Stephen Prina

Born in 1954, Galesburg, Illinois

Lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Los Angeles, California

Artist, musician, and composer, Stephen Prina’s work is often characterised by his appropriation and recontextualisation of works by other artists. Self-consciously evoking past, present, and future, Prina uses painting, installation, photography, film and performance to address the post-studio afterlife of artworks in art-world distribution channels: its institutions, its market, and its historiography. Packed with quotations and citations, Prina’s works address the shifting interpretations of art in cultural and contextual flux.

In 1999, Prina began his ‘When Push Comes to Love” works – for which he empties the entire contents of a can of spray-paint onto another existing artwork, holding the can in one spot and allowing the paint to dribble down and onto the floor. Collaborators have included well-known American artist Wade Guyton – whose sought-after inkjet abstract works became a vibrant background to the black splotch of paint in 2010 and 2011. For our work in The Arts Club collection, Prina has transformed one of his own earlier paintings, effectively vandalising his own ideas and drawing into question the intellectual and market value of an artwork.

For over thirty years Prina has exhibited extensively internationally, including at the Secession Gallery, Vienna, The Art Institute of Chicago and as part of the Whitney Biennale at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and more recently Spruth Magers in, Los Angeles and Museo Madre in Naples, Italy.


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