Richard Deacon

Drawings and Prints 1968 – 2016

August 26 – November 13, 2016

Richard Deacon (*1949 Bangor/Wales) is one of the most important sculptors worldwide. He rose to prominence with large-format as well as delicate sculptures that provide astounding new interpretations of the relationship between both inside and outside or what is open and closed. Deacon is also passionate about drawing, an activity that is highly significant for him: “I believe drawing and thinking are very close to each other.”

This is the first time that an exhibition is devoted to Richard Deacon’s drawings. Approximately 150 works from five decades are shown – from the artist’s early beginnings up to the present day. Almost all of the works have never before been shown to the public.

Drawing has a twofold function for Deacon: alongside sketches and studies for sculptures, the artist also produced drawings independent of sculptural projects from early on. The formal scope of these autonomous drawings is substantial, ranging from early small-scale collages and large-format pencil drawings to entire series in recent years. His latest work is a wall drawing that the artist conceived especially for the exhibition entrance wall.

Exceptional in their combination of different techniques are drawings that Richard Deacon has superimposed onto photographs, with outcomes that are occasionally surreal in effect. Throughout his entire artistic career, he also frequently experiments with the art of printing; the exhibition therefore shows graphic works from the artist’s different creative periods.

What connects Deacon’s multifaceted works on paper with his plastic oeuvre is the artist’s fundamental exploration of the reciprocal effects of construction and free form, of surface and space. This is shown by several small-format sculptures that round off this comprehensive overview of Richard Deacon’s works.

Guest curator: Julian Heynen

The exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of NATIONAL-BANK AG


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At the same time, the Langen Foundation in Neuss shows an overview of Richard Deacon’s sculptures of the last ten years over the same period as the exhibition at Museum Folkwang.
Additionally, the neighboring sculpture hall of the Thomas Schütte Foundation in Neuss presents Deacon’s latest sculptures.