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Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer, Bad Timing, Lamb Chop!, 2004–05 Cast aluminum, polyurethane resin, and enamel paint, 177 ⅛ × 90 ½ × 129 ⅞ inches (450 × 230 × 330 cm), edition of 2© Urs Fischer. Photo: Erich Koyama

Urs Fischer, Bad Timing, Lamb Chop!, 2004–05

Cast aluminum, polyurethane resin, and enamel paint, 177 ⅛ × 90 ½ × 129 ⅞ inches (450 × 230 × 330 cm), edition of 2
© Urs Fischer. Photo: Erich Koyama

Urs Fischer, quarteredukulele, 2011 Top: ultralight MDF, acrylic sealer, wallpaper primer, wallpaper adhesive, paper, silk-screened acrylic paints, acrylic polymer emulsion, acrylic polyurethane, and urethane; base: cold-rolled steel powder-coated with polyester TGIC (RAL 6034), polyester tape, cork composite, and hardware; 34 ½ × 34 ½ × 24 ¾ inches (87.6 × 87.6 × 62.9 cm)© Urs Fischer/Gavin Brown Enterprise

Urs Fischer, quarteredukulele, 2011

Top: ultralight MDF, acrylic sealer, wallpaper primer, wallpaper adhesive, paper, silk-screened acrylic paints, acrylic polymer emulsion, acrylic polyurethane, and urethane; base: cold-rolled steel powder-coated with polyester TGIC (RAL 6034), polyester tape, cork composite, and hardware; 34 ½ × 34 ½ × 24 ¾ inches (87.6 × 87.6 × 62.9 cm)
© Urs Fischer/Gavin Brown Enterprise

Urs Fischer, quarteredukulele, 2011 Top: ultralight MDF, acrylic sealer, wallpaper primer, wallpaper adhesive, paper, silk-screened acrylic paints, acrylic polymer emulsion, acrylic polyurethane, and urethane; base: cold-rolled steel powder-coated with polyester TGIC (RAL 6034), polyester tape, cork composite, and hardware; 34 ½ × 34 ½ × 24 ¾ inches (87.6 × 87.6 × 62.9 cm)© Urs Fischer/Gavin Brown Enterprise

Urs Fischer, quarteredukulele, 2011

Top: ultralight MDF, acrylic sealer, wallpaper primer, wallpaper adhesive, paper, silk-screened acrylic paints, acrylic polymer emulsion, acrylic polyurethane, and urethane; base: cold-rolled steel powder-coated with polyester TGIC (RAL 6034), polyester tape, cork composite, and hardware; 34 ½ × 34 ½ × 24 ¾ inches (87.6 × 87.6 × 62.9 cm)
© Urs Fischer/Gavin Brown Enterprise

Urs Fischer, Horse/Bed, 2013 Milled aluminum, galvanized steel, screws, bolts, and two-component resin, 85 ⅞ × 103 ⅝ × 43 ¾ inches (218.2 × 263.1 × 111.1 cm), edition of 3© Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer, Horse/Bed, 2013

Milled aluminum, galvanized steel, screws, bolts, and two-component resin, 85 ⅞ × 103 ⅝ × 43 ¾ inches (218.2 × 263.1 × 111.1 cm), edition of 3
© Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer, mermaid, 2014 Cast bronze, 40 ½ × 48 × 84 inches (102.9 × 121.9 × 213.4 cm), edition of 2© Urs Fischer. Photo: Melissa Christy

Urs Fischer, mermaid, 2014

Cast bronze, 40 ½ × 48 × 84 inches (102.9 × 121.9 × 213.4 cm), edition of 2
© Urs Fischer. Photo: Melissa Christy

Urs Fischer, last supper, 2014 Cast bronze, 60 × 60 × 300 inches (152.4 × 152.4 × 762 cm), edition of 2© Urs Fischer. Photo: Melissa Christy

Urs Fischer, last supper, 2014

Cast bronze, 60 × 60 × 300 inches (152.4 × 152.4 × 762 cm), edition of 2
© Urs Fischer. Photo: Melissa Christy

Urs Fischer, Oxygen, 2015 Aluminum panel, aramid honeycomb, two-component polyurethane adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, galvanized steel rivet nuts, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, and acrylic paint, 132 ½ × 106 inches (336.6 × 269.2 cm)© Urs Fischer. Photo: Mats Nordman

Urs Fischer, Oxygen, 2015

Aluminum panel, aramid honeycomb, two-component polyurethane adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, galvanized steel rivet nuts, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, and acrylic paint, 132 ½ × 106 inches (336.6 × 269.2 cm)
© Urs Fischer. Photo: Mats Nordman

Urs Fischer, Landscape, 2016 Aluminum panel, epoxy, reinforced polyurethane foam, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, and acrylic paint, 71 × 127 ⅜ inches (180.3 × 323.5 cm)© Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer, Landscape, 2016

Aluminum panel, epoxy, reinforced polyurethane foam, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, and acrylic paint, 71 × 127 ⅜ inches (180.3 × 323.5 cm)
© Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer, Low Lying Cloud, 2016 Cast bronze, acrylic primer, chalk gesso, rabbit skin glue, and oil paint, 8 ¼ × 15 ¼ × 7 ½ inches (21 × 38.7 × 19.1 cm), edition of 2© Urs Fischer. Photo: Mats Nordman

Urs Fischer, Low Lying Cloud, 2016

Cast bronze, acrylic primer, chalk gesso, rabbit skin glue, and oil paint, 8 ¼ × 15 ¼ × 7 ½ inches (21 × 38.7 × 19.1 cm), edition of 2
© Urs Fischer. Photo: Mats Nordman

Urs Fischer, aceofpigs, 2016 Aluminum, epoxy, steel, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, and acrylic paint, 59 × 59 ¾ inches (149.9 × 151.8 cm), edition of 2 + 1 AP© Urs Fischer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Urs Fischer, aceofpigs, 2016

Aluminum, epoxy, steel, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, and acrylic paint, 59 × 59 ¾ inches (149.9 × 151.8 cm), edition of 2 + 1 AP
© Urs Fischer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Urs Fischer, Foamcore, 2017 Aluminum panel, aramid honeycomb, two-component polyurethane adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, galvanized steel rivet nuts, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, and oil medium, 96 × 120 inches (243.8 × 304.8 cm)© Urs Fischer. Photo: Mats Nordman

Urs Fischer, Foamcore, 2017

Aluminum panel, aramid honeycomb, two-component polyurethane adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, galvanized steel rivet nuts, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, and oil medium, 96 × 120 inches (243.8 × 304.8 cm)
© Urs Fischer. Photo: Mats Nordman

About

People seem to fear art. Art has always been a word for this thing that can’t be rationalized; when you see or hear something that you struggle to explain. But that’s its strength, of course, that’s what the word “art” is for.
—Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer mines the potential of materials—from clay, steel, and paint to bread, dirt, and produce—to create works that disorient and bewilder. Through scale distortions, illusion, and the juxtaposition of common objects, his sculptures, paintings, photographs, and large-scale installations explore themes of perception and representation while maintaining a witty irreverence and mordant humor.

Fischer began his artistic career studying photography at the Schule für Gestaltung in Zurich. He later lived in London and Los Angeles, and shared a studio with Rudolf Stingel in both Berlin and New York. Themes of absence and presence, as well as the processes of art production, pervade his work, in which Fischer makes use of tables, chairs, shadows, and light to explore distortion and anthropomorphism. In Stuhl mit (1995–2001), bulbous, fabric-covered legs merge with a wooden chair, and in Studies for chairs for individual seating positions (1993), the absence of a human body is suggested by a sawdust and rubber mold draped over the furniture. Food is also a major element in Fischer’s work. Rotting, melting, and crumbling, and placed in juxtaposition with permanent materials like metal, bricks, and mortar, it serves as a memento mori; Rotten Foundation (1998) comprises a brick structure built on a foundation of rotting produce; Untitled (Bread House) (2004–05), a Swiss chalet constructed entirely of loaves of bread, was left to be eaten by parakeets; and in the Problem Paintings (2011–), portraits mounted on aluminum panels are obscured by images of eggs, peppers, and kiwis, as well as twisted bolts and half-smoked cigarettes.

In 2009 Fischer had his first large-scale solo presentation in an American museum, at New York’s New Museum; the exhibition featured a series of immersive installations and hallucinatory environments including cityscapes and mirrored labyrinths. At the Venice Biennale in 2011, his wax copy of Giambologna’s late-sixteenth-century sculpture Rape of the Sabine Women slowly melted, looming over another candle depicting an ordinary man wearing glasses and a sport coat. The candle works, which Fischer has produced since 2001, attest to his mastery of entropy, as well as his simultaneous incorporation and rejection of tradition.

Fischer had his first solo show with Gagosian in 2012. The following year for his exhibition Yes at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA Los Angeles, 1,400 volunteers produced unfired clay sculptures in the weeks leading up to the exhibition. As soon as Fischer has accomplished one material feat, he embarks on another, in ways that are complicated and playful, messy and perfected.

Urs Fischer and Francesco Bonami speaking amidst the installation of "Urs Fischer: Lovers" at Museo Jumex, Mexico City

Urs Fischer: Lovers

The exhibition Urs Fischer: Lovers at Museo Jumex, Mexico City, brings together works from international public and private collections as well as from the artist’s own archive, alongside new pieces made especially for the exhibition. To mark this momentous twenty-year survey, the artist sits down with the exhibition’s curator, Francesco Bonami, to discuss the installation.

Awol Erizku, Lion (Body) I, 2022, Duratrans on lightbox, 49 ⅜ × 65 ⅝ × 3 ¾ inches (125.4 × 166.7 × 9.5 cm) © Awol Erizku

Awol Erizku and Urs Fischer: To Make That Next Move

On the eve of Awol Erizku’s exhibition in New York, he and Urs Fischer discuss what it means to be an image maker, the beauty of blurring genres, the fetishization of authorship, and their shared love for Los Angeles.

Installation view of Urs Fischer’s Untitled (2011) in Ouverture, Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris, 2021. Artwork © Urs Fischer, courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, Agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier. Photo: Stefan Altenburger

Bourse de Commerce

William Middleton traces the development of the new institution, examining the collaboration between the collector François Pinault and the architect Tadao Ando in revitalizing the historic space. Middleton also speaks with artists Tatiana Trouvé and Albert Oehlen about Pinault’s passion as a collector, and with the Bouroullec brothers, who created design features for the interiors and exteriors of the museum.

Augurs of Spring

Augurs of Spring

As spring approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, Sydney Stutterheim reflects on the iconography and symbolism of the season in art both past and present.

Installation view, Crushed, Cast, Constructed: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray, Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London, June 15–July 31, 2020

Uncanny Delights: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray

Catalyzed by the exhibition Crushed, Cast, Constructed: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray, Alice Godwin examines the legacy and development of a Surrealist ethos in selected works from three contemporary sculptors.

Installation view, Urs Fischer: The Lyrical and the Prosaic, Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, October 20, 2019–October 31, 2020.

Urs Fischer: Lives of Forms

In his introduction to the catalogue for Urs Fischer’s exhibition The Lyrical and the Prosaic, at the Aïshti Foundation in Beirut, curator Massimiliano Gioni traces the material and conceptual tensions that reverberate throughout the artist’s paintings, sculptures, installations, and interventions.

Urs Fischer, A–Z, 2019, a sculpture of a pear and an apple.

Fruit and Vegetables: Francesco Bonami on Urs Fischer

Fruit and vegetables are a recurring motif in Urs Fischer’s visual vocabulary, introducing the dimension of time while elaborating on the art historical tradition of the vanitas. Here, curator Francesco Bonami traces this thread through the artist’s sculptures and paintings of the past two decades.

Five Books: Urs Fischer

Shortlist
Five Books: Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer talks about reading during the pandemic lockdown, sharing five books—both fiction and nonfiction—that he has turned to while in self-isolation.

Installation video of Urs Fischer's exhibition, Leo. A painting of an eye and a sculpture of three humans.

Urs Fischer: Leo

Journalist and curator Judith Benhamou-Huet leads a tour of the exhibition Urs Fischer: Leo at Gagosian, Paris.

Installation view, Urs Fischer: PLAY with choreography by Madeline Hollander, Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York, September 6–October 13, 2018.

Play

Urs Fischer and choreographer Madeline Hollander speak with novelist Natasha Stagg about the ways in which choreographic experimentation and an interest in our ability to project emotion onto objects led to the one-of-a-kind project PLAY.

Still from video Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.

Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2018

Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2018

The Winter 2018 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available. Our cover this issue comes from High Times, a new body of work by Richard Prince.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Pete Drungle

Performance

Pete Drungle
Chaos

Saturday, August 20, 2022, 12–6pm
Gagosian at the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles

Join Gagosian for a solo piano improvisation by Pete Drungle to celebrate the opening of Urs Fischer: CHAOS #1–#500 at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles. Through explorations of polyrhythm and polytonality, Drungle deconstructs existing musical modes and techniques in an attempt to expand the language of the piano. Performing inside the exhibition throughout the opening day, Drungle will respond to the trio of colossal suspended screens displaying five hundred unique digital sculptures from Fischer’s series CHAOS #1–#501. The event is free to attend with exhibition appointment.

Register

Pete Drungle

Gagosian’s booth at TEFAF New York Spring 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Man Ray 2015 Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris 2022; © Urs Fischer. Photo: Ariel Roubino

Art Fair

TEFAF New York Spring 2022
Urs Fischer and Man Ray

May 6–10, 2022, booth 350
Park Avenue Armory, New York
www.tefaf.com

Gagosian is pleased to announce its participation in TEFAF New York Spring 2022, with a special presentation juxtaposing works by Urs Fischer and Man Ray. Two artworks, hung in opposite corners of the stand, beckon to one another, engaging in a silent dialogue.

Gagosian’s booth at TEFAF New York Spring 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Man Ray 2015 Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris 2022; © Urs Fischer. Photo: Ariel Roubino

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Georg Baselitz; © Louise Bonnet; © Zeng Fanzhi; © 2019 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; © Rudolf Stingel. Photo: Martin Wong

Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong 2022

May 27–29, 2022, booth 1C15
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2022 with an ensemble of contemporary works by international artists. The gallery’s presentation will feature works by artists including Georg BaselitzLouise BonnetEdmund de WaalUrs FischerKatharina GrosseMark GrotjahnJennifer GuidiSimon HantaïHao LiangDamien HirstThomas HouseagoTetsuya IshidaAlex IsraelEwa JuszkiewiczRick LoweTakashi MurakamiAlbert OehlenNam June PaikGiuseppe PenoneRudolf PolanszkySterling RubyEd RuschaJenny SavilleJim ShawRudolf StingelSpencer SweeneyRachel Whiteread, and Zeng Fanzhi.

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Georg Baselitz; © Louise Bonnet; © Zeng Fanzhi; © 2019 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; © Rudolf Stingel. Photo: Martin Wong

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Museum Exhibitions

Urs Fischer, The Lovers #2, 2018, installation view, Museo Jumex, Mexico City © Urs Fischer

On View

Urs Fischer
Lovers

Through September 18, 2022
Museo Jumex, Mexico City
www.fundacionjumex.org

This twenty-year survey—the first major presentation of Urs Fischer’s work in Mexico—brings together works from international public and private collections as well as from the artist’s own archive, alongside new pieces made especially for the exhibition. Together, they exhibit the wide-ranging creativity, humor, and depth of Fischer’s practice.

Urs Fischer, The Lovers #2, 2018, installation view, Museo Jumex, Mexico City © Urs Fischer

Installation view, Before—Between—Beyond: The Collection in Transition, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland, May 15–August 7, 2022. Artwork, front to back: © Urs Fischer, © Christian Philipp Müller. Photo: Philipp Hitz

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Urs Fischer in
Before—Between—Beyond: The Collection in Transition

May 15–August 7, 2022
Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland
www.aargauerkunsthaus.ch

Before—Between—Beyond stages a selection of the Aargauer Kunsthaus’s latest acquisitions alongside other key contemporary works. The exhibition describes new narrative arcs in three chapters, reflecting the past, questioning the present, and venturing a glimpse of the future—sometimes gleefully departing from chronological order in the process. Combining photography, sculpture, painting, video, printed graphics, and drawing with large-scale installations and site-specific works that were created especially for this show, the presentation offers glimpses into the holdings of this public collection of Swiss art. Work by Urs Fischer is included.

Installation view, Before—Between—Beyond: The Collection in Transition, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland, May 15–August 7, 2022. Artwork, front to back: © Urs Fischer, © Christian Philipp Müller. Photo: Philipp Hitz

Installation view, Urs Fischer, Bourse de Commerce, Paris, May 22, 2021–January 29, 2022. Artwork © Urs Fischer

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Urs Fischer

May 22, 2021–January 29, 2022
Bourse de Commerce, Paris
www.pinaultcollection.com

Urs Fischer’s Untitled (2011) is being presented in the rotunda of the newly renovated Bourse de Commerce. Fischer has reconceived the sculpture to suit the scale of the space, whose Belle Epoque architecture has been redesigned by architect Tadao Ando. The work consists of a group of larger-than-life candles—replicas of Giambologna’s sixteenth-century Mannerist masterpiece The Rape of the Sabine Women; Fischer’s longtime friend, artist Rudolf Stingel; and an assortment of chairs—that are lit and melt down over the course of the exhibition.

Installation view, Urs Fischer, Bourse de Commerce, Paris, May 22, 2021–January 29, 2022. Artwork © Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer, Untitled, 2003 © Urs Fischer

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The Paradox of Stillness
Art, Object, and Performance

May 15–August 8, 2021
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
walkerart.org

Featuring works from the early twentieth century to today, The Paradox of Stillness examines the notion of stillness as both a performative and a visual gesture. More than sixty-five artists present object-based art, pictures, and actions staged by live performers to test the boundaries between stillness and motion, mortality and aliveness, and the still life and the living picture. Work by Urs Fischer, Piero Manzoni, Tom Wesselmann, and Franz West is included.

Urs Fischer, Untitled, 2003 © Urs Fischer

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Press

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