Urs Fischer

15 Sep - 17 Oct 2015

© Urs Fischer
Magnesium, 2015
Aluminum panel, aramid honeycomb, two-component polyurethane adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, galvanized steel rivet nuts, steel screws, steel dowels, washers, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint
130 × 162 1/4 × 7/8 inches (330 × 412 × 2.1 cm)
Photo by Mats Nordman
15 September – 17 October 2015

Gagosian Beverly Hills is pleased to announce an exhibition of sculptures and paintings by Urs Fischer.

Constantly searching for new sculptural solutions, Fischer has an uncanny ability to envisage and produce objects undergoing psychic transformation in a bewildering range of materials. Compacting the real with the mimetic, order with disorder, he combines daring formal adventures in space, scale, and material with a mordant sense of humor. In recent years, Fischer has been exploring the genres of classical art history (still lifes, portraits, nudes, landscapes, and interiors) at the intersection with everyday life in cast sculptures and assemblages, paintings, digital montages, spatial installations, mutating or kinetic objects, and texts.

As its title suggests, this exhibition is conceived around fully functional fountains, “active sculptures” that transform the galleries into humid and energized places through which viewers can wander, as if in a town square. The lumpen fountains are cast in brass from hand-built clay models; the rims of the water basins are powder-coated white, while the base is left as raw roseate metal. In one gallery, a sort of roughly formed, almost naturalistic blowhole spouts water, splashing merrily and drowning out all other sound; in the other, water hisses from a misting ball, and spills down over two tiered basins. A third fountain, also in cast brass and delicately powder-coated in parts, is a human skeleton arched across a chair over which a draped garden hose gently flows—the latest in Fischer's lexicon of darkly humorous vanitas.

Surrounding the fountains in the galleries are huge paintings in both portrait and landscape formats. The background of each painting is actually a photographic image of Fischer's own face or features thereof, but where any temptation toward self-referentiality is pushed to near-obscurity or total disintegration. These motifs are blown up and overlaid with silkscreened marks that were first painted or drawn by Fischer, in a palette alternately sober and vivid. Like the Problem Paintings before them, these layered images provide a fresh and subversive view through the clash of representational systems and different cosmic orders.

Urs Fischer was born in Zurich in 1973, and lives and works in New York. His work is included in many important public and private collections worldwide. Selected solo exhibitions include “Kir Royal,” Kunsthaus Zurich (2004); “Not My House Not My Fire,” Espace 315, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2004); “Mary Poppins,” Blaffer Gallery, Art Museum of the University of Houston, Texas (2006); “Marguerite de Ponty,” New Museum, New York (2009–10); “Oscar the Grouch,” Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut (2010–11); “Skinny Sunrise,” Kunsthalle Wien (2012); “Madame Fisscher,” Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2012); “Urs Fischer,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013); and “YES,” Deste Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra, Greece (2013). Fischer's work was included in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 Venice Biennales.

In the midst of California's severe drought, Gagosian Gallery joins Governor Jerry Brown and the City of Beverly Hills in the commitment to responsible and efficient water use. The three artworks with water features included in Urs Fischer's “Fountains” exhibition have been engineered to maximize water conservation. Installed indoors, with minimal loss from evaporation, they utilize self-contained recycling systems. The water will be purchased from an external source and it will be re-used at the conclusion of the exhibition. In total, the projected water usage for the four-week exhibition is about 300 gallons of water, which is less than the average daily use of a single household (as estimated by the EPA).

Tags: Urs Fischer