GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND—Nahmad Contemporary is pleased to present Richard Prince: Just My Luck, an exhibition at Tarmak22 in the Gstaad Airport on view from February 17 through March 10, 2022. The presentation will debut paintings by Richard Prince (b. 1949) from the artist’s latest Just My Luck (2021) series that mark his continued interests in classic American comedy as well as in dismantling notions of authorship.
Throughout his artistic career, Prince has employed appropriation to probe American pop culture and social conventions. He first incorporated jokes into his work in the 1980s by inscribing well-known punch lines of celebrated comedians onto paper. Shortly thereafter, the artist transitioned from drawing to painting by silk-screening the jokes onto canvases.
Prince’s recent Just My Luck paintings deliver comic relief for the frivolous misfortunes of everyday life by appropriating legendary stand-up comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s deadpan joke: “Just my luck. I was at the airport when my ship came in.” Unlike his earlier painted jokes, in which the punch line was typed and silk-screened onto a primed surface, the artist’s hand is notably present in these works. Here, the joke is expressed as hand-written charcoal inscriptions on large, raw canvas. While the same joke is repeated in each work, the nuances inherent to each hand-written text varies, suggesting the presence of the artist’s signature. Yet, the series’ minimalistic uniformity obscures the impression of originality and serves as a reminder of the recycled material at its core.
Building on Prince’s legacy of appropriative strategies, the paintings comprising Just My Luck simultaneously subvert authorship and reveal the artist’s presence.
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