October 6, 2021 326 PM
MARFA — RULE Gallery presents Z-Space, an exhibition of work by Clark Richert at their Marfa gallery with an opening reception on Friday, October 8, from 6-8 p.m. with masks required. This will be the artist’s fifth solo with RULE, but his first at the Marfa location.
Throughout a career spanning over half a century, artist Clark Richert has worked to celebrate the underlying beauty of the universe and explore big ideas about existence through art. His latest exhibition, Z-Space, continues this practice, using Richert’s personal theory of the makeup of space itself along with fundamental structures of crystals to create a three-dimensional reinterpretation of the venerated periodic table of elements. For Richert, Z-Space takes the familiar idea that space is infinite and expands on it by considering the optimal ways it can be filled, both structurally and aesthetically. In doing so, he has found an evocative correlation between the way a body-centered cubic lattice grows and how chemists and other scientists organize and group the basic elements of the universe. The exhibition itself is composed of foundational drawings Richert made when first exploring these ideas, along with models, sculptures and video that flesh out and clarify his concepts. At the center are several paintings and prints where he brings it all to life, from seemingly simple works that reveal the beauty of parallel lines to complex paintings that provide a 3D rendering of a reimagined periodic table. Throughout, Richert brings together art and science in unexpected ways, taking ideas as old as those espoused by Pythagoras in the 6th century B.C.E. and giving them new vitality through the context of contemporary art.
Clark Richert is one of four founding members of Drop City (Trinidad, Colorado, 1965), which is considered the first counterculture artist’s community in the U.S. Their strategic use of mutated geodesic dome structures drew the attention of Bucky Fuller for which they received the first Dymaxion Award in 1966. Subsequently, Richert went on to co-found the artists’ movement known as Criss Cross in Boulder, Colorado, which continued the original concepts of Drop City.
Over the past 50 years, Richert has exhibited widely in galleries and institutions across the world, including the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis; The Denver Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona; The Kirkland Museum, Denver; The Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, Austria; Yellowstone Art Center, Billings, Montana; The Biennial of the Americas, Denver; Berkeley Art Museum, California; RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Denver; the Cranbrook Art Museum, Michigan; Museum of Friends, Walsenburg, Colorado; among many others.
In 2019, Richert was given a dual career retrospective, staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Richert recently unveiled two public artworks, Quadrivium, a 14-foot, lighted aluminum triacontahedron structure in 2020; and Four Color Intertwine, both in Denver. In addition to public and corporate commissions, his work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Wichita Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, Kirkland Museum, University of Colorado, Boulder, Amoco, Container Corporation of America as well as many prominent private collections.
RULE Gallery, founded in 1991, has locations in Denver, Colorado, and Marfa. RULE represents emerging and mid-career contemporary artists and artist estates, with a focus on fostering investigative art practices while developing artists’ long-term careers. Outside their robust in-house exhibition schedule, RULE coordinates programming in prominent institutions and nontraditional settings, expanding community engagement with the work. In addition, the gallery actively endeavors to bring greater recognition of the region’s historic art movements to a broader audience.