Richard Artschwager

Richard Artschwager
Born:
December 26, 1923
Birthplace:
Washington, DC, United States
Died:
February 9, 2013

About Richard Artschwager

Neither the path of his career nor the aesthetic of Richard Artschwager’s work falls neatly into expected patterns. Trained in science, Artschwager gradually turned his attention to art. For a number of years, he made a living at odd jobs, including furniture making, which later provided an entry into fine art and continued to deeply inform his work.
 
Artschwager’s sculptures, including Door, 1990, often employ “fake” materials as images, such as a wood-like Formica. In his typically rational yet radical manner, Artschwager used the forms of everyday objects as the basis for his sculpture. While he shared some of these tenets—image and form—with his pop art contemporaries, Artschwager lacked interest in emulating the bright colors and advertising of capitalist culture and adapted a more cerebral approach to his work.
 
In the early 1960s, Artschwager began painting on Celotex insulation boards, which when painted on produced a texture similar in appearance to the poor reproduction quality of images on newsprint and the tactility of handmade paper. Split into two panels, Destruction V, 1972, depicts the Traymore Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the moment of demolition as it was captured and reproduced in newspapers. The texture of the Celotex, the separation of the work into panels, and the collapsing building in the image contribute to the feeling that the piece itself is literally crumbling. 

By Richard Artschwager in the Collection

Richard Artschwager
1979
Formica on wood
60 1/2 x 35 x 14 1/2 in. (153.67 x 88.9 x 36.83 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1990
Formica on wood
6 3/4 x 6 1/2 x 4 in. (17.15 x 16.51 x 10.16 cm)
Richard Artschwager
2000
acrylic, paper, and gloss on wood
39 1/2 x 17 x 21 1/2 in. (100.33 x 43.18 x 54.61 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1987-90
red oak wood, laminate, cowhide and painted steel
39 x 40 x 52 in. (99.06 x 101.6 x 132.08 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1972
acrylic on Celotex, with metal frames, two panels
41 1/4 x 49 3/4 x 1 in. (104.78 x 126.37 x 2.54 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1992
Formica and wood
64 1/2 x 63 x 48 in. (163.83 x 160.02 x 121.92 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1990
Formica on wood with chrome-plated brass
96 1/2 x 67 5/16 x 20 1/8 in. (245.11 x 170.94 x 51.05 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1988
painted wood, rubberized hair and plated steel
72 x 54 x 12 in. (182.88 x 137.16 x 30.48 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1990
Formica on wood with chrome-plated brass
76 3/4 x 38 x 16 in. (194.95 x 96.52 x 40.64 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1999
charcoal, acrylic on fiber panel, and wood
49 x 74 3/4 x 3 in. (124.46 x 189.87 x 7.62 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1994
acrylic and Formica, Celotex and wood in artist's frame
72 x 59 in. (182.88 x 149.86 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1989
acrylic on Celotex with artist's frame
70 x 57 x 3 in. (177.8 x 144.78 x 7.62 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1965-75
Formica on plywood and steel counterweight
51 1/2 x 29 x 24 1/2 in. (130.81 x 73.66 x 62.23 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1991
Formica and acrylic on fiber panel and wood with painted wood and formica artist's frame
83 x 121 x 4 1/2 in. (210.82 x 307.34 x 11.43 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1966
acrylic on Celotex and Formica on wood
38 1/2 x 38 x 12 in. (97.79 x 96.52 x 30.48 cm)
Richard Artschwager
1972
Liquitex on Celotex with metal frames
87 1/2 x 140 1/2 in. (222.25 x 356.87 cm)