At its core, art is all about order. When you’re an artist, you basically arrange, rearrange, or alter; you play off order.
Gagosian San Francisco is pleased to present Mind Moves, an exhibition of new sculptures and paintings by Urs Fischer.
Resisting any single mode of representation, Fischer pushes the limits of line, color, and shape through surprising and provocative materials and subjects. Mind Moves brings together various formal experiments in which space is divided, sliced, opened, and closed.
In Fischer’s linear sculptures, gestural scribbles seem described in the air with the spontaneity of a drawing on page or screen. The three lines—in black and white, red-brown, and a color gradient—are activated by one’s movement around them. Depending on the vantage point, they are either deceptively two-dimensional or nearly disappear, thin and bladelike. Meanwhile, the walls of this unpredictable, oddly digital zone are punctuated by bold paintings on cutout aluminum panels. In these works, facial features are rendered as intersecting organic forms. Photographed fragments of Fischer’s own lips, nose, and eyebrows are freed from self-portraiture, instead becoming shapes that slide and mutate, melting and hardening in bright hues. With this series, Fischer recalls the compositional structures of grand landscape painting, presenting the two halves of his own face as topographical masses, propping gently against one another.
Returning again and again to the idea and role of interactivity in art, Fischer has also fashioned several sculptures that serve as a leisure environment possessed of an ambiguous materiality. From afar, the four sculptures appear as simple pieces of furniture, molded in clay. However, one sits down and is surprised to find that the two armchairs and two ottomans are not made of clay, but rather a pliant foamlike material. To achieve this strange material state, Fischer first sculpted the forms in clay, then filled molds of the sculptures with urethane foam, which preserves the impressions, bumps, and ridges produced during the modeling process. Thus, his hand is simultaneously emphasized and denied; he exposes, then obfuscates his process, inviting visitors to sit, read, and relax, to dwell inside bewildering experimentations in form.
In these three groups of works, Fischer’s formal inquiry straddles the real, the imaginary, and the digital. His lines are two and three dimensional; his paintings are landscapes and portraits; and his sculptures are furniture and raw materials. Mind Moves keeps art-historical questions alive, collapsing stability and encouraging play and speculation.
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.
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