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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.

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.

Who is choreographing whom?

Who is choreographing whom?

PLAY, currently on view at Gagosian on West 21st Street in New York, is a work by Urs Fischer in which nine office chairs move through the gallery and interact with visitors. Artist and choreographer Madeline Hollander worked with Fischer and a team of programmers and animators to create various gestures, movements, and behavior sequences for the chairs. Gagosian’s Angela Brown sat down to talk with Hollander about this process.

Urs Fischer: Sotatsu

Urs Fischer: Sotatsu

Urs Fischer and Francesco Bonami sat down with the Gagosian Quarterly to discuss Sōtatsu, a new painting in nine parts.

Urs Fischer: Things

Urs Fischer: Things

In midtown Manhattan, a new sculpture by Urs Fischer, entitled Things, was debuted in May 2018. Fischer and international curator, Francesco Bonami, discuss this unique exhibition with the Gagosian Quarterly.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Jeff Koons, Bluebird Planter, 2010–16 © Jeff Koons

Art Fair

FIAC Online 2021
Printemps oublié

March 2–12, 2021

Gagosian is pleased to present Printemps oublié for the first online edition of FIAC. This curated presentation reflects the dual character of springtime as a reminder of past trials and the harbinger of a vibrant new season to come.

All the artworks will appear on the Gagosian website and a rotating selection will appear in the inaugural FIAC Online Viewing Rooms, from March 4 to 7.

Jeff Koons, Bluebird Planter, 2010–16 © Jeff Koons

Alex Israel, Wave, 2020 © Alex Israel

Art Fair

Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel

November 27–30, 2020, booth S07
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in the inaugural Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel, the gallery’s third in-person art fair since the COVID-19 lockdown in March. Organized in conjunction with Fine Art Asia, the fair will present works from twenty-two Hong Kong–based galleries in a boutique setting. On view will be a range of thematic solo and group exhibitions, as well as films and specially curated art historical presentations.

Alex Israel, Wave, 2020 © Alex Israel

John Currin, Pistachio, 2016 © John Currin

Art Fair

West Bund Art & Design 2020

November 12–15, 2020, booth A102
West Bund Art Center, Shanghai
westbundshanghai.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in West Bund Art & Design 2020 with an extensive group presentation. Along with the gallery’s booth at ART021 Shanghai, on view between November 14 and 15, this will be Gagosian’s first in-person art fair since the covid-19 lockdown in March. The gallery’s participation was made possible by extraordinary support from the artists involved.

John Currin, Pistachio, 2016 © John Currin

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Museum Exhibitions

Urs Fischer, Untitled, 2003 © Urs Fischer

On View

The Paradox of Stillness
Art, Object, and Performance

Through 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, Cindy Sherman, Tom Wesselmann, and Franz West is included.

Urs Fischer, Untitled, 2003 © Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer, Leo (George & Irmelin), 2019 © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger

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Urs Fischer in
Light Upon Light: Light Art Since the 1960s

March 18–June 12, 2021
Riyadh Art
riyadhart.sa

Part of Noor Riyadh, a new city-wide annual festival of public art installations across Saudi Arabia’s capital, the exhibition Light Upon Light includes thirty works of light art divided into four thematic “rays” that survey light as an artistic medium and aim to unite established artists of diverse geographic origin. From sculpture and video to immersive installation, visitors experience a richly illuminated exhibition. Work by Urs Fischer is included.

Urs Fischer, Leo (George & Irmelin), 2019 © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger

Urs Fischer, Maybe, 2019 © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger

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Urs Fischer in
Nature of Robotics: An Expanded Field

November 6, 2020–April 25, 2021
ArtLab, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
www.epfl.ch

Offering an unconventional look at the rapidly expanding field of robotics, Nature of Robotics aims to instigate a thought process on the emerging perspectives and scenarios situated at the frontier between science and the visual arts. By presenting speculative creatures, drawings, diagrams, and videos made by contemporary artists alongside scientific projects, the exhibition invites reflection on the place of artificial agents in our natural and social ecosystems. Work by Urs Fischer is included.

Urs Fischer, Maybe, 2019 © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger

Giuseppe Penone, Propagazione (Propagation), 2020 © Giuseppe Penone/2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: Mauro Del Papa

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La rivoluzione siamo noi
Collezionismo italiano contemporaneo

September 26, 2020–January 10, 2021
XNL Piacenza Contemporanea, Italy
www.xnlpiacenza.it

XNL Piacenza Contemporanea, a new cultural center dedicated to contemporary art, presents its inaugural exhibition, whose title translates to We Are the Revolution: Contemporary Italian Collecting. The show features more than 150 works from eighteen of the most important art collections in Italy. Giuseppe Penone is creating a site-specific piece for the exhibition, and work by Urs Fischer, Ellen Gallagher, Piero Manzoni, and Andy Warhol is also included.

Giuseppe Penone, Propagazione (Propagation), 2020 © Giuseppe Penone/2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: Mauro Del Papa

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Press

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