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Destruction V

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acrylic on Celotex, with metal frames, two panels
41 1/4 x 49 3/4 x 1 in. (104.78 x 126.37 x 2.54 cm)

About This Artwork

The work of Richard Artschwager does not fit easily into any historical art movements or trends. Artschwager studied science and mathematics and worked as a cabinetmaker, which had a profound impact on his approach as an artist. Operating at the nebulous intersection of image and material, Artschwager exposed perceptual phenomena by translating the real world into the depicted world. In his work, perspective, surface, time, and matter are simplified, often to elegant, bizarre, and comic ends. Destruction V is the fifth painting in a series that chronologically portrays the demolition of the once-glamorous Traymore Hotel in Atlantic City. His application of acrylic paint on a commercial insulating board called Celotex makes the image appear soft and dusty, like the pictures of rubble reproduced on the front pages of newspapers chronicling the event.