Go See – New York: Urs Fischer at the New Museum, through February 13, 2010

November 24th, 2009

Shovel in a Hole Beds and Problem Paintings Skinny Sunrise
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Urs Fischer New Museum Noisette
Urs Fischer’s ‘Noisette’ via New Museum

Swiss artist Urs Fischer is the first artist to take over all three galleries of the New Museum, with an exhibition entitled “Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty,” Fischer’s first major American museum show. The announcement of Fischer’s show caused a good deal of excitement and speculation. Fischer, who famously dug out the floor of Gavin Brown‘s gallery in 2007, is well known for spectacular punk gestures, and observers were curious to see what he would do. Curator Massimiliano Gioni calls the exhibition not a retrospective or a survey, but an “introspective,” an in-depth look at Fischer’s practice combining previous works with new works and site-specific installations. In the post-boom era where museums are abandoning blockbuster shows and retreating to their collections, the New Museum gave Fischer a considerable amount of freedom, allowing him to significantly alter one of the galleries structurally, and flying last minute a gigantic sculpture from China.

Urs Fischer New Museum
Installation view of Urs Fischer’s ‘Marguerite de Ponty’ via New Museum

Urs Fischer Marguerite de Ponty New Museum Service a la francaise
Urs Fischer’s ‘Service à la françiase’ via New Museum

The gallery on the fourth floor features a number of towering aluminum sculptures cast from small pieces of clay Fischer molded with his hands. Blown up many times over, giant thumbprints are visible in the awkward forms. To one side, a replica of a tram seat is set against the wall with a cake hovering magnetically over it. A skeleton appears to jump on top of a cardboard box.


James Kalm at the press preview for Urs Fischer’s ‘Marguerite de Ponty’ via Art Fag City

Fischer photographed the third floor gallery, bit by bit, after the previous exhibition came down. Every square inch was photographed and printed life sized onto wallpaper, with the difference in light causing the room to take on a slight purple tinge. A purple piano melts in the center of the room. In one corner, a motion activated plastic tongue sticks out of the wall.

Urs Fischer Marguerite de Ponty New Museum The Lock
Urs Fischer’s ‘The Lock’ via New Museum

The second floor gallery had its ceiling lowered by two feet, and features an installation called “Service à la françiase.” The installation is composed of a number of highly polished chrome cubes and rectangles with blown up photographs of objects printed on them. Images include a British telephone booth, a twelve-foot-tall model of the Empire State Building, a cardboard cutout of Ashanti, books, and pastries.

Urs Fischer Marguerite de Ponty New Museum Cupadre
Urs Fischer’s ‘Cupadre’ via New Museum

Urs Fischer Marguerite de Ponty New Museum untitled
Urs Fischer’s ‘Untitled’ via New Museum

Urs Fischer Marguerite de Ponty New Museum abC
Urs Fischer’s ‘abC’ via New Museum

‘Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty’ runs October 28, 2009 through February 13, 2010 at the New Museum in New York.

Related Links:
Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty [New Museum]
Moving Ceilings for Sculptures [Wall Street Journal]
Exploration of Space [NY Times]
Urs Fischer at the New Museum [TimeOut NY]
The Emperor Has No Clothes—And That’s O.K.! [The Observer]
Urs Fischer Skips Own New Museum Opening; Interactive Sculpture Disappoints [New York]
The New Museum’s “Suicide” Thwarted by Urs Fischer [Flavorwire]
TUNA FISCH [Artnet]
Urs Major [Art Market Monitor]
Urs Fischer [Interview]
Urs Fischer: can one man reignite the art world? [First Post UK]
The Fischer King [Artforum]
The Knew Museum [Greg.org]
Fresh Links! [Art Fag City]
Urs Fischer Exhibition Opens at the New Museum [The Lo-Down]
How The New Museum Committed Suicide With Banality [William Powhida]


Urs Fischer by Urs Fischer Oscar the Grouch Madame Fisscher
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