Robert Therrien: Relationship to Minimalism

Parasol Unit, London, opens a new exhibition featuring the work of American sculpture artist, Robert Therrien. Although several of his works from later years have already been exhibited throughout the UK as part of the Artist Rooms Project, the majority of Therrien’s exhibitions have taken place in America. Consequently, this is the first considerable UK solo exhibition to display such a diverse range of his work; for ten weeks the gallery highlights 40 of his pieces, both two and three dimensional.

As a non-profit organisation whose aim is to enable public access to art and art research, Parasol unit creates captivating and thought-provoking exhibitions. The show opening on 2 October promises to be no different, inviting audiences to enjoy a vast arrangement of pieces including drawings, reliefs and sculptures across the 20 years of the artist’s career.

Curated by the venue’s founder and director, Ziba Ardalan, the Autumn/Winter exhibition celebrates the contributions of an artist often overlooked. His deceptively simple oeuvre lends itself to psychological interpretation, whilst remaining firmly objective due to its relationship to the minimal. The collection therefore communicates the artist’s earlier connections with Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptualism – all vital art movements of the 20th century. Within these works, Therrien transforms the everyday with block colour and compelling narratives that trigger childhood memories.

In addition to these fundamental pieces, the gallery presents works from the 1980s: simple silhouettes of a red chapel and a tin-on-bronze snowman – a key image to pervade many of the artist’s works as a metaphor for memories and seasonal change. Works from the 1990s are also open to the public, including  No title (Dutch Doors), (1993), a sculpture formed of two identical rectangular shapes stacked one above the other, mounted to the wall and extending out from it at different angles, as well as No title (Pitcher with yellow spout), 1990, a wall-mounted sculpture of the same motif with a black spout.

Educational events and a comprehensive publication will also accompany the exhibition, engaging the public in lessons of art.

Robert Therrien: Works 1975–1995, Parasol unit Foundation, London, 2 October – 11 December.

Find out more:

1.  Robert Therrien, No title, 1985. Tin on bronze. 87 x 41.3 cm. Courtesy of Mary Patricia Anderson Pence. Photography by Douglas M. Parker Studio