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.
From the Quarterly
Urs Fischer: Sotatsu
Urs Fischer and Francesco Bonami sat down with the Gagosian Quarterly to discuss Sōtatsu, a new painting in nine parts.
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.
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.