Artist Taloi Havini and Ruth McDougall, curator of Pacific art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, discuss Havini's first Australian solo exhibition, Reclamation .
'This year's Biennale of Sydney seems like a corrective,' writes Soo-Min Shim, 'prioritising autonomy in an international exhibition format that has all too often omitted or sidelined First Nations artists.'
In the United States, parallels have been drawn between the HIV/AIDS crisis and what is unfolding with Covid-19. These connections feed into P·P·O·W's online exhibition, Hell is a Place on Earth. Heaven is a Place in Your Head .
'People seem to fear art. Art has always been a word for this thing that can’t be rationalised; when you see or hear something that you struggle to explain. But that’s its strength, of course, that’s what the word 'art' is for.' —Urs FischerRead More
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 sculptures, paintings, photographs, and large-scale installations explore themes of perception and representation while maintaining a witty irreverence and mordant humour.
Fischer began his artistic career studying photography at the Schule für Gestaltung in Zurich. He later lived in London and Los Angeles, and shared a studio with Rudolf Stingel in both Berlin and New York. Themes of absence and presence, as well as the processes of art production, pervade his work, in which Fischer makes use of tables, chairs, shadows, and light to explore distortion and anthropomorphism. In Stuhl mit (1995–2001), bulbous, fabric-covered legs merge with a wooden chair, and in Studies for chairs for individual seating positions (1993), the absence of a human body is suggested by a sawdust and rubber mould draped over the furniture. Food is also a major element in Fischer’s work. Rotting, melting, and crumbling, and placed in juxtaposition with permanent materials like metal, bricks, and mortar, it serves as a memento mori; Rotten Foundation (1998) comprises a brick structure built on a foundation of rotting produce; Untitled (Bread House) (2004–2005), a Swiss chalet constructed entirely of loaves of bread, was left to be eaten by parakeets; and in the Problem Paintings (2011), portraits mounted on aluminum panels are obscured by images of eggs, peppers, and kiwis, as well as twisted bolts and half-smoked cigarettes.
In 2009 Fischer had his first large-scale solo presentation in an American museum, at New York’s New Museum; the exhibition featured a series of immersive installations and hallucinatory environments including cityscapes and mirrored labyrinths. At the Venice Biennale in 2011, his wax copy of Giambologna’s late-sixteenth-century sculpture Rape of the Sabine Women slowly melted, looming over another candle depicting an ordinary man wearing glasses and a sport coat. The candle works, which Fischer has produced since 2001, attest to his mastery of entropy, as well as his simultaneous incorporation and rejection of tradition.
Fischer had his first solo show with Gagosian in 2012. The following year for his exhibition Yes at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA Los Angeles, 1,400 volunteers produced unfired clay sculptures in the weeks leading up to the exhibition. As soon as Fischer has accomplished one material feat, he embarks on another, in ways that are complicated and playful, messy and perfected.
Text courtesy Gagosian.
In March, the National Gallery of Australia will unveil its most recent significant international purchase, Francesco (2017), a sculptural portrait by Urs Fischer of respected Italian art curator Francesco Bonami standing atop a refrigerator, looking intently at an iPhone in his hand. The sculpture is designed to be burnt: wicks are inserted at...
In March 2019, the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) acquired Urs Fischer’s four-metre red wax sculpture, Francesco (2017), for their permanent collection. With wicks running through its wax frame, Francesco is designed to be lit and slowly melted like a candle. Documenting Francesco ’s decomposition via social media, the NGA recently...
Among the white walls of the galleryverse, the artist Urs Fischer’s works are colourful, colossal, ever playful, and always a little enigmatic. From a towering bust of Katy Perry filled with modelling clay to a painting of Liz Taylor covered with a kiwi, Fischer infuses each of his projects with his signature dose of acrid humour and child-like...
Urs Fischer came to public prominence in 2011 when he melted a full-size wax replica of Giambologna's Rape of the Sabine Woman at the 50th Venice Biennale. Giambologna's tour-de-force has stood in the Loggia dei Lanzi of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence since 1583, and today the acclaimed Swiss artist returned to this theatre of art and...
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