Running concurrently with his show of new works at two Gagosian exhibition spaces, Urs Fischer is exhibiting a selection of past works in the glass-encased lobby of the Lever House on Park Avenue. Taking an intriguing approach towards the artist’s own glass-encased objects, the show makes for an intriguing perspective into Fischer’s interests in display, perspective and construction.
Taken in combination with Fischer’s works on view at Gagosian, the series of works currently on view feel like a continuation, or rather, a dispersed review of the artist’s Los Angeles retrospective. Rather than compiling the full sum of his works in a single institution, Fischer brings a combination of updated sculptures and iconic past works to bear across Manhattan, welcoming an intrepid visitor to track him down.
Spread across the ground floor of the Lever House, Fischer’s various works on view take a structural approach to the everyday, encasing a series of sculptural objects, perspectival photographs and other pieces in cubes of glass, each time reducing the object within (or the image) to a sum of its parts. Previously shown as part of Fischer’s immense retrospective at MOCA last year, the pieces take an intriguing deconstructive bent to both the sculptural and flat art object, creating a space for aesthetic consumption that sits somewhere between the two. Clearly intended as a set of flat images, the works are placed within a three-dimensional object, but forced to stand as a deconstructed version of itself. The sides of the cube, through their respective planes, turn a simple subject into the object itself, the act of looking into a piece on its own.
It’s an interesting parallel with the space the works themselves occupy, essentially an enormous glass cube in and of itself, where passerby and gallery visitors are framed in turn, and where the works ultimately take on a similar role to their own contents, objects encased in glass, meant to be admired but never really engaged with physically, abstracted from their original nature as pieces to be touched, manipulated, handled. Much as one may consume a banana, Fischer’s hand in shaping these works is denied, both at the micro and macro level. In typical fashion, Fischer’s blend of contextual savvy and biting wit are hard to ignore.
Fischer’s work is on view at Lever Hours through the end of May.
Urs Fischer at Lever House [Exhibition Site]