Robert Therrien

No Title (Beard Cart) (2004)

About this artwork

Robert Therrien has used fake beards and such prosthetics as fake noses in a number of his sculptures and installations. Placed on stands on a mobile trolley as though they are being presented for sale, the beards in this work vary in scale from larger than life to miniature versions. Fake beards suggest strategies for disguise that might be used in the theatre or for espionage. Beards also conjure up the magical and mythical men of fairy-tales and legends. These tactile objects may be an unusual subject for sculpture, but invested with independence and monumentality in their installation here they are transformed into a formal display that emphasises their symbolic function.

  • title: No Title (Beard Cart)
  • accession number: AR01128
  • artist: Robert TherrienAmerican (born 1947)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Installation
  • date created: 2004
  • measurements: 223.50 x 116.20 x 122.10 cm
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Presented by the artist 2010
  • copyright: © Robert Therrien
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Robert Therrien

Robert Therrien

The American artist Therrien is renowned for his large-scale sculpture installations of common objects that subvert the viewers’ notion of the familiar, and encourage them to reconsider their perception of space. His early works were based on instantly identifiable motifs, which were simplified and reproduced as monochromatic reliefs - suspended somewhere between painting and sculpture. In the early 1990s he began to explore the viewer’s relationship with scale. With his recreations of tables and chairs large enough to walk under, Therrien transports the viewer into a fantastical, but slightly unsettling, parallel universe. Born in Chicago, he studied at the University of Southern California and currently lives and works in Los Angeles.