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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Richard Artschwager

(1923 - 2013), USA

Richard Artschwager made art—sculpture, painting, drawings and other objects—beginning in the early 1950s. In his early career he was an apprentice to a cabinetmaker and produced simple pieces of furniture. After a fire at the workshop at the end of the 1950s, he began making sculptures using discarded industrial materials, and then expanded his practice into drawing, painting, site specific installations and photography. His first exhibition was at the Art Directions Gallery in New York in 1959, followed by a number of solo exhibitions with Leo Castelli in 1965.

Artschwager 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.

His work has been included in several important exhibitions, including two major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1988 and 2012. Artschwager died in February, 2013.

Featured Artworks

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Port by Richard Artschwager contemporary artwork Richard ArtschwagerPort, 1991 Wood, Formica and acrylic multiple
19 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Excursion by Richard Artschwager contemporary artwork Richard ArtschwagerExcursion, 2002 Charcoal on paper
63.5 x 96.5 cm
Gagosian
Arizona by Richard Artschwager contemporary artwork Richard ArtschwagerArizona, 2002 Acrylic on fibre panel, in metal artist's frame
66 x 55.9 cm (incl frame)
Gagosian
Natural Selection by Richard Artschwager contemporary artwork Richard ArtschwagerNatural Selection, 1995 Acrylic on Celotex in metal artist's frame
72.4 x 87.6 cm (incl frame)
Gagosian
Recollection (Vuillard) by Richard Artschwager contemporary artwork Richard ArtschwagerRecollection (Vuillard), 2004 Acrylic on fibre panel, in painted wood artist's frame
129.5 x 188 cm (incl frame)
Gagosian
Excursion by Richard Artschwager contemporary artwork Richard ArtschwagerExcursion, 2002 Acrylic on fibre panel, in metal artist's frame
122.6 x 127 cm (incl frame)
Gagosian
Untitled (Pony Ride) by Richard Artschwager contemporary artwork Richard ArtschwagerUntitled (Pony Ride), 2006 Charcoal and pastel on paper
63.5 x 95.9 cm
Xavier Hufkens
Time Piece by Richard Artschwager contemporary artwork Richard ArtschwagerTime Piece, 1989 Formica and enamel on wood, aluminium and clock mechanism
64.8 x 59.4 x 13.2 cm
Krakow Witkin Gallery

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Richard Artschwager, Hamish Fulton, Vik Muniz, Journeys at Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston
Open Now
30 March–4 May 2019 Richard Artschwager, Hamish Fulton, Vik Muniz Journeys Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston
Contemporary art exhibition, Richard Artschwager, Primary Sources at Gagosian, New York
Closed
16 January–23 February 2019 Richard Artschwager Primary Sources Gagosian, 980 Madison Avenue, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, Time Talks at Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston
Closed
30 June–27 July 2018 Group Show Time Talks Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Bob Monk Ocula Conversation Bob Monk

Born in 1923 to European immigrants in Washington D.C., Richard Artschwager is a sculptor and painter known for his enigmatic and idiosyncratic style that straddles various movements, yet belongs to none. He studied biology and mathematics at Cornell University and, after a stint in the army in World War II, pursued art as an interest while...

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In Related Press

Richard Artschwager: Primary Sources and Self-Portraits and the American Southwest Related Press Richard Artschwager: Primary Sources and Self-Portraits and the American Southwest The Brooklyn Rail : 13 February 2019

While critics have argued that Richard Artschwager was an artist whose works alternated between Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art, there was little doubt he possessed his own singularity removed from the fray. Whether he chose to work with bewildering banal subject matter or media references to sex and violence, Artschwager maintained the...

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