Richard Prince: American Prayer
This book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Richard Prince: American Prayer at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, in which the artist juxtaposed his artworks with rare books from the library’s collection. Known for his appropriations of American pop-cultural and countercultural iconography, Prince also collects first editions of notable volumes published between 1949 and 1984, including William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch and versions of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita in multiple languages. American Prayer explores the connections between these books as valued artifacts and inspirational texts, and the art that results from their influence.
In addition to opening a window onto Prince’s intellectual passions, American Prayer reveals the source material for many of his well-known series through the pairing of literary excerpts and critical commentary with color reproductions of his artworks. Essays by art historian and collector Bob Rubin, Bibliothèque nationale de France contemporary and rare book curator Marie Minssieux-Chamonard, and rare book dealer and gallerist John McWhinnie offer further insights into Prince’s creative approach to books and their histories.