The world has always been ending.
Dasha (2018) is a larger-than-life-size wax candle depicting Dasha Zhukova, a personal friend of the artist. Cast entirely in wax, she wears a pink dress and is seated in a chair. A wick at the top of her head will be lit, and the candle will slowly melt over the course of the exhibition. Additional wicks strategically placed on the figure will be lit until the sculpture is reduced to a pile of wax drippings.
Fischer’s candle sculptures are captivating in their materiality and haunting in their implications; they serve as both portraits and meditations on time and gravity, life and death. As with traditional memento mori, viewers are reminded of the transience of life, beauty, and even art. Fischer began to make the candles in the early 2000s, with a series of crudely rendered female nudes, standing upright or lounging in groups. After a period of sustained research into mold making and casting, he began to make more realistic figurative candles that could burn for several months at a time, such as Untitled (2011), which included a full-size replica of Giambologna’s sixteenth-century sculpture The Rape of the Sabine Women, and Marsupiale (Fabrizio) (2017), a hybrid of the Florentine antique dealer Fabrizio Moretti and an oversize bust of St. Leonard. The figure of Moretti was cast in red wax, and wicks placed in order that it would melt into the white bust, which remained intact and unburned, leaving a bloody wound across the patron saint of prisoners.
From the Quarterly
Who is choreographing whom?
PLAY, currently on view at Gagosian on West 21st Street in New York, is a work by Urs Fischer in which nine office chairs move through the gallery and interact with visitors. Artist and choreographer Madeline Hollander worked with Fischer and a team of programmers and animators to create various gestures, movements, and behavior sequences for the chairs. Gagosian’s Angela Brown sat down to talk with Hollander about this process.
Urs Fischer: Things
In midtown Manhattan, a new sculpture by Urs Fischer, entitled Things, was debuted in May 2018. Fischer and international curator, Francesco Bonami, discuss this unique exhibition with the Gagosian Quarterly.
Urs Fischer: Sotatsu
Urs Fischer and Francesco Bonami sat down with the Gagosian Quarterly to discuss Sōtatsu, a new painting in nine parts.
The Bigger Picture
Derek Blasberg speaks with Diane Brown, president and founder of RxArt, and with contributing artists Dan Colen, Urs Fischer, and Jeff Koons about the transformative power of visual art.
Mina Stone and Urs Fischer: Cooking for Artists
For Printed Matter’s 2015 LA Art Book Fair, artist Urs Fischer and chef Mina Stone hosted an installation of a kitchen within Gagosian’s booth. Here is a recap of the fair.