The astonishing life of artist Richard Artschwager found him studying microbiology, prosecuting war criminals, making furniture and carving out a wholly unique art career. Although he studied under Amédée Ozenfant, a cubist painter, he might never have become an artist had it not been for a ruinous fire at his cabinet-making studio.
Richard Artschwager’s commercial career as a producer of furniture led him to create sculptures and… Read more
About the artwork
Artschwager's skills as a carpenter and fascination for texture are fully in evidence with this intricately crafted multiple. Each drawer is lined with a different material; formica on wood, brass, glass, mirror, and rubberized horsehair. It reads as an inventory of the artist's preferred materials, which feature frequently in his work, but also an investigation of materiality itself, a study of how the particular qualities of these different linings interact. The wood and brass emit a warm ruddy sheen, contrasting with the cold reflective surfaces of the glass and mirror. Artschwager is utterly altering the multiple from the inside, without changing its exterior physicality. Closed, the drawers are fixed and unremarkable, once open they explode with variety and texture. The artist is playing with our perception of the cabinet and delighting in the expectation of our surprise.