Untitled (Key to the Second House), 2003
Mixed Media Sculpture Edition, Cast bronze and plastic
Edition of 100
Signed, stamped, 'Richard Prince', numbered of 100 on separate label
13.5 x 5.1 cm
A historical work born from artist Richard Prince’s studio/exhibition space/ installation in upstate New York. “Untitled (Key to the Second House)” presents a hilarious yet conceptually sharp meditation on the division of the artist’s public and private space. While “Second House” functioned as the artist’s studio and home, it was also on the public radar, and was eventually given by Prince to the Guggenheim Museum prior to his 2007 landmark retrospective. As the key would imply, the “opening up” of the studio could be seen as invasive, casting the key-holder in an undeniably voyeuristic role. Ironically, “Second House” was destroyed by lightning shortly after it was gifted to the Guggenheim, making this key a valuable memento of what is surely one of “Prince’s” most significant “works” to date.
Guggenheim Museum's Description of Second House:
With his Second House (2003), Prince has created the perfect environment in which to showcase his art. Situated in the town of Rensselaerville, New York, where Prince lives and works, the house provides a deliberately anonymous, domestic setting for an installation of the artist's car-hood sculptures and paintings. A ranch-style residence once used as a hunting camp, the house had been abandoned for 12 years before Prince purchased and transformed it He gutted the interior to create a simple floor design comprising a foyer, living room, two bedrooms, and an enclosed garage. Camouflaged as a perpetual work in progress—the exterior is clad in exposed insulation material and the interior walls and ceilings are stripped to the dry wall—the house resembles neighboring dwellings in this depressed corner of Albany County. The masquerade effect continues in the backyard, where a 1973 Plymouth Barracuda painted primer black sits on blocks. Only a joke painting hanging outside on the rear wall of the house indicates to passersby that this dwelling is not what it appears to be.