Koenig & Clinton is pleased to announce Ulrich Rückriem, the Gallery’s first solo exhibition with the artist. The exhibition presents a single artwork comprised of seven sculptures, entitled The Last Fifty Years (2015), complimented by a suite of forty-nine drawings that document simple geometrical forms undergoing methodical transformations. This presentation at Koenig & Clinton constitutes Rückriem’s first solo exhibition in New York in nearly two decades.
Ulrich Rückriem (b.1938, Düsseldorf) began his career as a stonemason at Cologne Cathedral from 1959–1961, the influence of which is manifest in his artistic practice. Geometric forms and a rational, systematic concept of structure characterize Rückriem’s oeuvre; his insistence on making intelligible all traces of his material interventions affirms his stature as a prominent figure in establishing Process art as a response to Minimalism.
Rückriem’s sculptures draw heavily on his knowledge of how a given volume of stone, metal, or timber can be manipulated, as well as his familiarity with how any one of those materials might react to various types of technical handling. The forms of Rückriem’s sculptures remain faithful to their origins: an artwork’s title describes its material, as well as the singular procedure by which it has been altered — forged, milled, cut, cleft, etc. — tracing the sculpture’s articulation back to its beginning. Medium, process, and tool are unified in fundamental sculpture — tangible and without illusion.
As noted by art historian Rudi Fuchs, Rückriem’s sculptures provide remarkable transparency, revealing “material made visible in form, process made visible in material, size made visible in space, and space made visible (articulated) by size and form.” This clarity, paired with Rückriem’s programmatic eradication of the base, questions principles of material, scale and proportion to demystify public sculpture altogether.
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