As an artist you compete with reality, and the order of reality is always more interesting than the order you can make. But, because you make the order, it becomes information.
Gagosian is pleased to present new works by Urs Fischer. This is his first solo exhibition in Asia.
Fischer reinvests traditional art historical genres (still lifes, portraits, nudes, landscapes, and interiors) with an abundance of rich and surprising forms. In his cast sculptures and assemblages, paintings, digital montages, spatial installations, kinetic objects, and texts, he ceaselessly mines the intersection where art meets everyday life. He has built houses out of bread, enlivened empty space with mechanistic jokes, deconstructed objects and then replicated them, and transferred other objects from three dimensions to two and back again via photographic processes. His daring formal adventures in space, scale, and material also reveal a mordant sense of humor.
For the title of this exhibition, Fischer provides a musical staff, with a treble clef and several notes positioned along four—rather than the customary five—lines. The notation implies music, but with no apparent tune; it is a title, yet it is inexpressible. Such paradoxes course through Fischer’s oeuvre. In his Problem Paintings from 2011, he obstructed vintage publicity headshots with silkscreened images of ordinary objects such as a bolt or a banana. The current exhibition continues this perception-altering pursuit; it comprises eleven large-scale tableaux made up of found images, expressive gestures, and photographs of the artist’s personal spaces. But these pictures are neither paintings nor photographs, neither abstract nor representational. By digitally manipulating photographs of brushstrokes, Fischer forges gestural streaks by inserting and blurring images of television screens, faces, and more. The brushstrokes are silkscreened over “homescapes” and “studioscapes” (domestic and atelier views) that provide glimpses of works in progress, art materials, furniture, and artworks from Fischer’s own collection.
In Foamcore (2017), silkscreen test prints and works by Fischer and others are propped against a studio wall. Purple blots and smears of television static interrupt perspectival logic, making it difficult to tell whether the brushstrokes are on the surface of the painting or on the stacked works in the room. By destabilizing the pictorial conventions of foreground and background, Fischer also plays into a long art-historical tradition of paintings within paintings, from the nautical scenes and maps on the walls of Vermeer’s interiors and Velázquez’s grand enigma Las Meninas to Matisse’s pictographic Red Studio. Undermining the assumed conventions of painting and photography, Fischer’s cunningly generated visual strata act as unstable and irresoluble meditations on the act of looking.
在作品《泡沫板》(2017年)中，菲舍爾與其他藝術家的絲網印畫試版及作品靠在工作室的牆上，紫色的印跡與電視靜態畫面的雪花躁點擾亂透視邏輯，令人難以確定筆觸是位於畫作表面，還是房內疊起的作品之上。透過模糊前景與背景的影像，菲舍爾亦探索畫中畫的傳統藝術手法，從維米爾（Vermeer）室內畫牆上的航海風景和地圖、維拉斯奎茲（Velázquez）神秘的《宮女》（Las Meninas），以至馬諦斯（Matisse）的意象作品《紅色畫室》（Red Studio），皆採用此手法。菲舍爾顛覆繪畫及攝影的法則，巧妙塑造視覺層次，反覆而不解地反思觀賞藝術的行為。
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.
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.
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
October 14–December 20, 2019
January 11–February 9, 2019
Extended through December 15, 2018
September 12–December 15, 2018
Davies Street, London
PLAY with choreography by Madeline Hollander
September 6–October 13, 2018
West 21st Street, New York