Rolled-up Edelweiß, 2003
Rudolf Stingel (Meran/Merano, 1956) is a South Tyrolean artist who has lived in New York since 1987. He has explored the meanings of painting since the beginning of his artistic career in the mid-Eighties, using diverse artistic styles ranging from concept art to hyperrealism. In his book Instruction (published in 1989) he explained as in a do-it-yourself manual how to create art “à la Stingel”, thus questioning the concepts of originality, authenticity and authorship. In 1991, he covered the floor of the Daniel Newburg Gallery with an orange carpet and invited the visitors to use their fingers like brushes to leave fleeting traces on the carpet. He used a similar site-specific approach for subsequent art installations, including the one at Palazzo Grassi in 2013, where he covered the floor with an oriental rug to take possession of the entire architectural space at his disposal.
For his artwork in Meran, Stingel again worked primarily with space, covering the walls and girders of level -2 of the car park with an Edelweiss roll-up screen on a silver background. With this deliberately “cheesy” element, akin to the flower wallpapers popular in the 1970s, Stingel imbues the nondescript transitional place with a cozy atmosphere.
The work shows signs of decay and needs to be restored.