Guggenheim Museum to Acquire Richard Prince's "Second House"

Guggenheim Museum to Acquire Richard Prince's "Second House"


Unique Contemporary Art Installation will open to the public in Summer 2005

New York, April 28, 2005. Thomas Krens, Director, announced today that the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation will acquire Richard Prince's Second House (2001–2004) in Rensselaerville, New York. The Guggenheim plans to make the Second House available for public viewing for five months a year.

Individual Car Hood sculptures in the house have been acquired by several Guggenheim trustees and patrons and promised to the museum for its permanent collection. The house itself, the other works that comprise its contents, and the land on which the house is located have been promised to the Foundation by the artist. It is the Foundation's intention to keep the house open to the public for at least ten years, after which the art works will enter the Guggenheim's collection.

Jennifer Stockman, President of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, said, “We are tremendously grateful to the artist and individuals who are making this magnificent acquisition possible. We are especially pleased that their generosity will allow us to make the Second House open to the public and to preserve the experience of it as intended by the artist.”

Lisa Dennison, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, commented, “Richard Prince is one of the most innovative and influential artists of our times. Second House is a culminating work in the artist's oeuvre. Conceived as a domestic-scale environment, it provides a concise overview of the conceptual and aesthetic tenets of Prince's practice. By owning and operating the Second House in the setting that inspired it, the Guggenheimis expanding upon its own already ambitious philosophy of collecting the most challenging examples of contemporary art.”

The House and Its Contents
Second House is situated on a hill in the town of Rensselaerville, New York, close to where the artist maintains his home and studio. Mr. Prince created his First House in 1993, in which he transformed a tear-down residence in Los Angeles into a temporary gallery for different bodies of his work, leaning and stacking paintings against walls in relation to the surrounding architecture. Second House is a ranch-style, single-story dwelling once used as a hunting camp, which had been abandoned for twelve years before the artist purchased it. He gutted the interior to create a simple layout comprising a foyer, living room, two bedrooms, and an enclosed garage. The exterior of the house is clad in the reflective silver of its exposed insulation. Both the inside and outside of the house look unfinished and thus appear like many of the other buildings in this depressed corner of Albany County. The camouflage effect continues with the 1973 Plymouth Barracuda, painted primer black, in the backyard and a white concrete highway “barrier” sculpture in the front.

Mr. Prince created eleven Car Hood sculptures specifically for the Second House, and installed them throughout its interior. These works revisit earlier series in which he altered the surface of muscle-car hoods. Hanging on a wall or placed on a pedestal, they oscillate between sculpture and painting. The surfaces of the early Car Hoods were industrially painted and buffed to slick perfection. The Car Hoods in the Second House are painted in a more gestural manner, which reflects the artist's current painting style. The Car Hoods, like Mr. Prince's appropriated Cowboy photographs, reference archetypes of Americana -muscle cars invoke near-sacred ideals of youth, speed, romance, and danger.

The Second House expands upon Mr. Prince's photographic investigations of Upstate New York (1995–99). The building reflects the surrounding environment by appropriating its architectural vernacular. Less a “museum” to house Mr. Prince's vision (as is the case with Donald Judd's celebrated compound in Marfa), than a stage-set, the Second House is an ersatz slice of Americana. It provides the perfect, environmental backdrop for the artist's penetrating look at a pervasive component of our contemporary culture.

Richard Prince
Richard Prince was born in 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone, and now lives and works in Upstate New York. Since beginning his career as an artist in the late 1970s, he has engaged in a wide-ranging practice that has encompassed several mediums, including photography, painting, sculpture, and even the act of collecting. Mr. Prince has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, most recently at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel; the Kunsthalle Zurich; and the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in 2001–02; and has participated in many group exhibitions at scores of international institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the International Center for Photography, and the Museum of Modern Art, all in New York; Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; La Biennale di Venezia; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Kunsthalle Wien; The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; and Documenta, Kassel. He is represented by Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York.

Public Access
Second House is tentatively scheduled to open fall 2005. For more information, please check

April 29, 2005

Betsy Ennis
Guggenheim Public Affairs
(212) 423-3840


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