Photo by Ben Blackwell
Richard Artschwager Bibliography (46 Kb)
With great sadness we acknowledge the death of Richard Artschwager at the age of 89, just days after his second Whitney Museum retrospective “Richard Artschwager!” ended. For more than five decades, Richard forged a richly maverick path, confounding the genres and limits of art while forever changing how we view and understand space and the everyday objects that occupy it. His work has been the subject of many important exhibitions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1988 and 2012–13); Centre Pompidou, Paris (1989); Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2003); and Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2003) and is in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Ludwig Cologne, and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris. “Richard Artschwager!” will tour to the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and the Haus der Kunst, Munich later this year.
We are honored to have been involved professionally and personally with Richard for so many years, and to be witness to his life-enhancing art.
Our heartfelt thoughts are with Richard’s wife Ann and his children Eva, Clara, and Teddy Artschwager.
Richard Artschwager (b.1923; d. 2013) had been making art—sculpture, painting, drawings and other objects—since the early 1950s. For more than four decades, Artschwager had forged a unique and maverick path in twentieth century art by confounding its generic limits, all the while making the visual comprehension of space and the everyday objects that occupy it strangely unfamiliar. Artschwager's work has been variously described as Pop Art, because of its derivation from utilitarian objects and incorporation of commercial and industrial materials; as Minimal Art, because of its geometric forms and solid presence; and as Conceptual Art, because of its cool and cerebral detachment. But none of these classifications adequately defines the aims of an artist who specializes in categorical confusion and works to reveal the levels of deception involved in pictorial illusionism.
Artschwager's approach focused on the structures of perception, striving to conflate the world of images, which can be apprehended but not physically grasped, and the world of objects, which is the same space that we ourselves occupy. His most recent work marks a departure, in that the images he had composed from sources in popular culture have overt, if deadpan, allusions to current political issues.