About This Artwork

Richard Artschwager
American, 1923-2013

Table with Pink Tablecloth, 1964

Formica on wood
64.8 x 111.8 x 111.8 cm (25 1/2 x 44 x 44 in.)

Gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.133

© 2018 Richard Artschwager / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Richard Artschwager’s work defies categorization, yet it often combines elements of both Pop Art and Minimalism. An early example of his “furniture surrogates,” which draw upon his experience as the owner of a successful carpentry and furniture-design business, Table with Pink Tablecloth was exhibited— along with other compact, geometric masses wrapped with formica “pictures” so that they resemble domestic items—in his first solo show at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, in 1965. Artschwager described this work as “the way a table with a tablecloth is in a painting, in a still life—a three-dimensional still life.” Too short to be useful as a piece of furniture, this translation of a Parsons table depicts a solid form as both mass and void and attempts to reveal the levels of deception involved in pictorial illusionism.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, "Richard Artschwager," January 30–February 24, 1965.

New York, the Jewish Museum, "Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors," April 27–June 12, 1966, p. 142.

Buffalo, Albright-Knox Gallery, "Richard Artschwager’s Theme(s)," July 6–August 12, 1979; traveled to Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, October–November 18, 1979; La Jolla, Museum of Contemporary Art, January 18–March 2, 1980; Houston, Museum of Contemporary Art, March 22–May 2, 1980, pp. 33, 90 (ill.).

Basel, Kunsthalle, "Richard Artschwager," October 9–November 11, 1985, organized by Russell Panczenko, essays by Germano Celant; traveled to Eindhoven, Stedelijk van Abbe Museum, November 22, 1985–January 3, 1986; Bordeaux, CAPC, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, February 22–April 4, 1986, cat. 6 (color ill.).

London, Whitechapel Gallery, "In Tandem: the Painter-Sculpture in the Twentieth Century," March 27–May 25, 1986, pp. 6, 80, 117 (color ill.).

New York, Mary Boone Gallery, "Richard Artschwager, Sculpture, 1962 through 1968," October 4–November 1, 1986, pl. 2.

New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, "Richard Artschwager," January 22–April 3, 1988, cat. by Richard Armstrong; traveled to San Francisco, Museum of Modern Art, June 16–August 14, 1988; Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, October 4–January 29, 1989, cat. 18; Madrid, Palacio de Velazquez, February 10–April 2, 1989; Paris, Musee National d’Art Moderne, February 10–April 2, 1989; Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, July 7-September 17, 1989; Städtische Kunstahalle de Düsseldorf, October 6–December 3, 1989, p. 44 (color ill.).

Los Angeles, Lannan Foundation Gallery, "Tables: Selections from the Lannan Foundation Collection," October 9, 1993–January 9, 1994.

London, Serpentine Gallery, "Richard Artschwager," December 12, 2001–February 10, 2002, p. 4 (color ill.); traveled to Vienna, MAK Austellungshalle, "Richard Artschwager: The Hydraulic Door Check," March 26–June 16, 2002, p. 105 (color ill.). SOD1796

Bignan, France, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, "Richard Artschwager: Step to Entropy," June 29–September 21, 2003, text by Jean-Christophe Ammann et al., trans by Simon Pleasance et al., pp. 24, 195 (color ill.).

Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, "A Minimal Future? Art as Object, 1958–1968," March 14-August 2, 2004, cat. intro by Ann Goldstein, p. 145 (color ill.).

Publication History

Barbara Rose, “ABC Art,” Art in America (October 1965), p. 68 (ill.).

Roberta Smith, “The Artschwager Enigma,” Art in America (October 1979), pp. 93–95 (cover ill.).

Steven Henry Madoff, “Richard Artschwager’s Sleight of Mind,” ARTnews 87 (January 1988), pp. 114–21 (ill.).

Jack Bankowsky, “Richard Artschwager: The New Conventionalism in Art Reveals Artschwager’s Prescience,” Flash Art 139 (March/April 1988), pp. 80–83 (ill.).

Jeremy Strick, “Fixed and Visible: Lannan Foundation and The Art Institute of Chicago,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 25, 1 (1999), p. 6.

Stephanie D’Alessandro, “Highlights of the Lannan Collection,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 25, 1 (1999), pp. 26–27 (color ill.).

Stephanie Skestos, “Checklist of the Lannan Collection,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 25, 1 (1999), cat. 3 (ill.).

Silke Sommer, “Documentation on Selected Exhibitions,” in Kliege 2001, pp. 141–42 (ill.).

Melitta Kliege, Richard Artschwager: Up and Across, trans. David Britt and Roger M. Buergel, exh. cat. (Nuremberg: Neues Museum, 2001), pl. 10.

Bob Raczka, “T is for tablecloth” in 3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet, (Minneapolis, Minn.: Millbrook Press, 2006), p. 21 (ill.).

General References:

Jan McDevitt, "The Object: Still Life,” Craft Horizons 25, 5 (September–October 1965), pp. 28–30, 54.

Donald Kuspit, “Richard Artschwager: Whitney Museum of American Art; Leo Castelli,” Artforum 28 (April 1988), pp. 137–38.

Vik Muniz, “Richard Artschwager: Surface Tension,” Parkett 46 (2006), pp. 56–59.

Ingrid Schaffner, “A Short History of the blp,” Parkett 46 (2006), pp. 26–31, 33.

Richard Armstrong, “Lucid Opacity,” Parkett 46 (2006), pp. 64–65.

David Deitcher, “No Exit,” Parkett 46 (2006), pp. 18–20.

Kurt W. Forster, “Authentic Imitations of Genuine Replicas,” trans. David Britt, Parkett 46 (2006) pp. 51–55.

Ownership History

Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, by 1964. Saatchi Collection, London, by 1988. Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles, by 1992; given to the Art Institute, 1997.

View mobile website