Richard Artschwager, ‘Chair/Table’, 1980, RISD Museum

RISD Museum. Museum purchase with funds from the bequest of Lyra Brown Nickerson, by exchange, 82.058

About Richard Artschwager

American painter and sculptor Richard Artschwager’s work has been classified as Pop Art due to the work’s derivation from utilitarian objects; Minimalist, in reference to Artschwager’s use of reductive geometric forms; and Conceptual in describing the cerebral quality of the work. However, Artschwager often sought to confound such art-historical categories and challenge the relationship between perception and illusion. Artschwager’s early career as a furniture designer is evident in his later sculpture, which often mimicked the forms of furniture, employed synthetic materials such as Formica, and invoked a Minimalist aesthetic, probing the distinction between art and design. The artist’s late-career work alluded to current political issues through the appropriation or depiction of mass media imagery, such as in his portraits of George W. Bush and Trent Lott.

American, 1923-2013, Washington, D.C.