Prince of Thames

A New Record for Prince in the City that Doesn’t Get His Work?

Sotheby’s is selling Richard Prince’s Overseas Nurse with an estimate well above th current record. Will it sell for $8 million or more? We’ll know next week. In the meantime, Prince’s first UK solo exhibition is opening and the British critics can’t decide whether they don’t like his work for its masculinity or its overtly American sensibility. (Quotes and links after the Jump.)

Continuation opens at the Serpentine Gallery this week and some of the press reaction may explain why this is his first major exhibition. The Times says,

To a British audience the show will seem bracingly American because Prince is fascinated with American culture – to the exclusion of all else. It also rams home that Prince’s art is an acquired taste.

and makes this observation about the joke series that are threatening to flood the auction market they way Nurses have:

The canvases are flat, banal and pristine, like any mass-produced object. They were designed as a joke against the art market of the 1980s, but the irony is that these anti-masterpieces have sold very well.

The Guardian has a cleverer take on the show but not a more positive one on Prince as an artist:

His art often depends on its resemblance to other things – to other art, as well as to its overt references in popular culture. If you hold a mirror to the world, are you responsible for what it reflects?

Or . . .

Prince also expects his audience to be as knowing as he is. (It never does to overestimate the intelligence of the art lover, especially the collecting classes. They say Rothko killed himself because he met the people who bought his art.)

Richard Prince: Continuation at the Serpentine Gallery (The Times of London)

Girlz on the Hood (The Guardian)

Girls, Cars and Body Parts: Richard Prince’s Shallow American Dream (Bidisha, The Guardian Blog)

Shame He’s a One-Trick Pony (The Observer)

Topless Bikers, Jokes Fill Prince Show: Martin Gayford (Bloomberg)