Installation Views

Works Exhibited


For a long time, I’ve been curious about applying the methodology of art as one way—which I think is equal to science and other powerful explanatory concepts—for us to understand what is surrounding us and what we are.
—Carsten Höller

Gagosian is pleased to present Zoology, Carsten Höller’s first exhibition in Geneva.

Trained as a scientist, Höller both echoes and surpasses scientific procedures in his work as an artist. Many of his projects invite viewer participation in order to question the facts and forms of human life. From carousels that reflect and disorient to winding slippery slides and vision-flipping goggles, Höller actively interrogates the functions of logic, perception, and entertainment in the larger biosphere.

Zoology is a selection of Höller’s recent sculptures, photographs, and prints, made between 2008 and 2016, which considers how different forms of animal life might relate to human embodied awareness. Through taxidermy, casting, molding, and collage, Höller presents beings that cannot be easily categorized: they are animals, but they do not occur in nature; rather they are the products of anthropocentric will—of mutation, breeding, and grafting. And just as the scientist turns captive birds into hybrids, Höller turns snakes into soft, squeezable curves of neon-pink artificiality. In their color and form, the animals become implacable rarities—in Divisions (Roach and Surface) (2016), minimalist-industrial materials and a modulated orange grid form a suspension chamber for a small shiny fish, while in the series of photogravures Canaries (2009), birds perch with feathers growing at wild, intersecting angles. Zoology thus adds another layer to Höller’s phenomenological queries: instead of entering at will a carousel, a gigantic die, or a slide, we encounter rubbery creatures and experience the childlike urge to prod and pull, although the objects—being art—are strictly out of bounds. It is this tactile wit that brings the sculptures into a surreal or hyperreal realm, between human and animal, between nature and art, taking us along with them.

Carsten Höller: Trippelfliegenpilzlampe Weiss lamp

Carsten Höller: Trippelfliegenpilzlampe Weiss (White Triple Fly Agaric Lamp)

Cover of the book Carsten Höller: Y

Carsten Höller: Y

Cover of the book Carsten Höller: Doubt

Carsten Höller: Doubt

Cover of the Summer 2017 issue of Gagosian Quarterly magazine, featuring artwork by Urs Fischer

Gagosian Quarterly: Summer 2017 Issue

Cover of the Gagosian Quarterly: Winter 2023 Issue featuring artwork by Pablo Picasso

Gagosian Quarterly: Winter 2023 Issue