Robert Arneson, ‘Audio Visual’, Christie's

Robert Arneson (1930-1992)

Audio Visual

incised with signature and date ‘Bob Arneson 1974’ (lower left)

ceramic

20 ½ x 14 x 20 in. (52 x 35.5 x 50.8 cm.)

Executed in 1974.

Signature: incised with signature and date ‘Bob Arneson 1974’ (lower left)

Clinton, Hamilton College, Root Art Center California Climate, December 1974.

Williamstown, Williams College Museum of Art, Selections from the Collection of Michael Shapiro, July-August 1976.

Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, Collectors Collect Contemporary: A Selection from Boston Collections, June-September 1977.

Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York

Michael Shapiro Gallery, Durham

Acquired from the above by the present owner

About Robert Arneson

Known for his colorful ceramic sculptures, Robert Arneson is considered the founder of the Funk Art movement, a strand of Californian Pop Art. Departing from the original influence of Picasso’s early ceramics on his work, Arneson significantly advanced the status of clay as an artistic form, appropriating functional items like pots, bricks, telephones, and toilets, and turning them into objects of absurdist humor. His visual puns—a phallic teapot, a toaster with a hand inside it—became surreal, sometimes controversial, statements. Arneson also produced highly colored drawings and sculpted self-portraits; his busts playfully mocked the figure of the artist in the world. His style has been compared to that of writers like Thomas Pynchon or Kurt Vonnegut, presenting a cartoonish or caricatured version of life.

American, 1930-1992, Benicia, California