Untitled (After Sam)


Oil on canvas

335.3 × 457.2 cm (132 × 180 in.)

Untitled (After Sam) is a huge black-and-white, three-quarter self-portrait of a pensive, closed-eye Rudolf Stingel. The painting’s hyperrealism is more striking than the gap between the monumental scale and the subject’s intimacy.

It belongs to a series of eponymous paintings based on photographs by Sam Samore, a friend of the artist. They are overly blown up and reproduced by hand in a realistic style mimicking photography. Up close, they reveal a deep materiality where every brushstroke can be seen. Yet the psychological dimension matters more than the artist’s technical achievement. He looks introspective, if not melancholic, and beset by existential doubt. Returning to figurative art and the self-portrait genre, Stingel again proves his skill and eloquence.

Untitled (After Sam) was exhibited for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2018 "Dancing with Myself" show at the Punta della Dogana in Venice.