Richard Artschwager - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips

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  • "My originality, if any, lies in good part in paradoxes: useful/useless, object/image, etc.”
    —Richard Artschwager

    Informed by his background in mass-producing furniture early 1960’s, Chair/Chair reflects Artschwager’s preference for everyday objects and industrial materials, fusing them with his philosophical sensibilities regarding the visual meaning of his objects and their materiality; just as Chair/Chair is furniture, sculpture and image all at once, Formica, one of Artschwager’s signature materials, is both itself and a depiction of a wooden plane, a laminate composite disguised by its walnut pattern. Through the materials of Chair/Chair, the mimicry of Formica converses with the subject of its impersonation, genuine red oak comprising much of the object’s form. The inclusion of cowhide on the chair’s seat and back further builds the dichotomous interplay between natural and unnatural, exploring the relationship between an object and its raw materials and offering a seductive contrast to the work’s industrialism.


    Artschwager's multiples offer visual and analytical contradictions, subversively engaging simultaneously with the vernaculars of Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptualism: the Pop derivation from utilitarian objects, the Minimal application of industrial materials, and the Conceptual impulse to engage with the ideological structures of language. Twisting established dichotomies of artistic and industrial production, Artschwager blurs the line between what is faux versus real, handmade versus manufactured, functional versus useless, and ordinary object versus high art.

    • Literature

      Brooke Alexander 19


Chair/Chair (A. 19)

Chair comprised of oak, cow hide, formica and painted steel.
40 x 41 x 45 in. (101.6 x 104.1 x 114.3 cm)
Signed, dated '1990' and numbered 62/100 in black ink on the underside, co-published by the artist and Vitra International, Birsfelden, Switzerland.

Full Cataloguing

$5,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $4,826

Contact Specialist
212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023