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A contemporary artist who experiments with a variety of mediums and subject matter with the goal of being “non-decorative, Rudolf Stingel, born in Merano, Italy, does mixed-media non objective paintings on canvas and much conceptual art. His work includes photo-realist portraiture, and completely blank silver insulation panels installed in a 2002 gallery exhibition so that people could mark them up as they wished. Another exhibition was just plush carpet with a perforated foam core screen and an instruction book for making abstract paintings. His New York City debut was in 1991 and was solely a vivid orange rug in a large gallery space.

Among his themes are making fun of various art movements such as saying ‘look how easy it is to do photorealism’ or ‘look how spare and uninteresting this gallery space is’. With the blank installation panels open to people’s markings, Stingel was making fun of the purity and austerity of Minimalism. Another idea he facetiously promotes is that ‘anybody can be an artist’, and in 1989, he published a small book for making paintings that included elaborate instructions involving and electric mixer and airgun. The idea was that the result had nothing to do with emotions or unique talents of the artist.

In 2006, Stingel was selected for the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City.

Sources include:
Jerry Saltz, “The Icon and the Iconoclast”, Village Voice, March 8, 2005
Jonathan Gilmore, “Rudolf Stingel”, Art in America, October 2000

Biography from the Archives of AskART.