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 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.
Born in 1973, 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.
Extended through November 4, 2023
July 20–November 4, 2023
433 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills
August 20–October 29, 2022
Gagosian at Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
Urs Fischer: Wave
In this video, Urs Fischer elaborates on the creative process behind his public installation Wave, at Place Vendôme, Paris.
Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2022
The Winter 2022 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Anna Weyant’s Two Eileens (2022) on its cover.
Urs Fischer: Denominator
Urs Fischer sits down with his friend the author and artist Eric Sanders to address the perfect viewer, the effects of marketing, and the limits of human understanding.
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 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.
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
As spring approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, Sydney Stutterheim reflects on the iconography and symbolism of the season in art both past and present.
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.
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.
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
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.
Urs Fischer: Leo
Journalist and curator Judith Benhamou-Huet leads a tour of the exhibition Urs Fischer: Leo at Gagosian, Paris.
West Bund Art & Design 2023
November 9–12, 2023, booth A102
West Bund Art Center, Shanghai
Gagosian is pleased to participate in West Bund Art & Design with an extensive group presentation. The gallery will exhibit works by Harold Ancart, Georg Baselitz, Glenn Brown, Urs Fischer, Katharina Grosse, Hao Liang, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Alex Israel, Jia Aili, Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Takashi Murakami & Virgil Abloh, Albert Oehlen, Nam June Paik, Ed Ruscha, Alexandria Smith, Spencer Sweeney, Cameron Welch, Jonas Wood, and Zeng Fanzhi.
Gagosian’s booth at West Bund Art & Design 2023. Artwork, left to right: © Zeng Fanzhi; © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany 2023; © Spencer Sweeney; © Yayoi Kusama. Photo: Alessandro Wang
October 12–November 28, 2023
Gagosian, rue de Ponthieu, Paris
Urs Fischer’s painting Candyfloss (2023) is on view in the street-facing vitrine at Gagosian, rue de Ponthieu, Paris, presented along with the artist’s monumental sculpture Wave (2018) at Place Vendôme in Paris as part of Paris+ par Art Basel.
Candyfloss is one of the latest works in Fischer’s series of Problem Paintings, which he began in 2010. In this series, the artist formulates incongruous pairings of photographic portraits with vibrantly colored screenprinted images of inanimate objects. In Candyfloss, Fischer overlays an enlarged picture of a cerise-pink daisy on a digitally altered headshot of a Hollywood actress, obscuring her identity through the blossom’s placement. The visual “problem” resulting from this friction between illegibility and possibility—and from the clash of representational systems suggested by the flower’s mysteriously improbable shadow—is at once surprising and darkly humorous.
Urs Fischer, Candyfloss, 2023 © Urs Fischer
October 14–November 30, 2023
Place Vendôme, Paris
Gagosian is pleased to present Urs Fischer’s public sculpture Wave (2018). The work will be installed at Place Vendôme in Paris from October 14 as part of Paris+ par Art Basel.
Wave is the sixth sculpture in Fischer’s series Big Clays. Despite their imposing scale, these works always begin with a small piece or pieces of clay shaped in the artist’s hand. Fischer describes this process as “a sensual and repetitive gesture, like a bodily motion,” which he ends prior to conscious intervention. After making hundreds of such forms, he selects only one to be digitally scanned and carved at an enlarged scale. Unlike a cast form or a digital replica, the resulting work preserves the nuanced tactility of the original maquette, magnifying its details—down to the artist’s fingerprints—into a monument.
Urs Fischer, Wave, 2018, installation view, Place Vendôme, Paris © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger
THE TIGHTER THEY’RE WOUND, THE HARDER THEY UNRAVEL
Through April 7, 2024
Aspen Art Museum, Colorado
Curated by Urs Fischer and developed in collaboration with Dia Art Foundation, New York, THE TIGHTER THEY’RE WOUND, THE HARDER THEY UNRAVEL is the first institutional survey in the United States devoted to John Chamberlain in over a decade. Spanning three floors of the museum and arranged in an evocative, cross-temporal mise-en-scène, the exhibition embraces Chamberlain’s love of discovery and intuitive approach to scale, fit, and attachment.
John Chamberlain with his raw materials at Stanley Marsh 3’s ranch Toad Hall, Amarillo, Texas, 1972. Photo: Leo Castelli Gallery records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Through April 28, 2024
Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia
Fairy Tales explores centuries of beloved folk stories through contemporary art, costumes, immersive installations, and cinema from visual storytellers around the world. The exhibition aims to untangle themes of bravery and justice, loyalty and humility, cunning and aspiration. Work by Rachel Feinstein, Urs Fischer, and Carsten Höller is included.
Rachel Feinstein, Mr. Time, 2015 © Rachel Feinstein
April 2–September 18, 2022
Museo Jumex, Mexico City
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
Urs Fischer in
Before—Between—Beyond: The Collection in Transition
May 15–August 7, 2022
Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland
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