Untitled (Franz West, after Friedl Kubelka)


Oil on canvas

334.3 x 310.5 cm (131 5/8 x 122 1/4 in.)

The candid eye of the painter Franz West seems to want to question the viewer in this black and white portrait of youth, spattered here and there with splashes of orange paint. Behind the photographic hyperrealism of the subject lies the painterly practice of a great master.

Since 2005, Rudolf Stingel has returned to the genre where he started, at the very beginning of his career in the 1970s: photorealistic portraiture. He responds to his desire to produce “something more psychological” with introspective questioning and a romantic inclination, reinstating the ambiguous relationship between photography and painting. In a huge format made from a photographic enlargement, here the portrait is given a more dramatic and even melancholic dimension since it mourns the painter’s friend, who passed away a year after it was painted.

Untitled (Franz West, after Friedl Kubelka) was first exhibited by the Pinault Collection at the "Rudolf Stingel" show, which was held in 2013 at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.