Reiner Ruthenbeck is the second of two seminal figures working with geometry who feature in the Serpentine Gallery’s 2014 winter programme. Unlike the light-based practice of his counterpart artist Julio Le Parc (Serpentine Sackler Galler), Ruthenbeck’s artwork is founded on an ability to transform space through his innovative use of conventional materials. Ruthenbeck’s style uses crumpled paper, swathes of fabric and cones of ash, as he sets out to uncover the latent harmony in so-called ‘ordinary’ objects.
Reiner Ruthenbeck, biography
Reiner Ruthenbeck, artist and photographer, documented some of the ground-breaking experiments in early 1960s German performance art. Ruthenbeck then turned to sculpture, studying at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art under Joseph Beuys, where his contemporaries included Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. At the very forefront of conceptual art-making in Europe, his work was included in one of the most important exhibitions of the twentieth century. Heralded often as one of the exhibitions that made art history, it was Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form, curated by Harald Szeemann in 1969. Szeemann aimed to challenge the wealthy associations of art by turning the exhibition space (Kunstalle Bern) into an artist’s studio and exhibited Ruthenbeck alongside the likes of Richard Serra, Michael Heizer and Daniel Buren.
Reiner Ruthenbeck, London exhibition
This new Serpentine Gallery exhibition brings together some of Ruthenbeck’s iconic works including the Aschehaufen series (1968-72), which consists of piles and cones made from ash, coal slag and paper. We’ll also glimpse his later experiments with utilitarian objects, stripped of their function. An early example of these works reduced down to their essential shapes is Koffer (1968), a suitcase accompanied by a soundtrack from Danish composer Henning Christiansen. One piece not to be missed is the limited edition Taschenspiegel or ‘pocket mirror’; a minimalist construction in black tile which Ruthenbeck has donated to the Serpentine Gallery, London on the occasion of this show.
Culture Whisper thinks…
A dose of gritty German sculpture in contrast to the flamboyant installations of Julio Le Parc, this show is an intriguing presentation of an artist whose subversions of ordinary objects lead us to question the nature of human perception. This London exhibition of contemporary sculpture, as well as being an important first survey of Ruthenbeck in the UK, will be a great day out in London for fans of minimalist, abstract and conceptual sculpture. Overall, the Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park, creates an intriguing comparison between Reiner Ruthenbeck and Julio Le Park in two amazing exhibitions 2014.
|What||Reiner Ruthenbeck, Serpentine Gallery|
|Where||Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Lancaster Gate (underground)|
25 Nov 14 – 15 Feb 15, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|