Richard Fleischner: In Conversation
with Jennifer Gross
"I'm drawn towards the simplicity of the materials and techniques used to construct the places that offered each group a measure of safety, and shelter... The meaning of shelter is no different now than it was before the pandemic. What I was interested in, and continue to be interested in, is how we have managed to define and make shelters — lines and planes used to determine boundaries, differentiating "inside" from "outside", and simple volumes and forms that turn a space into a place."
— Richard Fleischner
We took the opportunity to check in with the artist Richard Fleischner, whose exhibition Witness Mark was interrupted by the global pandemic, and now exists as an online viewing room. Over email, art historian and curator Jennifer Gross posed three questions to Fleischner; what resulted is a conversation about the notion of "shelter", Fleischner's practice, and his engagement with fundamental, basic forms that are the bedrock of art and architecture history. Paired with selected photographs that the artist took on his travels, the exchange inspires a focus on celebrating —to borrow Fleischner's words — "the rudimentary, unassuming, and yet essential creation of places". This conversation took place at the beginning of March, as the public health crisis grew more serious in New York.
Header image: Richard Fleischner, Two Squares, 2010, cast bronze, 4 3/8 x 12 1/8 x 7 1/4 in.