The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, June 17, 2018

Exhibition of works by the American artist Richard Artschwager opens at Sprüth Magers in Berlin
Installation view, Richard Artschwager, 'Portraits!', Sprüth Magers Berlin, April 27 - June 22, 2013.

BERLIN.- Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers present an exhibition of works by the American artist Richard Artschwager. The show, which was on display at the London gallery of Sprüth Magers from February to March, focuses on the sculpture Exclamation Point (Orange) (2010), which is exhibited alongside a recent series of portraits, which also includes the artist's latest works.

One of the most important artists to emerge during the twentieth century, Artschwager’s playful and diverse oeuvre has influenced generations of younger artists by challenging assumptions about perception and the aesthetic, material and spatial experience of art and the everyday. Spanning over forty years, Artschwager’s practice explored the mediums of sculpture, painting and drawing in order to understand the relationship between art and objects, and the environment they inhabit.

Artschwager’s work is typically characterized by playful and provocative slippages between different media, conflating the visual world of images, which can be perceived but not physically grasped, and the tactile world of objects. This dynamic relationship between pictorial representation and sculptural practices in the artist’s work is evident in his paintings, which are the focus of the exhibition. While his sculptures are likewise defined by coloration and their painterly elements as well as by their forms and materials, Artschwager’s paintings are contextually and formalistically based on the elements of texture and surface. Artschwager applied traditional artists media including charcoals, acrylics, pastels and paints, to Celotex, a rigid compound board formed from pressed fibers and generally used in construction. Although it has a smooth side, Artschwager executed the image on the texture’s reverse, exploiting the rough surface as an active participant that is essential to the work’s imagery, expression and meaning, and animates the pictorial surface. Artschwager bordered the portraits with heavy, wooden or mirrored frames, propelling his paintings further into the three-dimensional realm.

Artschwager rarely painted from real life, constructing imagery instead from memory, or using photographs and newspaper images enlarged to the size of easel paintings as the basis of his work, as in Generation IV, (2003). The magnification of the photographs, combined with the highly textured surfaces, cause the images to appear grainy and blurred, rendering the characters unrecognizable, yet retaining a heavy, sculptural effect. The grisaille techniques deployed in portraits such as Was me (2008) and Sixty + (2008) also work to invoke a photorealist aesthetic, prompting a non-subjective, and more object-like way of approaching the painting and the figure depicted. In other paintings, Artschwager incorporates vivid colours, as seen in Mr. Bridge (2009), featuring a deep purple backdrop which lends a surreal, dreamlike environment to the composition. Similarly, Group Portrait (2012), is executed in pink and yellow, and features a staged arrangement of static characters in an imagined situation.

Artschwager used the form of portraiture to explore and understand the human condition. While the theme of domesticity runs through the artist’s work, evident in Artschwager’s early forms which appropriate domestic objects such as tables, chairs, lecterns and mirrors, the portraits on show reveal a shift in focus from the interior of the domestic space, to the interiority of people. The disconcerting perspectives and scales deployed in these compositions give the work a dissonance. In Self Portrait with Green Background, (2009) the figure seems energized by the rich green background, a colour of renewal, yet a sense of melancholy pervades the image, the face appearing empty and grey. The haziness of the image functions as a mask, a means to maintain distance, and infuse the grisaille paintings with ambiguity.

Also on display in the gallery will be Exclamation Point (Orange) (2010), a sculptural punctuation mark rendered from plastic bristles attached to a mahogany core. In both name and form, Exclamation Point is a playful example of the artist's semiotic experimentation in the realm of art. Aesthetically, the exclamation point was one of Artschwager’s favoured punctuation marks; “I would call this the "prince of punctuation". Spiralling free but gravity-aware. Hopping on one foot like Mother Brown. Can operate with respect to itself or anybody/thing around".

Richard Artschwager was born in 1923 in Washington D.C. and died in 2013 in Albany, USA. He first studied chemistry, biology, and mathematics at Cornell University, and then informal art studies under Amedée Ozenfant. In the early 1950s he became involved in cabinet-making, producing simple pieces of custom made furniture. After a ruinous workshop fire at the end of the decade, he began making sculpture using leftover industrial materials, then followed with paintings, drawings, site-specific installation, and photographic-based work. His first exhibition took place at the Art Directions Gallery, New York in 1959. His work has been the subject of many important surveys, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1984); Deutsche Guggenheim, New York (1966); Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Switzerland (2003), and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012). It is also represented in many museum collections worldwide, including the Tate in London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum Ludwig Cologne; and Fondation Cartier, Paris.

Today's News

April 28, 2013

"Summer at the seaside: Leisure activities and Impressionism" exhibition opens in Caen

Smithsonian identifies 130-year-old recording as Alexander Graham Bell's voice

British Museum launches app for Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition

Surprising result from study of 1893 World's Fair corals using modern technology

Exhibition of works by Valie Export opens at AK / BRANICKA during Gallery Weekend Berlin 2013

Exhibition of works by the American artist Richard Artschwager opens at Sprüth Magers in Berlin

Ketterer Kunst in Munich announces auction of a collection of art from the 19th century

Philanthropists Eric and Jean Cass gift contemporary art work to National Museum Wales

Galerie Michael Janssen presents a selection of drawings, collages and watercolours by Rose Wylie

The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington presents "Car Culture: Art and the Automobile"

International Swedish artist opens her most extensive exhibition to date at ARoS

Bonhams take top three lots for Indian and Islamic Art Week in London and sale totals £ 3.6m

Men's fashion focus of spring 2013 at The Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design

Brooklyn Museum acquires monumental wall hanging by African artist El Anatsui

Artist Alexander James stages a major solo exhibition at The Studio Building, Notting Hill

Liu Dahong's brightly coloured and densely peopled scenes on view at Rossi & Rossi

Shen Shaomin's second solo exhibition at Eli Klein opens in New York

Polk Museum of Art features Jennewein sculptures

First solo exhibition in Berlin by British artist Jodie Carey opens at Neue Berliner Raume

Critical Mass: Henny Linn Kjellberg creates an original, site-specific installation

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful