Reiner Ruthenbeck
German, born 1937
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2016
German Art Since The Late 1960s,
Exhibition hall Arsenals
Wahlverwandtschaften, Deutsche Kunst seit den späten 1960er Jahren,
Latvian National Museum of Art
1984
An International Survey of Recent Painting and Scultpure,
Museum of Modern Art

German sculptor and conceptual artist Reiner Ruthenbeck is an orchestrator of geometric form, celebrated for his ability to transform space using unconventional materials like crumpled paper or giant swathes of fabric. In both its formal qualities and defiance of categorization, Ruthenbeck’s work reflects the influence of his six years of study under Joseph Beuys. In his installations and sculpture, the artist seeks to uncover the harmony found in mundane shapes and objects. For example, from 1968 to 1972, he created several “piles and cones” of ash, slag, and paper; later, he would present utilitarian objects like chairs, tables, and a suitcase, stripped of their function and thus exaggerating the objects’ pure shapes. Ruthenbeck’s work has turned more conceptual in recent years, with his practice expanding to include video and sound installations.

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