Rudolf Stingel: Staggering Art From Building Materials



Stairway at the Grand Palais Exhibition, Fall 2008

As an interior designer, it was with great interest that I spotted a silvered insulation panel hanging on the walls of the Biennale des Antiquaires at the Grand Palais in Paris in fall 2008.   

At first glance, I thought it had been an embarrassing oversight on the part of the Facilities Management, but on closer inspection, I found some scrawling across its surface, thus revealing itself as....art. Jarringly incongruous with the usual Bonnards, Bougereaux, and Breugels at this show, I was captivated with this piece. 


2007 Installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC 
of Silver Insulation Brilliantly Lighted by a Chandelier, 
and Where Visitors Wrote on the Celotex Insulation Boards


1991 Installation of Orange Carpeting as Art in NYC Gallery 


If you ever doubted the ability of color to reflect in your rooms, 
believe it or not, these are white walls 


I wasn't the only person curious at the Paris show in Fall 2008



Further research revealed that its creator, the slightly subversive Rudolf Stingel, has a penchant for using the prosaic everyday tools of my trade...carpeting, insulation, chandeliers....to create stunning, unforgettable and brilliant installations that engage and enrapture his audience, if not baffle them. 

Is this that royal man parading down the street sans clothing....;-)....? 

There are lessons for us interior designers to be found in studying Stingel's art:

  • never underestimate the powerful impact of a single element when used in large amounts
  •  use what you already have on hand
  • invite others to give their input
  • light your work exquisitely
  •  hire a great publicist
  •  reflected color counts....a lot

The 225 cm x 210 cm piece I saw in Paris?    700,000 euros.   That's  $1,036,000


An emperor could buy a lot of new clothes with that!



photos courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery

New York and Art or Idiocy?'s photostream



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Kit Golson Design 

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

 Chic Provence Interior Design


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