A Selection from the Collection
Richard Wentworth, 1947 False Ceiling, 2005

Books and steel cable
Dimensions variable
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection /
Eczacıbaşı Group Donation



Born in 1947 in Samoa, Richard Wentworth attended Hornsey College of Art, London, from 1965 and worked with Henry Moore as an assistant in 1967. He was awarded a master’s degree in 1970 from the Royal College of Art and went on to become one of the most influential teachers in British art at Goldsmith's College, where he taught from 1971 to 1987.

Richard Wentworth has played a leading role in New British Sculpture since the late 1970s. By transforming and manipulating industrial or found objects into works of art, Wentworth subverts their original function and extends our understanding of them by breaking the conventional system of classification.

A version of "False Ceiling" was originally shown as part of the Fourth International İstanbul Biennial in 1995. This is a later site-specific version. Wentworth uses books from Eastern and Western cultures to reference both their origins and the Duchampian idea of the “Ready-Made”. The exact arrangement of the books plays with ideas of cultural closeness and distance. The title of the work and the horizontal positioning of the books question the extent to which the authority of the printed word is being eroded. No one can reach or easily open the books, creating a barrier that effectively nullifies any knowledge contained with them. In this work, books – repositories of truth, knowledge and lies – are little more than a permeable, seductive and symbolic surface.