Menu

Richard Prince

Canal Zone

November 8–December 20, 2008
West 24th Street, New York

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York © Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeeverr

Installation view at Gagosian West 24th Street, New York

© Richard Prince, photo by Rob McKeeverr

Works Exhibited

Richard Prince, Naked Confessions, 2008 Collage, inkjet, and acrylic on canvas, 45 3/16 × 46 inches (114.8 × 116.8 cm)© Richard Prince

Richard Prince, Naked Confessions, 2008

Collage, inkjet, and acrylic on canvas, 45 3/16 × 46 inches (114.8 × 116.8 cm)
© Richard Prince

Richard Prince, Back to the Garden, 2008 Collage, inkjet, and acrylic on canvas, 80 × 120 inches (203.2 × 304.8 cm)© Richard Prince

Richard Prince, Back to the Garden, 2008

Collage, inkjet, and acrylic on canvas, 80 × 120 inches (203.2 × 304.8 cm)
© Richard Prince

Richard Prince, Dear Mary, 2008 1987 Buick Grand National, 57 × 198 × 74 inches (144.8 × 502.9 × 188 cm)© Richard Prince

Richard Prince, Dear Mary, 2008

1987 Buick Grand National, 57 × 198 × 74 inches (144.8 × 502.9 × 188 cm)
© Richard Prince

About

The story was basically about a guy who lands in St Barth, gets off the plane, is immediately told that there’s been a nuclear holocaust in the rest of the world, and he looks at his family and says ‘We can’t go back.’
—Richard Prince

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce “Canal Zone,” an exhibition of new paintings by Richard Prince.

Following his burlesque dialogues with the art of De Kooning, Picasso, and Naughty Nurse pulp fiction, Prince has turned to his own biographical roots for inspiration. The Panama Canal Zone, where he was born, was, until 1979, a political exclave of the U.S., part-colonial company enclave and part-socialist government, purportedly dominated by virulent separatist racism. In his characteristic manner, Prince has transformed the former reality of his birthplace into a fictive space: “Canal Zone” provides an anarchic tropical scenario in which extreme emanations of the (white American male) id—fleshy female pin-ups, Rastafarians with massive dreadlocks, electric guitars, and virile black bodies—run riot.

Aside from their “storyboard” looks and their ability to absorb information based on Prince’s original “pitch,” what is evidently new in these paintings is the way they are, literally, “put together,” like provisional magazine lay-outs. Some images, scanned from originals, are printed directly onto the base canvas; others are “dragged on,” using a primitive collage technique whereby printed figures are roughly cut out, then the backs of those figures painted and pasted directly onto the base canvas with a squeegee so that the excess paint squirts out on and around the image. On top of this are violently suggestive swipes and drips of livid paint and scribbles of oil-stick crayon which, together with the comic, abstract sign-features that mask each figure’s face, add to the powerful push-pull between degree and effect. This has become a completely new way for Prince to make a painting, where much of what shows up on the surface is incidental to the process.

Read more