Richard Artschwager (American, 1923–2013) was an extremely versatile painter and sculptor, associated over the course of his career with Pop, Optical, Minimalist, and Conceptual Art. Born in Washington D.C., Artschwager grew up in New Mexico and studied chemistry and mathematics at Cornell University. Wounded while fighting in World War II, Artschwager worked as an administrator in Frankfort and met his wife Elfriede Wejmelka on mission to Vienna. They returned to New York together, where she encouraged him to pursue his interest in his art. In 1949, he joined the studio of French cubist painter Amédée Ozenfant (français, 1886–1966), but left the next year for a bank job due to financial reasons; his production throughout the 1950s was similarly interrupted, but while employed he was able to create a series of furniture. In the 1960s, Artschwager turned to sculpture, drawing attention to art’s illusionistic properties by painting over found wooden objects with artificial wood grains. He also began to paint naturalistic scenes of buildings, interiors, and figures in grisaille on celetox; these works grew increasingly abstract as Artschwager added illusionary elements that played with the viewer’s perception. Artschwager’s later paintings and sculptures incorporated increasingly diverse materials, such as wood, mirrors, and Formica, as he continued to explore domestic interiors and to push at the laws of perception. Artschwager’s work has been the subject of numerous important exhibits, at institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The artist died in 2013.

Timeline

1923
Born: December 26th, Washington, D.C.
1948
B.A., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
2013
Died in Albany, NY

Exhibitions

2007
Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
The lath picture show, Friedrich Petzel, New York, NY
2006
New Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
Galerie Sprüth Magers, Munich, Germany
Twice Drawn, Tang Museum, New York, NY
New Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
2005
Works on Paper, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
2004
Symmetries, Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York, NY
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, Germany
Drawings, Nolan/Eckman Gallery, New York, NY
Paintings, Drawings and Objects 1960-2002, Krefelder Kunstmuseen, Krefeld, Germany
Up and Down and Back and Forth Deutsche Bank & Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Berlin, Germany; Museum Moderner Kunst-Stiftung Wörlen, Passau, Germany
Paintings, Drawings, and Objects 1960 – 2002, Kunstmuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland; Kaiser-Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, Germany; Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, Germany
2002
Paintings and Sculptures, Gagosian Gallery, London, UK; Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Artschwager, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Hydraulic Door Check, Sculpture, Painting, Drawing, MAK, Vienna, Austria
2001
Locating Drawing, Lawing Gallery, Houston, TX
Portraits, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, Germany
Sculpture, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Richard Artschwager, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2000
1960-2000 Drawings in Transit, Nolan/Eckman Gallery, New York, NY
1999
Richard Artschwager: New Paintings, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Artschwager: Crates and Installations, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-2000, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Collected Works I: Contemporary Art Since 1968, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany
1998
Rene Magritte and Contemporary Art, Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Ostend, Belgium
Pop Abstraction, Museum of American Art of the Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia, PA
Mai 98, Kunsthalle Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Contemporary Art, The Janet Wolfson de Botton Gift, Tate Gallery, London, UK
The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
1997
A Summer Show, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, NY
Deep Storage, Kulturforum, Berlin, Germany
On the Edge: Contemporary Art from the Werner and Elaine Dannheisser Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Birth of the Cool: Amerikanische Malerei, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Future, Present, Past, 1967-1997, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY
1996
The Mediated Objects: Selections from the Eli Broad Collections, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
From Bauhaus to Pop: Masterworks Given by Philip Johnson, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Moving Structures, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY
Views from Abroad: European Perspectives on American Art 2, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1995
Galerie Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium
Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Painting Outside Painting: 44th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
1994
Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France
Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY
1993
The Elusive Object, The Whitney Museum of American Art Champion, Stamford, CT
Archipelago, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY
1992
Connections: Richard Artschwager: New Works 1991/92, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Richard Artschwager: New Works 1991/92, Galerie Franck and Schulte, Berlin, Germany
Documenta 9, Kassel, Germany
1991
Pop Art: An International Perspective, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
Metropolis, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Artschwager: Complete Mutliples, Brooke Alexander Editions, New York, NY
Richard Artschwager, PUBLIC/public, Elvenhjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
1990
Richard Artschwager: Recent Works, Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France
Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, IL
Destruction Paintings, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY
Galerie Neuendorf, Frankfurt, Germany
Daniel Weinburg Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
The Sixties Revisited: New Concepts/New Materials, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1989
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Artschwager: New Works, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Richard Artschwager: Recent Works, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Jonathan Borofsky, Robert Gober, Peter Halley, Nancy Shaver, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY
1988
Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Palacio de Valasquez, Madrid, Spain
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, France
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
Richard Artschwager: Multiples, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1987
1987 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Sculptur Projekte Münster, Münster, Germany
The Great Drawing Show 1587-1987, Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
A Sculpture Show, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, NY
Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany
Hsu, John Armleder and Richard Artschwager, Pat Hearn Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Artschwager: Dessins, Peintures et Sculptures: 1965-87, Galerie Georges Lavrov, Paris, France
1986
Recent Acquisitions, Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, IL
Sacred Images in Secular Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Sculpture Show, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, NY
The Painter-Sculptor in the Twentieth Century, Whitechapel Art Galley, London, UK
Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Artschwager: Recent Paintings, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1985
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Kunsthalle Basel, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture, Brooke Alexander, New York, NY
The Box Transformed, American Art at Phillip Morris, New York, NY
Artschwager-Judd-Nauman, Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, IL
1984
Richard Artschwager, John Chamberlain, Donald Judd, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Richard Artschwager/Matrix 82, Matrix Gallery, University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, CA
1983
1983 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Multiples/Marian Goodman, New York, NY
New Art, Tate Gallery, London, UK
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY
1982
Cruciform, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY
1981
Amerikanische Zeichnungen siebziger Jahre, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Richard Artschwager: Paintings and Objects from 1962-1979, Young/Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL
Richard Artschwager: Paintings and Objects from 1962-1979, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Van Buren, Cutting Gallery Brazelton, Cambridge, UK
1980
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
Sculpture by Richard Artschwager, Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
39th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Drawings: The Pluralist Decade, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
Contemporary Sculpture: Selections from the Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
American Drawing in Black and White: 1970-1980, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
1979
Asher/Faure Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Richard Artschwager's Theme(s), Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
American Painting of the 1970's, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
1978
Objects!, Multiples/Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, NY
Selections from the Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Zu Gast in Hamburg - Richard Artschwager, Kunstverein Hamburg Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany
Drawings, Castelli Graphics, New York, NY
Texas Gallery, Houston, TX
The Clocktower Institute for Art and Urban Resources, New York, NY
1977
Sable-Castelli Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Contemporary Art 35th Exhibition: Drawings of the 70's, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1976
Two Hundred Years of American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
37th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1975
Richard Artschwager, Robert Gordon, John Torreano, Joe Zucker, Bykert Gallery, New York, NY
Door Window Table Basket Mirror Rug, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Jared Sable Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Galerie Neuendorf, Hamburg, Germany
1974
Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Galerie Ilena Sonnabend, Geneva, Switzerland
American Pop Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1973
Ein grosses Jahrzehnt amerikanischer Kunst: Sammlung Peter Ludwig, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland
Dunkleman Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1972
Galerie Ricke, Cologne, Germany
Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Contemporary American Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1970
Information, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Eugenia Butler Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Onnasch Galerie, West Berlin, Germany
Lo Guidice Gallery, Chicago, IL
1969
Galerie Ricke, Cologne, Germany
Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form: Works-Concepts-Processes-Situations-Information, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Pop Art Redefined, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
Art by Telephone, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
1968
Sculpture: Contemporary American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1968 Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, Germany
1967
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Documenta 4, Kassel, Germany
The 1960s, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The 1960's: Painting and Sculpture from The Museum Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1966
Contemporary American Sculpture: Selection 1, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Annual Exhibition 1966: Contemporary Sculpture and Prints, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Primary Structures, Jewish Museum, New York, NY
From Arp to Artschwager 1, Richard Bellamy/Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, NY
1965
Beyond Realism, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1964
Box Show, Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, CA