Robert Therrien: Selections from the Broad Collection and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Robert Therrien was born in Chicago in 1947, grew up in San Francisco and moved to Los Angeles in 1971, where he currently resides. He is known primarily as a sculptor, although he has also worked in painting, drawing, printmaking and photography.
For more than three decades, Therrien has explored the transformation of familiar forms. He is one of several artists represented in depth in the Broad Collection and the Los Angeles-based artist is no stranger to LACMA, where he had his early survey exhibition in 2000. Since that show, LACMA has acquired three sculptures as well as prints by Therrien, including, most recently, No Title (Black Beds), 1998, acquired in early 2011. This twisting, turning bed evokes the artist’s ability to craft materials in unexpected ways with engaging results. On its hind legs, the bed seems to take on an animal-like form, suggestive of a raging bear standing tall.
As the exhibition reveals, Therrien is an enigmatic artist whose humorous sculptures play with questions of scale and utility.
Image: No Title (black beds), 1998, Robert Therrien, Plastic and enamel, 125 x 108 x 72 in., Gift of Gail and Tony Ganz in memory of Robert Shapazian.
Maybe you know this riddle someone recently told me: You leave home, you make three left turns, and you arrive back facing two masked men. What’s going on? To some extent Robert Therrien’s art engenders, if considered as a whole, a puzzle that is both profound and quite silly. These visual puns are the foundation of pop art’s reverence of modern life...