New York – Erwin Wurm: “Yes Biological” at Lehmann Maupin Through February 22nd, 2020

February 3rd, 2020

Erwin Wurm, Urinal (2011:2019), via Lehmann Maupin
Erwin Wurm, Urinal (2011/2019), via Lehmann Maupin

Currently on view at Lehmann Maupin in New York, artist Erwin Wurm brings forward a new body of work that marks an expansion and elaboration on his already precise and peculiar style of sculpture. Titled Yes Biological, the show utilized biological effects and elements to create a new series that pushes the boundaries of sculpture ever further.

Erwin Wurm, Selfportrait with eyes (2019), via Lehmann Maupin
Erwin Wurm, Selfportrait with eyes (2019), via Lehmann Maupin

The show runs through a range of Wurm’s work to arrive at new forms. Featured in the exhibition is a work from Wurm’s now-iconic One Minute Sculpture series, which highlights the artist’s interest in the absurdity that can be found in mundane scenarios of daily life―a theme that was the focus of Wurm’s presentation for the Austrian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. For a full minute, audience members actively become a part of the work, as choreographed by the artist, twisting their own bodies and actions into an exchange with the materials and prompts that the artist provides. Yet he also incorporates a new series called ‘One Minute Forever,” incorporating books, fruit and other objects into arrangements that are intended to be held in stasis against a simulated body. His white-painted sculptures belie a ritualized process that is characteristic of Wurm’s practice where form is abstracted and becomes absurd, thus creating a new sense of realism.

Erwin Wurm, Noser (Dissolution) (2019), via Lehmann Maupin
Erwin Wurm, Noser (Dissolution) (2019), via Lehmann Maupin

Also on view in this exhibition, Wurm’s Bar series deploys found furniture such as a sidebar, a table, or a commode, bisected by a larger-than-life size pickle or potato-shaped white sculpture. Lumpen materiality gives way to luxury objects, a constant negotiation between the distortion of the organic and the fetish object, a constant interplay of class-consciousnesses and perspectives that underscore so much of the tension elsewhere in his body of work. This sense of distortion and recombination, with body parts and alien forms twisted together to create unnerving new iconographies, underscores the artist’s interest in mining these same class tensions and value systems, ultimately arriving at works that seem to dance between scandal and subversion.

The artist’s work is on through February 22nd.

Erwin Wurm, One Minute forever (hands:fruits) (2019), via Lehmann Maupin
Erwin Wurm, One Minute forever (hands/fruits) (2019), via Lehmann Maupin

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Erwin Wurm: Yes Biological [Exhibition Site]