Acquired 2006
Rudolf Stingel

Italian, born 1956

Untitled, 1988

Oil and enamel on canvas
50 x 50 cm (19.7 x 19.7 in.)

Featuring unusual and often banal materials such as industrial carpet and Styrofoam, Rudolf Stingel’s conceptual paintings and site-specific installations transform into dazzling pictorial statements. Sometimes produced through unexpected results, Stingel’s work deconstructs—and therefore demystifies—the processes of making art. His work often disrupts the perception of exhibition spaces and destabilizes the accepted hierarchy between the work and the context.


Untitled is the first in Stingel’s series of iconic textural silver paintings—made by a process of coating the canvas in a single color, laying a piece of tulle over the surface, spraying the canvas with silver paint, and then removing the fabric to reveal lyrical, painterly creases on a luminous field of color. The silver surface disrupts the modernist monochrome, making it more contemporary, and adds a touch of glamour and decoration. Embracing nontraditional strategies in painting, as well as redefining the role of the artist, Stingel printed a step-by-step illustrated list of instructions in six languages, which reveals his technique and allows anyone who followed his “recipe” to create one of his paintings.