 7/8
Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Gift of Russell Cowles, 1984
1984.924
 
Four Men Laughing, 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 x 19 _
Courtesy Kathryn Markel, New York, NY
 
Maine Course, 1975
Etching
21 _ x 26
Courtesy Kathryn Markel, New York, NY
 
Untitled, 1975
Mixed media
24 x 29 _
Courtesy The JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, New York, NY
 
Untitled, 1975
Mixed media
24 x 29 _
Courtesy The JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, New York, NY
 
Untitled (Apolinère Enameled), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
25 _ x 20
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (Drive In Theatre), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 _ x 20
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (Elephant table-Elephant grave siting), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 5/8 x 20 _
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (I dreamed I was in my backyard dodging a nuclear attack), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 _ x 20
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (I wish to thank the following people from the size of New York), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
25 _ x 20 1/8
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (July 14 1816 site of slaying of elephant. . .), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 1/8 x 20 1/8
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (levitating through the third eye. . .), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
25 7/8 x 19 7/8
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (New York windows the size of New York), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 _ x 20 _
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (observatory foundation), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 _ x 20 3/8
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (Que la tortilla se vuelva), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 x 19 _
Courtesy Rose Marie Frick, Brunswick, ME
 
Untitled (Rip off in a small Kansas town), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
27 _ x 19 7/8
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (Shelter for a fugitive westcoasting artist), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 5/8 x 20 _
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (Shelter-for the observation of whales-southern Calif.), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
27 _ x 20
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (Shelter-ground breaking September 4 75 Warner New Hampshire), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
26 x 19 7/8
Courtesy The Prudential Insurance Company of America
 
Untitled (Table Beach Southern Me.), 1975
Monoprint and collage on paper
25 _ x 20
Courtesy Rose Marie Frick, Brunswick, ME
 
Art Into Activity Equals Art Onto Artist, 1976
Photographs and collage on paper
22 _ x 34 _
Courtesy Sragow Gallery, New York, NY
 
Bomb Dream Enameled, 1976
Photographs and collage on paper
21 _ x 33 _
Courtesy Sragow Gallery, New York, NY
 
Bomb Dream Enamled, 1976
Unique artist's book
8 9/16 x 7 7/8 x 3/16 (closed)
Courtesy Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA
 
Eleven Conversations, 1976
In Tracks: A Journal of Artists' Writings vol.2, no. 3 (Fall 1976)
Periodical
9 x 11 (open)
Private Collection, New York, NY
 
Fish Story, 1976
Unbound artist's book
9 x 8
Courtesy Bevan O. Davies, Kennebunk, ME
 
Prince on Prince on Prince on Prince on Prince, 1976
Typewritten text on letterhead sheet
11 x 8 _
Courtesy Sragow Gallery, New York, NY
 
Property Owner, 1976
Photographs and collage on paper
21 x 34
Courtesy Sragow Gallery, New York, NY
 
Twins, 1976
Collage
11 x 16 _
Courtesy Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA
 
Untitled, 1976
Photographs and collage on paper
22 x 30
Courtesy Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan
 
Untitled (Christina's World), 1976
Collage
11 x 17
Courtesy Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA
 
Untitled (objects are nothing. . .), c. 1976
Altered magazine page (ink on paper)
11 x 8 _
Courtesy Sragow Gallery, New York, NY
 
Card Shark, 1977
Photograph mounted on board in folder
10 _ x 16 7/8 (board)
Courtesy Sragow Gallery, New York, NY
 
Untitled, 1977
Photographs and mixed media
23 _ x 19 _
Courtesy David Deitcher, New York, NY
 
Untitled, 1977
Photographs and typewritten text on board
10 _ x 17
Courtesy Knight Landesman, New York, NY
 
Untitled, 1977
Color coupler prints collaged on gelatin silver prints mounted on paper
22 _ x 30
Courtesy Salke Family Trust, Boston, MA
 
Abbreviations, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
About the Author, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
The Author, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
The Author's Apology for His Book, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
Author's Note, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
Epilogue, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
Etymology, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
Preface, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
When the sea was calm, c. 1977
Offset lithograph
8 _ x 11
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY
 
Portfolio: From None, 1978
In The Paris Review, vol. 20, no. 73 (Spring-Summer 1978)
Periodical
8 _ x 10 _ (open)
Private Collection, New York, NY
 
Calling All Book Readers, n.d.
Offset card
7 x 4
Courtesy Sragow Gallery, New York, NY
 
There's No Dessert/Really There's No Dessert, n.d.
Matchbook with printed text
Edition of 100 (26/100)
2 x 2 1/8 (closed)
Courtesy Sragow Gallery, New York, NY


RL readers may also enjoy:

also, Mr. Prince has a website.

 

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