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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist
    Collection of John Stuart, New York
    Collection of Karen Lennox, Chicago
    Private Collection
    Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, Contemporary Art, May 13, 2004, lot 225
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Richard Artschwager has dedicated himself to seeking out unconventional contexts of viewing the surface of a painting, and, while his work is consistently ingenious and aesthetically pleasing, its methods are just as much analytical as they are visceral. Since the 1960s, Artschwager has embraced a wholly unique investigation of the limits of representation and has examined the myriad manners of perception. He found comfort and suitable subjects in his everyday life, but then, he imposed vicious modifications in order to create a new catalyst for visual perception and thinking.

    The monochrome pallet used in the present lot literally and figuratively frames the concept of space, both inside and outside itself. By substituting a traditional canvas with Celotex, Artschwager forces the viewer’s eye to wander the picture, searching for familiar outlines that are lost on an ethereal surface; the black and white patterns on the coarse surface give us a view of a porch, but each divot, embossed segment, and raised dot work in conjunction with one another to create a foundation more complex than the image that is carefully rendered on its surface. Artschwager plays with the viewer’s perception, making his experience of the work as much about his picture as the geography of his rendering. All in all, Artschwager gives us a perfect marriage of style and content, one where the method of the work’s creation is as captivating as his choice of subject.

40

Porch

1974
acrylic on celotex, in artist’s frame
40 1/2 x 49 1/4 in. (102.9 x 125.1 cm)
Signed and dated “R. Artschwager 74” on the reverse.

Estimate
$180,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $182,500

Contemporary Art Part I

7 November 2011
New York