Richard Artschwager, a painter and sculptor whose genre-defying work influenced Pop Art and Minimalism while eluding either categorization, passed away Saturday morning in Albany, New York. The 89-year-old artist died after a stroke, his wife told the New York Times.
The unconventional sculptor, born in Washington D.C., was known for his paradoxical, challenging and surprising viewpoints, defying genres, materials and artistic expectations with transformative wit. "Sculpture is for the touch, painting is for the eye," he wrote in his journals in the 1960s. "I wanted to make a sculpture for the eye and a painting for the touch."
Whether through his tiny oblong "Blps" sculptures, his iconic 1987 cover of the Paris Review, or transformative abstract paintings derived from black-and-white photographs, Artschwager excelled at crafting objects of the unexpected. Before becoming a late-blooming artist, he attended Cornell University, served in the military and endured a brief stint specializing in infant photography. In 1965, at 42 years old, the artist first exhibited his work with influential New York dealer Leo Castelli. A recent retrospective honoring Artschwager's uncanny canon closed this month at the Whitney, which ran in tandem with an installation of the artist's "Blps" around the High Line in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.
Review our favorite quotes about the influential artist in the slideshow below:
And see Artschwager discuss his legendary "Blps" in the video below:
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