Gagosian is pleased to present Crushed, Cast, Constructed: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray.
An exploration of three divergent approaches to sculptural process, Crushed, Cast, Constructed juxtaposes works in metal by Chamberlain, Fischer, and Ray, orchestrating a rich conversation around material and method.
Chamberlain, who died in 2011, made sculptures out of used automotive parts and other premanufactured metal components, expanding the rhythmic impulses of Abstract Expressionist painting into three dimensions. In his works, these forms retain the aura of their industrial origins while simultaneously conveying a baroque mannerism. In the late 1960s, Chamberlain began using galvanized steel boxes to create “crushed” sculptures such as Untitled (1967), which juxtaposes pliant curves and sharp angles in an interplay of shadow, contour, and space.
Fischer challenges the material and conceptual limits of the many mediums he works with, exploring questions of physicality, perception, and permanence. Between 2006 and 2008, he made a series of large sculptures by modeling fist-sized lumps of clay into amorphous solids, digitally scanning them in order to produce molds at approximately fifty times their original size, and casting the results in aluminum. Lustrous, textural, and organic in appearance, Fischer’s abstract forms fill the gallery space from floor to ceiling and preserve the contours of the artist’s grip and fingerprints on a giant scale.
Filtering modern conceptions of image culture and the readymade through a classical emphasis on the figure, Ray produces precise and uncanny renditions of familiar objects and human forms. These works investigate what happens when the mundane is remade in a surprising material, or at an unexpected scale or density. For Tractor (2003–04), he took apart a rusting 1938 farming vehicle, cast each of its original components by hand in aluminum, and reassembled the machine in its newly pristine entirety. The resulting sculpture is a product of Ray’s meticulous and meditative conceptual process—a method that both memorializes and reinvigorates the visual vocabulary of everyday life.
Chamberlain’s, Fischer’s, and Ray’s works will be presented in separate rooms, allowing for a focused examination of individual approach and identity—and affirming each artist’s status as a pioneer of sculptural technique and affect.
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.
Bourse de Commerce
William Middleton traces the development of the new institution, examining the collaboration between the collector François Pinault and the architect Tadao Ando in revitalizing the historic space. Middleton also speaks with artists Tatiana Trouvé and Albert Oehlen about Pinault’s passion as a collector, and with the Bouroullec brothers, who created design features for the interiors and exteriors of the museum.
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.
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.
Crushed, Cast, Constructed
Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray
Thursday, July 23, 2020, 12pm EDT (5pm BST)
Join Gagosian for a virtual tour of Crushed, Cast, Constructed: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray, an exhibition on view at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London, through July 31. Gagosian’s Alice Godwin will discuss the three artists’ divergent sculptural processes, examining their individual approaches and identities with respect to materials and methods. To join, register at zoom.us.
Charles Ray, Tractor, 2003–04 © Charles Ray, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
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