Skarstedt Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition White Paintings by Richard Prince comprising
eight paintings from the series executed during the early 1990s.
Celebrated for his appropriation of advertising images and photographs during the early 1970s, Richard
Prince began in the 1980s to explore the relationship between image and language, pairing jokes from
books and magazine, typically satirical one-liners, with referential and non-referential imagery, mostly
cartoons. Prince’s early Joke paintings transformed from monochromatic rigidly composed works into freefloating
combinations of jokes and stripped-down layered imagery in the 1990s.
Prince’s White Paintings are raw and energetic in comparison to his more straightforward “re-photographs”
of the 1970s and the Monochromatic Jokes of the 1980s. In the White Paintings, handwritten and printed
jokes mingle with gestural marks, silkscreened imagery, and graphic fragments all strewn across a whitepigmented
backdrop. Prince’s hand is present in these works with their painterly white texture, spirited
whorls, and handwritten jokes. In this series, he uses appropriation in a different fashion as he evokes the
work of the great American painters of the 1950s such as Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg.
Richard Prince was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1949. Moving to New York City in the early 1970s,
he eventually took a job at Time-Life in the tear-sheets department, which afforded him a constant
exposure to contemporary consumer advertisements. It was there that he started taking photographs of
cowboys, particularly the image of the Marlboro Man, which jumpstarted his career. Prince has exhibited
extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held in
institutions such as the Museo Picasso Malaga in 2012, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2007, and
the Whitney Museum of American Art. Redefining concepts of authorship, ownership and the artist, Prince
has distinguished himself as a great American contemporary artist. He now lives and works in upstate New