Go See- New York: Peter Fischli and David Weiss Multi-location exhibit at all three Matthew Marks Galleries through January 16th, 2010

December 16th, 2009

An installation view of the hundreds of international periodicals that compose Fischli and Weiss’s monumental exhibit “Sun, Moon and Stars,” at Matthew Marks’ 522 West 22nd location. The exhibit has been described as a “redaction of late capitalism.”  Via Contemporary Art Daily

Currently on show at the trio of Mathew Marks’ galleries in Chelsea is a unique, multi-part exhibit by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. The duo, who have been collaborating since 1979, are renown for their “academic and playful” installations that evoke the “randomness of existence,” and are widely considered to be the foremost Swiss contemporary artists. “Clay and Rubber,” is currently installed at the 523 West 24th gallery location and consists of 26 sculptures of everyday objects–from a dish to a drawer to a hiking boot–dating from 1986 to the present. Exploring the aesthetics of the commonplace, the iconic sculptures are composed of clay and jet-black rubber and rest on white pedestals, making for a compelling and rather sensual scape of distinctive texture and color. “Sun, Moon Stars and Rain,” at the 522 West 22nd location, is the monumental installation– consisting of an encyclopedic compilation of 800 magazine advertisements taken from hundreds of international periodicals. The concept began as a project commissioned by a Swiss corporation for their annual report. Displayed in 38 tables of glass and wood, the installation totals 330 feet in length and functions as a kind of narrative with subtle sociological insight and curious color scheme associations throughout, evoking myriad interpretations. Lastly, “Sleeping Puppets” occupies the third gallery at the 526 West 22nd location and consists of their newest sculpture– two animals asleep on a pile of blankets. The work recalls the duo’s 1980 films “The Least Resistance” and “The Right Way,” in which the artists dressed in rat and bear costumes in search of adventure–scaling Alpine slopes and crossing rivers– all the way from Los Angeles to the Swiss Alps.

More text, images and related links after the jump:

Fischli and Weiss, “Sleeping Puppets,” 2009, is their newest sculpture and is currently exhibited at Matthew Marks’ 526 West 22nd location. Via Contemporary Art Daily.

An installation view of Fischli and Weiss’s “Clay and Rubber” exhibit, which explores the aesthetics of the commonplace. The show is currently at Matthew Marks’ 523 West 24th location. Via Matthew Marks.

Fischli and Weiss, “Sun, Moon and Stars.” 2009 Via Contemporary Art Daily. The 800 pages were originally in book form, giving them a kind of intrinsic linearity with subtle narration. The lines of advertisements, according to Fischli, capture a “psychogram of a certain moment of society.”

Detail of “Sun, Moon and Stars.” (2007-2008) Via Matthew Marks Gallery “The advertisements cover the whole spectrum of the lifestyle of the contemporary consumer, ranging from sport to travel and from fashion to family life. The advertisements are carefully grouped, so that each image is positioned opposite a purposefully chosen companion image and each double-page spread forms a kind of diptych, revealing through association or juxtaposition an aspect of our mass culture of consumption. (ArtRabbit).”

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, “Shoe” 2007. Via Matthew Marks The artist’s work has been known to imbue every day objects with a kind of life-like quality.

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, “Root” 2005. Via Matthew Marks

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, “Three Bricks” 2009. Via Matthew Marks. The works in clay are unglazed and retain qualities of the raw material– a beige coloring, along with fingerprints from the artist’s hand.

Since the 1970’s Fischli and Weiss have worked together across a wide range of media, from sculpture and installation to film and photography. Often working with objects of our society and daily life that are taken for granted, the pair– once said to be “in love with the facts, laws and randomness of existence,” create installations that encourage the viewer to look at familiar forms with fresh perspectives by meddling with the ways in which those forms are presented and portrayed.  A fascination with understanding the objects and situations of everyday experience– in all their humor and irony– is a continuous motif throughout their work. The artists live and work in Zurich, Switzerland and have represented their country in the Venice Biennale. Their work can be found in collections at the Tate Modern in London and at the Guggenheim in New York.

An installation view iconic sculptures included in “Clay and Rubber,” at Matthew Marks 523 West 24th location. Via Contemporary Art Daily

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, “Chain” 2009. Via Matthew Marks.

Fischli and Weiss, “Divider,” (1987) Via Matthew Marks Gallery.

Related Links:
Peter Fischli, David Weiss: Clay and Rubber
[Matthew Marks]
Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Matthew Marks
[Contemporary Art Daily]
Fischli and Weiss at Milan’s Fondazione Trussardi
Art in Review; Peter Fischli and David Weiss
Peter Fischli and David Weiss

-G. Suter