Untitled (After Sam)
Not on view
Oil on canvas
Overall: 139 1/2 × 188in. (354.3 × 477.5 cm) Image: 132 × 180in. (335.3 × 457.2 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee
Rights and reproductions
© Rudolf Stingel. Courtesy the Artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Untitled (After Sam) is part of a series of photo-realistic paintings based on black-and-white photographs of Rudolf Stingel taken by artist Sam Samore, who is referenced in the title of this work. Like the footprints and graffiti that Stingel recorded in earlier canvases, the photographic self-portraits act as an index of the artist’s physical body, but the subject of his investigation moves here from the materiality of painting to the psychological material of the painter. In the painting, Stingel lies slumped on a bed in a state of melancholy and self-reflection. The despondency of both his pose and his expression possibly signal a moment of creative crisis. Stingel’s strategy draws on self-portraiture as a historical genre, yet the move from photograph to painting prompts a consideration of the distinction between the two—what has been gained, or lost, in the transcription? The artist presents himself as larger-than-life, contemplative, and even vulnerable at the same time as he draws attention to the mediation of this intimate representation by mechanical means.