Monday, April 15, 2013

Peter Schjeldahl on Richard Artschwager

A few lapidary phrases by art critic Peter Schjeldahl on the Richard Artschwager retrospective at the Whitney Museum last fall, in The New Yorker of November 26, 2012:

On the cynical, media-wise state of things:
" culture, successful hype is prophetic and fashion is destiny".

On Artschwager's late work:
"Like other boundary-breakers, Artschwager was reduced to seeking, in vain, rules not yet broken. The immense knowingness known as post-modernism erased the horizon of conceivable novelty."

On his early work:
"Artschwager's discovery of beauty in tacky industrial materials ratified the deep program of Pop art: reconciling Americans to American culture, as it happened to be."

Let's let that sink in a minute.

Now this:
"And his wizardly way with frames and framelike constructions distilled the minimalist vision of art works as internal framing devices for the space around them, displacing aesthetic experience from the object's glamor to the viewer's self-consciousness."

Few can burn things down to their pithy best better than Peter Schjeldahl.

Richard Artschwager
Melamine laminate on plywood
Steven Sloman/Richard Artschwager/Whitney Museum of American Art, New York via Bloomberg

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