Disappearing act in charcoal and acrylic: Richard Artschwager’s ‘Ghost’
Ever since I walked into Willem de Kooning‘s The late paintings, the 1980’s at New York’s MoMA, on a rainy afternoon in 1997, and was completely blown away by those large, beautifully coloured paintings, I’ve been intrigued by the work artists produce at the end of their lives. And I’m not the only one. Cultural critic Edward W. Said even wrote a book about this theme (although it deals with music and literature only): On late style. (He died of leukemia when he was writing it.) Anyway, it’s the reason why I just had to show you this wonderful self-portrait by Richard Artschwager (86), that’s on display right now at Xavier Hufkens (Brussels; through December 11). It’s almost as if the New York-based artist is preparing for his own disappearance. Ghost, it is aptly called. Artschwager started out making furniture. He has been making sculptures and paintings for over four decades now. The other paintings at the small exhibition are totally different, with muted colours and an imagery evoking the work of Cézanne, Vuillard en Bonnard. Also on display at Hufkens right now are Sterling Ruby’s recent Metal works. Quite a contrast. For installation views of both exhibitions, check Xavier Hufkens on Facebook here.