American, 1927 - 1994
Edward Ralph Kienholz was a renown American installation artist and assemblage sculptor whose work was highly critical of aspects of modern life. From 1972 onwards, he assembled much of his artwork in close collaboration with his artistic partner and fifth wife, Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Throughout much of their career, the work of the Kienholzes was more appreciated in Europe than in their native United States, though American museums have featured their art more prominently since the 1990s. Art critic Brian Sewell called Edward Kienholz "the least known, most neglected and forgotten American artist of Jack Kerouac's Beat Generation of the 1950s, a contemporary of the writers Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Norman Mailer, his visual imagery at least as grim, gritty, sordid and depressing as their literary vocabulary".