Richard Artschwager, celebrated artist, dead at 89

Richard Artschwager, celebrated artist, dead at 89
Richard Artschwager at his Brooklyn studio in 1997. (Los Angeles Times)

Richard Artschwager, the painter and sculptor who recently was honored with a career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, died on Saturday at 89. His death was confirmed by the Gagosian Gallery.

Artschwager's death comes just a week after his Whitney retrospective closed in New York. He died in Albany, N.Y., after suffering a stroke, according to reports.


The celebrated artist created sculptures, paintings and drawings. Although he was sometimes categorized by critics as a minimalist or pop artist, Artschwager's conceptual work was often difficult to classify.

Artschwager's first Whitney retrospective took place in 1988. In an interview with The Times, on the occasion of the show traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown, Artschwager said that the viewer's own experience and interpretations are paramount.

"The artist should go away and disappear. Get the artist out of there and above all tape up his mouth," he said.

Los Angeles will have another opportunity to see the late artist's work when the recent Whitney retrospective, titled "Robert Artschwager!" opens at the Hammer Museum in June. The exhibition features approximately 150 works.