Gagosian is pleased to present a major exhibition of new work by Urs Fischer, his first exhibition with the gallery.
Fischer’s uncanny ability to envisage and produce objects on the brink of falling apart or undergoing psychic transformation has resulted in sculptures in a bewildering variety of materials, including unstable substances such as melting wax and rotting vegetables. Continuously searching for new sculptural solutions, he has built houses out of bread; enlivened empty space with mechanistic jokes; deconstructed objects and then replicated them; and transferred others from three dimensions to two and back again via photographic processes. He combines daring formal adventures in space, scale, and material with a mordant sense of humor.
In recent times, Fischer has been exploring the genres of classical art history (still lifes, portraits, nudes, landscapes, and interiors) at the intersection with everyday life—in cast sculptures and assemblages, paintings, digital montages, spatial installations, mutating or kinetic objects, and texts. As its title suggests, the principal elements of this exhibition are two bed sculptures, and a series of huge paintings on aluminum panels. The bed sculptures—signals of an alternate surrealist world—appear to buckle under the pressure of some invisible force. One bed, cast in aluminum but disguised in a layer of mimetic paint, is made even more credible by the pile of real concrete that has been poured on top of it, as if to hasten its collapse; the other, a total wreck that is actually the result of an intricate multiple casting process, has been painted over with a gradient of color “distilled” from a landscape photograph. Around the walls, the paintings—vintage publicity headshots, colored and enlarged to a monumental scale, then obstructed by silkscreened images such as a bolt or a banana—present a clash of representational systems that is both convulsive and darkly humorous. In another part of the gallery, a table, also a perfect replica of a real object, vibrates almost imperceptibly.
A further proposition in Fischer’s pursuit of altering perception using the stuff of reality is a series of diminutive mirrored chrome-steel sculptures that recall the impactful installation Service à la Française (2009), a Pop Minimalist marvel of perceptual play where viewers could walk through a “cityscape” of mirrored boxes. Here highly detailed, composite color photographs of objects including a ping-pong paddle, asparagus stalk, calculator, and stress ball, all slightly enlarged from life, have been silkscreened onto the five mirrored planes (four sides and top) of each box. At once immaterial and hyperreal, these “perfect vehicles” provide a series of reflective grounds on which ideas about optics, exaggeration, and entropy converge.
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.
June 24–30, 2020
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 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and large-scale installations explore themes of perception and representation while maintaining a witty irreverence and mordant humor.
Photo: Chad Moore
August 20–October 29, 2022
Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles