Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
If you’ve had a chance to visit our Robert Therrien exhibition—and we hope you have!—you will have noticed that throughout the artist’s career, he has repeatedly engaged a number of signature forms. One of these forms is the snowman, pictured above. Exhibition curator Heather Pesanti addresses this aspect of his work in her catalogue essay, noting that it brings to mind Minimalist, Pop, and Conceptual art. But Therrien’s work is not so easily categorized, she notes, and for him, this repetition is both personal and practical: “The replication of certain objects and images occurs when a work leaves his studio to be included in a collection or an exhibition, and he feels its absence.” She goes on to quote Therrien, who comments, “I would start a new one because a previous one wasn’t around, and for essential forms I need an example of one in my studio environment… . It’s sort of like a game, where the studio could be a world or a village, and this is sort of a collection of images. Some of them get eliminated, and, for particular ones, it seems like the space around me is incomplete if they are missing.”
Working behind the scenes on an exhibition, you occasionally have the privilege of seeing an artist reunite with works he or she hasn’t seen in years. This was a most rewarding aspect of working with Robert Therrien. We hope you will come and visit his snowmen (and one snowwoman!) while they’re together again at the Albright-Knox.
IMAGE: Robert Therrien’s No title (snowman), 1989. © 2013 Robert Therrien / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York