(b. 1923, Washington, D.C.)
Working across all media, Richard Artschwager has long specialized in the relationship between perception and deception. His print Liebspaar (Lovers), 2005, is drawn from a series of works in which the artist focuses on a material he has used throughout his career to explore the tactility of the visual experience: rubberized horsehair. The unusual works, produced over a thirty year period, depart from the crisp lines and sharp forms of his better-known Formica furniture works, blurring the clarity of sculptural form and throwing the object out of focus.
The works allow for what the artist has called a “perfect imprecision.” A material commonly found in upholstery, rubberized horsehair is typically hidden from view underneath the soft edges of a sofa. Artschwager reverses the relationship between an object and its raw materials, asking the inner-body of an object to become its own surface. His hairy silhouettes of life-size human figures seem to dance, float, climb, and rejoice; yet they remain faceless and out of reach. With forms that manage to be both recognizable and nameless at the same time, Artschwager complicates our sense of perception, rendering the accessible inaccessible.
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany
Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, USA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA
Sammlung Hauser & Wirth, Lokremise, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
Tate Modern, London, UK
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA