Gagosian New York is pleased to present a new exhibition in two parts by Urs Fischer, opening on April 3, 2014.
The exhibition is directly related to the vast and extraordinary installation YES, which Fischer and fifteen hundred participants made on-site at the Geffen Contemporary in 2013 together with 1,500 participants, parallel to his survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Working quickly with clay, in a manner more like a sketch—abstract, approximate, and raw—they were able to achieve an unprecedented directness. But where YES dealt with the ephemeral energies of a collective creative act, Fischer’s new exhibition eternalizes key elements of the original installation as cast unpatinated bronze and gilded bronze figurative sculptures.
The exhibition is in two parts, uptown and downtown. The uptown exhibition inaugurates the opening of a new Gagosian space at 821 Park Avenue at 75th Street, a storefront gallery of approximately a thousand square feet in a landmarked building. The gallery contains a single large-scale sculpture, last supper, Fischer’s take on the classical religious theme, cast in bronze from the original unfired clay composition that first appeared as a central element of YES.
Simultaneously, an exhibition of other sculptures that Fischer has selected and cast from YES will open in a temporary location downtown operated by Gagosian in a former Chase bank branch at 104 Delancey Street on the Lower East Side. The bland features of the bank’s architecture and decor have been retained, from the corporate signage to the vaults—an incongruous setting for Fischer’s guilelessly expressionistic and exuberant sculptures. From the vast array of forms and figures that YES generated, Fischer has, for the most part, selected some that he initiated then left open to his collaborators to finish as they wished, adding to the alterity and diversity of the final results. The cast bronze sculptures, some of which are silver- and gold-plated, are a heterogenous bunch that includes a one-legged boy in an armchair, a big foot, a fireplace, some columns, a bust of Napoleon, a Louis XIV chair, a mermaid (conceived as a functional fountain), a depiction of sleep, a man copulating with a pig, a man and woman embracing, a hat on rocks, a man in a boat, a faceless cat, a pile, a Pièta, a lion in chains, and so on. Like dreams, these works have no logical relation other than Fischer’s affection for them, a “chaotic little non-family of things,” brought together in an unexpected and therefore “convulsive” context.
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.
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
Extended through December 15, 2018
September 12–December 15, 2018
Davies Street, London