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Reiner Ruthenbeck

German, b. 1937

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Reiner Ruthenbeck

German, b. 1937

Biography

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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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Serpentine Galleries
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 3 more
Biography

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.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Serpentine Galleries
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 3 more