Richard Hunt

Kavi Gupta, Chicago (H12)

For Frieze Masters 2019, Kavi Gupta proposes a solo exhibition of historic works by Richard Hunt (b. 1935, New York; d. 1992, New York).

Richard Hunt is one of the most accomplished sculptors of the past century. His work has been exhibited 12 times at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, including The Sculpture of Richard Hunt (1971), a solo retrospective when he was only 35 (the third for a black artist exhibited at MoMA after William Edmondson in 1937 and Jacob Lawrence in 1944).

In 1971, Hunt (along with Puryear, Sam Gilliam, Mel Edwards, Virginia Jaramillo, Ed Clark, Jack Whitten, amongst others) pulled his work from the Whitney’s controversial Contemporary Black Artists in America exhibition in protest. Hunt also participated in the racially-integrated DeLuxe Show, featuring Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, Anthony Caro, and others. Both the protest and the artworks remain relevant to contemporary dialogs.

Like many of his peers—including Puryear, Edwards, and Caro—Hunt has extended his oeuvre into a range of scales, from the monumental welded bronze sculpture Swing Low (2016), which graces the vestibule of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, to delicate wire figures such as those featured in the aforementioned historic exhibitions. Works from this important period in Hunt’s career (1955-1971) will be the focus of this Frieze Masters 2019 display, including revolutionary pieces made from reclaimed car bumpers that were part of his 1971 MoMa retrospective.