"Part of his cachet was that no one quite knew what to do with him, this artist who made furniture like sculptures covered with wood-grain Formica and paintings that appeared to be done with smudged soot. People called him an enigma so often that the word stuck to him like a middle name.
On view June 15 – September 2, 2013 @ Hammer Museum
"When I was 39, it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to live forever. As a teenager, you can opt for absolute silence; you can have a radio and play it loud so that it drowns out any thoughts about what you did wrong yesterday. And then in your twenties you can accept that last year was a wasted year. But suddenly in your thirties you can’t afford to do that any more. My thirties meant working with a lot of people, seven days a week, trying to make a damn living, which I was always bad at. And what did I get out of it? I sharpened up my Spanish. Nevertheless, these were valuable times. These were the people I lived with: I got to know them and their families - you could say that we ‘broke bread’ together. The impact that this had on my art was that I began to look at everything with greater awareness. The net got cast wider: suddenly everything mattered. It might seem banal now but for me it was a life-and-death situation - a B+ epiphany at least! (Taken from interview here)
"Los Angeles—Richard Artschwager!, the most comprehensive retrospective to date of the artist’s work, opens at the Hammer Museum Saturday, June 15, 2013. The exhibition is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in association with the Yale University Art Gallery, and curated by Jennifer Gross, Seymour H. Knox, Jr. Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Yale University Art Gallery. The Hammer’s presentation is organized by senior curator Anne Ellegood. Following the presentation of Richard Artschwager! at the Hammer Museum, the exhibition will travel to the Haus der Kunst, Munich and the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. Richard Artschwager! features over 145 works spanning six decades, including sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs, and prints. Often associated with Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual art, his work never fit neatly into any of these categories. His artistic practice consistently explored questions regarding his own visual and physical engagement with the world; his objects straddle the line between illusion and reality. The exhibition reveals the artist’s prescience in his career-long commitment to exploring the profound effect photography and technology have had in transforming our engagement with the world. His work has responded to and challenged how these media—and our experience of things as images rather than as things in themselves—have shifted human experience from being rooted in primary physical experience to a knowledge mediated by secondary sources such as newspapers, television, and the Internet."