Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

 

Robert Therrien
February 11–April 3, 2004
London
curated by Anthony d'Offay

Sprüth Magers Lee is proud to present an exhibition of recent work by Robert Therrien. Therrien was born in Chicago in 1947, but grew up in the San Francisco area of California. In 1971 he moved to Los Angeles, where he lives today. His work has been widely shown and can be found in many leading museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney and the Tate Gallery. This, however is the artist’s first sculpture show in London.

This exhibition, which has been curated and installed by Anthony d’Offay, includes a number of major sculptures and a selection of drawings from the last ten years. It is part of a larger exhibition which involves two further venues in Europe. Also opening this week is an exhibition at Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers in Munich, which includes, among other works, Therrien’s oversized furniture. Both the London and the Munich exhibitions will subsequently be brought together into a single comprehensive show at Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers in Cologne later this year.

In London an oil-can, which has swelled to a size that would need a crane to make it workable, stands at one end of the exhibition. At the other a ladder of steel rungs set into the wall leads to an escape hatch in the ceiling. In one corner of the room a heap of ancient scrubbing brushes, some vast some tiny, plays monument to lives of past labour. One of the artist’s Dutch Door sculptures is present – as mysterious as when Therrien first encountered the construction at his grandfather’s house as a child. A kitchen table, with a huge pile of heavy-duty plates balanced precariously on one corner, stands against the longest wall. Opposite is parked a metal trolley, on top of which stands a group of models of noses, both animal and human, attached by wires to little wooden stands. The title No Title (Nose Cart) speaks for itself.

 

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Visitors to a Robert Therrien exhibition are immediately aware of entering a personal world, and above all a world of the unexpected. They are confronted by shapes and objects both familiar and strange. It is a world of deceptively childish charm and logic, where ideas can be literally translated into reality. Outward calm hints at dramatic possibilities. Sometimes inanimate things can become strikingly animated. Familiar shapes and substances change. Soft and light become hard and heavy and size seems out of control.

Some objects are found, some are made by and some for the artist. All are imbued with a warmth and tactile quality which is particularly his own. Therrien’s use of domestic images, piles of plate, brushes, furniture might suggest an interest in the spatial world of still-life, but his interest in the human body’s interaction with space seems more connected to architecture. The bird in flight that cuts a relief in a window-shaped piece of sky, the dutch doors that cut into the space of a room, the gothic window that could also be a boat, the thunderous keystone, the giant furniture – all are long-time preoccupations. The escape hatch and the floor on the wall carry on the theme.

For Therrien painting, sculpture and drawing are inextricably mixed. Ideally he likes to find a shape or image which will operate simultaneously in three dimensions, two dimensions and in relief. Over the years he has built up a group of images to return to again and again, which can allow for a virtually infinite number of interpretations. This suggestion of unending possibility gives these images the appearance of existing in a kind of state of continuous becoming, while at the same time being under the artist’s strict control. The images expose the drama of the unnoticed and invisible physical and mental relationships which exist in the world of human beings, between human beings themselves, and between the objects they create to help them live their lives.

 

Installation Views
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Details
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
Installation view, Sprüth Magers Lee, London, February 11–April 3, 2004

Details
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Exhibited Works
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
No title (Double Dutch doors), 2003

Robert Therrien
No title (Double Dutch doors), 2003
Wood
147 × 13 × 125 cm

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
No title (small plate stack on table), 2003

Robert Therrien
No title (small plate stack on table), 2003
wood and porcelain
86 × 102 × 78 cm

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
No title (major el greco’s window), 2001

Robert Therrien
No title (major el greco’s window), 2001
Tempera and graphite on paper
118.4 × 113 cm
46 5/8 × 44 1/2 inches

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
No title (scrub brushes), 1993-2000

Robert Therrien
No title (scrub brushes), 1993-2000
Wood and straw
variabel

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
No title (oil can), 2003

Robert Therrien
No title (oil can), 2003
Stainless steel
246 × 53 cm

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
No title (nose cart), 2003

Robert Therrien
No title (nose cart), 2003
Metal, wood and plastic
102 × 61 × 46 cm

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
No title (small brick), 2003

Robert Therrien
No title (small brick), 2003
Found brick paper
48.3 × 40.7 cm
19 × 16 inches

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
, 1997

Robert Therrien
1997
Unique photograph with graphite, chalk and Japan colour
121.9 × 161.6 × 6.4 cm

Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien
No title (ladder and trapdoor), 2004
More Views

Robert Therrien
No title (ladder and trapdoor), 2004
Steel and wood
variable

More Views
Details
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (Double Dutch doors), 2003
Wood
147 × 13 × 125 cm

Robert Therrien
No title (Double Dutch doors), 2003
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (small plate stack on table), 2003
wood and porcelain
86 × 102 × 78 cm

Robert Therrien
No title (small plate stack on table), 2003
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (major el greco’s window), 2001
Tempera and graphite on paper
118.4 × 113 cm
46 5/8 × 44 1/2 inches

Robert Therrien
No title (major el greco’s window), 2001
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (scrub brushes), 1993-2000
Wood and straw
variabel

Robert Therrien
No title (scrub brushes), 1993-2000
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (oil can), 2003
Stainless steel
246 × 53 cm

Robert Therrien
No title (oil can), 2003
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (nose cart), 2003
Metal, wood and plastic
102 × 61 × 46 cm

Robert Therrien
No title (nose cart), 2003
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (small brick), 2003
Found brick paper
48.3 × 40.7 cm
19 × 16 inches

Robert Therrien
No title (small brick), 2003
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
1997
Unique photograph with graphite, chalk and Japan colour
121.9 × 161.6 × 6.4 cm

Robert Therrien
, 1997
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (ladder and trapdoor), 2004
Steel and wood
variable

Robert Therrien
No title (ladder and trapdoor), 2004
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London
Robert Therrien – Robert Therrien – London

Robert Therrien
No title (ladder and trapdoor), 2004 (detail)

Robert Therrien
No title (ladder and trapdoor), 2004
Details
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