Kunstverein Presents The Robert Wilhite Store for Art and Design

Kunstverein presents The Robert Wilhite Store for Art and Design on view 28 October 2011–4 February 2012.

Following Ben Kinmont: Prospectus Amsterdam and The Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore, Kunstverein continues its shop-as-survey program with The Robert Wilhite Store for Art and Design.

When the University of California, Irvine opened in 1965, Robert Wilhite (1946, Santa Ana, CA) was one of the first students to study under Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, Ed Moses, and Tony DeLap. After graduating, he spent some time working for Pace Gallery in New York, and returned to Los Angeles in 1971. He has been based in Venice California ever since.

Robert Wilhite’s practice is marked by a continual battle between the serendipitous and the calculated, the conceptual and the tangible. His work displays a readiness to freely move amongst mediums and disciplines, from sculpture, to music, to performance to the design of flatware. Wilhite: “A painting is an object and a coffee pot is an object. Which makes you look at it twice and provokes thought? As artists we should be able to look at both with inspiration and folly.”

In the late 1970s, Wilhite collaborated on four plays with Guy de Cointet and he remains involved in the re-staging of these plays today. IGLU, co-presented by Kunstverein (together with The Stedelijk Museum and If I Can’t Dance) in early 2011 at Frascati Theatre in Amsterdam, premiered at the Vanguarde Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles in 1977. Here too, the musical instrument and sound (or sometimes silence) holds a significant position. In the play’s narrative, sounds replace words at times, or are translated into gestures, transferring conventional communication to a distinctive, parallel plain. As in other works by Wilhite, the meeting and divergence of language, sound and meaning are addressed.

The Robert Wilhite Store for Art and Design transforms Kunstverein into a total environment – a Gesamtkunstwerk—with all facets of Robert Wilhite’s practice on view: from diagonal tables to silver flatware, drawings and paintings to sculpture and silent instruments.

In December Kunstverein will host a special one night only, one-to-one audio performance by Robert Wilhite. Please check www.kunstverein.nl for details.

The Robert Wilhite Store for Art and Design is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, SNS Reaal Fonds and Kunstverein’s (gold) members.

Gerard Doustraat 132
1073 VX, Amsterdam
Opening hours:
Wednesday–Saturday 12–6 pm
+31 (0) 20 3313203
[email protected]

Image: Robert Wilhite, “Audio piece for solo exhibition at the Broxton Gallery, Los Angeles,” 1976., For the exhibition, the windows were blocked off and the artist read explanations over the phone of the show on view. No caller got the same explanation. Half of the callers received explanations and the other half received a sound work created for the event. A limited number of records documenting the event were produced. Image courtesy the artist.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published.