Art is open—it can go on endlessly.
Gagosian is pleased to present Sōtatsu, a new painting in nine parts by Urs Fischer.
In this work, which is installed in successive panels along the walls of a single room, Fischer explores the ways that space can be divided, stretched, opened, and closed—creating a panorama that is as continuous as it is fragmented. Inspired by the hand scrolls and painted screens of early seventeenth-century Japanese artist Tawaraya Sōtatsu, Fischer’s interior landscape uses negative space, light, and repetition to evoke time and movement. Sōtatsu, whose work Fischer has long admired, was a cofounder of the Rinpa school, which favored traditional Japanese subjects, such as gardens, cranes, the four seasons, and references to Heian-period poetry, while incorporating shimmering metallic backgrounds, bold colors, and images intersecting with calligraphic text.
In a twenty-first-century echo of Sōtatsu’s aesthetic innovations, Fischer merges traditional art historical themes with new technologies. The painting is handmade on a digital substrate, then silkscreened onto aluminum panels. Instead of a direct translation from tablet screen to paper surface, Fischer’s process imbues the digital image with an analog tactility; in some places, his painterly gestures loosen, revealing patches of the shiny aluminum beneath. The image unfolds in succession, starting with a view of a room in Fischer’s home. Furniture, books, and artwork are illuminated by both natural and artificial light, and as the room continues to disintegrate, objects appear and dissolve across the nine large panels, concluding with an exterior view: two birds flying in a sky that is at once stormy and clear.
Freezing gesture through digital means, Fischer considers the changing implications of touch in an increasingly disembodied world, where images are created and repeated at the click of a button. Transforming his own gestures into temporal worlds of their own, he suggests that originality can still be carved out from within the exponentially growing realm of the digital image.
Fischer’s large-scale sculpture Things is on view at 511 Fifth Avenue, New York (entrance at 2 East 43rd Street), from May 15 through June 23.
Urs Fischer: Sotatsu
Urs Fischer and Francesco Bonami sat down with the Gagosian Quarterly to discuss Sōtatsu, a new painting in nine parts.
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