Robert Therrien
USA, 1947
Therrien grew up in Northern California, in the Bay Area, and is frequently associated with the West Coast art scene. However, his work mainly achieved recognition through exhibitions at renowned galleries in New York and Europe. As Gregory Salzman wrote, Robert Therrien belongs to a generation that grew up during the Cold War and was “schooled in ideological rancour” and the rejection of rationalist systematizations. “In the mid/late sixties this emerging generation of artists began seeking ways to mediate between popular and high-brow culture and to bridge the ideological differences between Pop and Minimalism.” As a result, the work of this artist has come to oscillate between a variety of opposing elements: Minimalism and Pop Art, abstraction and figuration, the sacred and the profane, the rational and the emotional. In speaking about his own work, the artist has said that he finds it difficult to differentiate between painting and sculpture. This is particularly true in light of the precedents set by artists like Donald Judd and Frank Stella, who dissolved these differences in favour of the objectuality of the artwork. In this sense, Robert Therrien’s objects create a state of constant ambiguity. In fact, he works with a very limited, formal repertoire: cones, clouds, ovals and snowmen. The forms that appear in his work are reproduced repeatedly like symbols shedding their original condition as objects. Through the way they are made—in wood, bronze or aluminium, which is then painted—they acquire textures and colours that evoke multiple associations in the imagination. Their scale and positioning within the exhibition space invite the spectator to engage on a phenomenological level, that is to say on a physical level.
Carlos Guerra

Artworks by the artist included in the Collection Artworks by the artist included in the Collection

  • Untitled. Pitcher Heavy (Relief-Black and White) / 1993

  • Untitled (Silver Cloud) / 1993