Richard Wentworth (artist)
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Life and career
Wentworth was born in Samoa—then a province of New Zealand—in 1947. He studied art at Hornsey College of Art in North London from 1965, and then at the Royal College of Art where he was a contemporary of Bill Woodrow and Tony Cragg. In August 2014, Wentworth was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
New British Sculpture
Wentworth became identified with the New British Sculpture movement. Wentworth’s interest is the juxtaposition of materials and found elements that do not belong together.[according to whom?] In the work Shower, Wentworth attached a small propeller to an ordinary table creating the impression that the furniture is about to take flight. For an installation at the Lisson Gallery he created a flock of books suspended by wire from the gallery’s ceiling in 1995. For Art and Sacred Places in Winchester Cathedral he created Recall which speculated how the structure of the Cathedral might have been supported during its construction. Wentworth is also interested in the bizarre coincidences of urban life that he documents in photographs. In April 2010, Wentworth participated in a major sculpture exhibition curated by Peter Kardia entitled "From Floor to Sky", alongside artists Roderick Coyne and Alison Wilding.
Between 1971 and 1987, Wentworth taught at Goldsmiths College and his influence has been claimed in the work of the Young British Artists. He curated the exhibition Thinking Aloud at Kettle's Yard that explored the creative process as well as the profligate nature of mass production and consumerism. From 2002 to 2010, Wentworth was 'Master of Drawing' at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University and was the head of the Sculpture department at The Royal College of Art, London, for one year.
In 2000, together with Fischli & Weiss and Gabriel Orozco he worked in "Aprendiendo menos" (learning less), curated by Patricia Martín and presented in Centro de la Imagen, Mexico city. Three different perspectives through photography, where the artists are a means to portray street findings within the urban landscape, its surroundings and its objects.
Wentworth has lived for many years in the Kings Cross area of London and in 2002 he realised the project An Area of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty in which for three months he took over a plumbing supply shop in the area converting it into a base for visitors to explore and engage with the area.
References and notes
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- 2002-2012 Andrew Maltsev, 2012-2013 Derek J. Curtis. "Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Centro de la Imagen - Publisher Info". Isbndb.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "Richard Wentworth Interviewed in ArtReview by Oliver Basciano".
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2010.