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Indepth Arts News:

"Richard Artschwager. Up and Across"
2001-09-07 until 2001-11-18
New Mueum for Art and Design
Nurenberg, , DE Germany

Sculpture is something to be touched, painting is for the eye. I wanted to create sculpture for the eye and paintings that asked to be touched. Richard Artschwager, with his extraordinarily diverse oeuvre, is one of the must influential artists of our time. His works typically occupy a space somewhere between painting and sculpture. Pictorial and sculptural forms are linked in such a way that the genres become indistinguishable.

Characteristic is also the artist’s use of industrial materials, such as wood veneers, patterned melamine and hardboard. Artschwager often uses the hardboard reverse as a support for painting, giving the images a specific look and feel. A further distinguishing feature of his work is the thematic reference to furniture and a certain proximity to design, although his objects could never be confused with either.

From the very beginning, this American artist has had a following in Europe. He was born in Washington in 1923 and studied mathematics and chemistry before deciding to become an artist after serving in the military. His first European one-man shows took place in Germany, at Galerie Konrad Fischer in Düsseldorf and Galerie Rolf Ricke in Cologne. In 1978, Artschwager, who now lives outside New York, had a fellowship that brought him to Hamburg. He has participated in almost every documenta since 1968. His talent was recognised early and he has been represented in European collections since the 1970s.

The exhibition
The forthcoming exhibition at the Neues Museum will offer an overview of the artist’s oeuvre since 1961 and will include around forty works from international collections, many never before seen in Europe. From the early furniture-like objects to the Splatter Pieces and Crates of the 1990s, the show will contain examples illustrating all phases of the artist’s career.

The show will later travel to the Serpentine Gallery in London to the MAK – Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna. The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue (German/English), published by the Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, with texts by Melitta Kliege, Lisa Corrin, Ingrid Schaffner, Judith Stein and Dirk Luckow. (The catalogue will probably cost DM 45,00 at the museum and DM 68,00 in bookstores.)

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