Washington, United States, 1923 - Albany, United States, 2013
Richard Artschwager (Washington, 1923 – Albany, 2013) studied science and mathematics before becoming part of the art world. His sculptural works question art’s conventions and its construction of meaning. Influenced by artists such as Mark di Suvero, Claes Oldenburg and Malcolm Morley, and close to the aesthetics of Pop, at the beginning of the seventies he developed his own style incorporating Formica and an industrial material used to cover ceilings and walls known as Celotex. Challenging conventions in painting and sculpture, he produced sculptures and furniture-sculpture, and painted or rubber-coated sculptural forms that he called ‘blps’. Artschwager began using pictures from newspapers and magazines to reproduce blurry portraits, home interiors and architecture symptomatic of the American lifestyle.
He regularly exhibited from the mid-sixties. Among the retrospectives devoted to his work are the Whitney Museum of American Art (1988, 2012); the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1989); the Neues Museum, Nuremberg (2001); and the Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna (2002). His work is in numerous collections such as MoMA, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; and MACBA, Barcelona.
The objects are intended to have the objective character of industrial products. They are not intended to represent anything other than what they are. The previous categorization of the arts no longer exists.