Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 509. Untitled (Table).

Richard Artschwager

Untitled (Table)

Lot Closed

March 18, 05:45 PM GMT


60,000 - 80,000 USD

Lot Details


Richard Artschwager

1923 - 2013

Untitled (Table)


36 by 36 by 12 in. (91.4 by 91.4 by 30.4 cm.)

Executed in 1962. 

The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. David Hermelin
Thence by descent to the present owner 

Richard Artschwager’s seminal Untitled (Table) from 1962 is a remarkably early example of the cerebral and illusionistic sculptural objects that would come to define his celebrated career. Executed in his breakthrough year, the present work defamiliarizes a quotidian domestic object, the table, by deconstructing its typical form and placing it in an unexpected space. The work reflects on the optical potential of objects and materials and places the structure of perception center stage. Neither a real, functional object, nor a straightforward representation, Untitled (Table) aims to evoke the estrangement between reality and illusion.


One of the very first of Artschwager’s definitive sculptures, and a rare example made from wood rather than Formica, Untitled (Table) is intended to be installed up high where the wall meets the ceiling, its legs splayed like a spider poised to leap. By positioning a typically familiar, mass-produced object like a table in such an unfamiliar, uncanny space, Artschwager is suggesting a view of everyday life as an alienating, uncomfortable form of existence. Despite being variously described as Pop, conceptual, and Minimalist, Artschwager’s art defies any classification; his work encourages confusion and lays bare the myriad levels of deception involved in categorical and pictorial illusionism.