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Major exhibition of new work by Urs Fischer opens at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills
Urs Fischer, Problem Painting, 2011. Milled aluminum panel, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 142 x 106 x 1 in. © Urs Fischer. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photo: Mats Nordman.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- Gagosian Gallery announces a major exhibition of new work by Urs Fischer, his first exhibition with the gallery.

Fischer's uncanny ability to envisage and produce objects on the brink of falling apart or undergoing psychic transformation has resulted in sculptures in a bewildering variety of materials, including unstable substances such as melting wax and rotting vegetables. Continuously searching for new sculptural solutions, he has built houses out of bread; enlivened empty space with mechanistic jokes; deconstructed objects and then replicated them; and transferred others from three dimensions to two and back again via photographic processes. He combines daring formal adventures in space, scale, and material with a mordant sense of humor.

In recent times, 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, the principal elements of this exhibition are two bed sculptures, and a series of huge paintings on aluminum panels. The bed sculptures—signals of an alternate surrealist world—appear to buckle under the pressure of some invisible force. One bed, cast in aluminum but disguised in a layer of mimetic paint, is made even more credible by the pile of real concrete that has been poured on top of it, as if to hasten its collapse; the other, a total wreck that is actually the result of an intricate multiple casting process, has been painted over with a gradient of color "distilled" from a landscape photograph. Around the walls, the paintings—vintage publicity headshots, colored and enlarged to a monumental scale, then obstructed by silkscreened images such as a bolt or a banana—present a clash of representational systems that is both convulsive and darkly humorous. In another part of the gallery a table, also a perfect replica of a real object, vibrates almost imperceptibly.

A further proposition in Fischer's pursuit of altering perception using the stuff of reality is a series of diminutive mirrored chrome-steel sculptures that recall the impactful installation Service à la Française (2009), a Pop Minimalist marvel of perceptual play where viewers could walk through a 'cityscape' of mirrored boxes. Here highly detailed, composite color photographs of objects including a ping-pong paddle, asparagus, a calculator, and a stress ball, all slightly enlarged from life, have been silkscreened onto the five mirrored planes (four sides and top) of each box. At once immaterial and hyperreal, these 'perfect vehicles' provide a series of reflective grounds on which ideas about optics, exaggeration and entropy converge.

Urs Fischer was born in 1973 in Zurich, and studied at the Schule für Gestaltung, Zurich. His work is included in many important public and private collections worldwide. Recent major exhibitions include “Kir Royal,” Kunsthaus Zurich (2004); “Not My House Not My Fire,” Espace 315, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005); “Mary Poppins,” Blaffer Gallery, The Art Museum of the University of Houston, Texas (2006); “Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty,” New Museum, New York (2009); and “Oscar the Grouch,” The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut (2010); as well as the Biennale di Venezia in 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Fischer lives and works in New York City.



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February 24, 2012

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