Richard Artschwager - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London

  • Exhibited

    London, Nicola Jacobs Gallery, Richard Artschwager: Selected Works 1964-1988, June 22 - September 3, 1988

  • Literature

    Nicola Jacobs Gallery, ed., Richard Artschwager: Selected Works 1964-1988, London, 1988, pl. 5 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Renowned for breaking the conventions of art, Richard Artschwager has been adopting a multiplicity of forms for almost fifty years. His work can be categorized as Pop Art, because of its incorporation of commercial and industrial materials; as Minimal Art, because of its solid presence; and as Conceptual Art, because of its clever and intellectual 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 work provokes in order to make the structures of perception and reality immediately understandable," (R. Armstrong, Richard Artschwager, New York/ London, 1988).
    Untitled, 1967 represents a frontal facade of an building in Artschwager’s iconic way. Through his use of a grisaille palette of white, blacks and grays, he explores the tension between the photograph and the modernist grid. Celotex, commonly used in inexpensive house constructions, proved to be a special potent medium for Artschwager to challenge the notion of what can comprise a painting. Yet Celotex has its own intrinsic visual activity inducing a wavy and patterned surface. Its uneven ridges of the surface are challenging illusionistic spaces and representational art. While being physically appealing, sensual, tactile and admirably crafted, Celotex seems an unlikely carrier of meaning. But for Artschwager it is a visual catalyst for thinking and in his hands it becomes purified as art, which he defines as “thought experiencing itself” (Ibid, p. 39). These formal elements serve to de-materialize his images to the point of allowing multiple and shifting readings referring literally and metaphorically to the space inside and outside of themselves.




Acrylic on Celotex in artist’s frame.

23 x 23 in. (58.4 x 58.4 cm).

$300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for $338,500

Contemporary Art Part I

12 Nov 2009
New York