Albright-Knox Art Gallery opens Robert Therrien exhibition

. July 3, 2013

Albright-Knox Art Gallery presents Robert Therrien an exhibition on view from July 3 to October 27, 2013.

Robert Therrien (American, born 1947). No title (snowman), 1989. Silver on bronze, 34 x 16 x 16 inches (86.3 x 40.6 x 40.6 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The Panza Collection and George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange, George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund and Charles Clifton Fund, by exchange, 2008. © 2013 Robert Therrien / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Robert Therrien (American, born 1947). No title (snowman), 1989. Silver on bronze, 34 x 16 x 16 inches (86.3 x 40.6 x 40.6 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The Panza Collection and George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange, George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund and Charles Clifton Fund, by exchange, 2008. © 2013 Robert Therrien / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Since the 1970s, Therrien (born 1947) has created work sourced from memory and the everyday—a snowman, a chapel, a coffin, a keyhole, a stack of plates—coaxing humble elements into surreal configurations through abstraction, repetition, color, and scale. In his practice, household shapes become unfamiliar, colors appear simple yet indistinguishably enigmatic, and references to known things are evoked and then deliberately blurred. His modestly sized, exquisitely hand-wrought early sculptures are minimal, simplified shapes abstracted from reality, and his later works, despite their industrialized and imposing presence, can also be readily identified as having a basis in real life. Large in scale, highly fabricated, and often distorted, they become less real even as they are more recognizable.

Reflecting the Gallery’s mission to acquire the work of contemporary artists in depth, this exhibition began with eight objects drawn from the Albright-Knox’s Collection, including pivotal early works from the 1980s, along with works on paper and an iconic large-scale folding table and chair set completed in 2006. From this core of works, which was acquired in recent years from the renowned Panza Collection, the exhibition evolved to encompass highlights from the artist’s nearly forty-year career, including key examples from the 1970s to the present day. While primarily focusing on Therrien’s sculptural output, the exhibition also contains mixed-media works, a collection of exquisite works on paper, and a gallery dedicated to the collaboration between Therrien, the Buffalo-based poet Robert Creeley (1926–2005), and the writer Michel Butor (French, born 1926).

This exhibition is organized by guest curator Heather Pesanti, Senior Curator at AMOA-Arthouse in Austin, Texas. www.albrightknox.org

Category: Fine Art

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