LOS ANGELES, CA.-
Richard Prince: Untitled (cowboy) presents two photographic series from the 2010s that are being publicly exhibited for the first time at LACMA
. Continuing the artists career-long engagement with the motif of the cowboy, Untitled (cowboy), recently acquired by LACMA, and Untitled (original cowboy) achieve the grandeur of 19th-century history painting while also deconstructing the iconography of the American West. Once again challenging the conventional meanings and limits of the photographic medium, Prince reignites debates he sparked some 40 years ago.
In the mid-1970s, Prince was an aspiring painter working in Time Inc.s tear sheet department, clipping texts for magazine writers. After he removed the articles, he was left with advertisements: glossy pictures of commodities, models, and other objects of desire. Between 1980 and 1992, Prince paid particular attention to the motif of the cowboy, as depicted in a series of advertisements for Marlboro cigarettes. Prince began to rephotograph the advertisements, cropping and enlarging them to make limited-edition prints as artworks of his own. Princes re-photography had an explosive effect on the art world, provoking lawsuits and setting auction records. With this controversial practice, he redefined what it means to take a photograph.
For his 201516 Untitled (cowboy) photographs, Prince revisited copies of TIME from the 1980s and 1990s using contemporary technology. In contrast to this studio-based manipulation, for the 2013 series Untitled (original cowboy) Prince went to Utah, seeking out quintessential viewpoints established by legions of photographerstourists and artists alikewho preceded him. Extending his interrogation of this particular American protagonist into the era of Instagram, Prince demonstrates that the stakes around originality, appropriation, and truth in advertising are as high as ever.
Richard Prince was born in 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone. He currently lives and works in Upstate New York. Princes work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2014); Picasso Museum, Spain (2012); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007, traveled to Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Serpentine Gallery, London, through 2008); Neuberger Museum of Art, New York (2007); Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo (2006); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2004); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2001, traveled to Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland; and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany); MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Schindler House, Los Angeles (2000); MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Vienna (2000); Museum Haus Lange/Museum Haus Esters, Germany (1997); Haus der Kunst/Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich (1996); Museum BoymansVan Beuningen, Rotterdam (1993); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (1993); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992).
Princes works are in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.