Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jill Krementz Photo Journal - Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer. The artist was not at his opening so this is the best I could do. The photograph of him is on the cover of the show's catalogue.
Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty
New Museum
October 28, 2009-February 7, 2010


Urs Fischer is a Swiss artist (born in Zurich in 1973) who lives in New York City. His first large-scale solo presentation in an American museum opened Monday night at the New Museum and the place was packed. The exhibition is spread out over three floors and is the culmination of four years work.

Choreographed by the artist, the installation is thrilling. Mr. Fischer was not in attendance in person but was well represented by his exciting sculptures. All I can do is to show you some samples and urge you to go and see for yourself. I suggest you read Calvin Tompkins excellent essay about the artist which appeared a few weeks ago in the October 19th issue of The New Yorker Magazine.

It is the first time this museum has devoted its entire space to a single artist.

Go and you will see why.
A technical tour de force that required more than 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel, this is Urs Fischer’s most ambitious work to date. Fifty-one chrome steel boxes of various sizes occupy the gallery, composing a grid of monoliths—an immersive cityscape of mirroring cubes onto which the artist has silkscreened a dizzying array of images. A larger-than-life sneaker; a twelve-foot-tall model of the Empire State Building; an oversized éclair; a gigantic, raw T-Bone steak; and a huge effigy of Pop star Ashanti. Like a collage unraveling before the viewer’s eyes, the mirroring surface of each box reflects both the spectators and the images silkscreened on the neighboring sculptures, creating an optical maze that concurrently renders everything immaterial and hyper-real.
Artist Ariela Robinson, who is also an English teacher at Yeshiva of Flatbush. Her 10th grade students are presently reading "The Crucible" and "Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde."
This is a tiny croissant on which is perched a butterfly. The installation is suspended on an almost invisible wire hanging from ceiling.
Artist Jay Heikes with his 3 1/2-month-old baby named Claude. Michele Gerber Klein, a trustee of the New Museum, with Marty Eisenberg, a collector.
Lisa Phillips, Director of the New Museum, with artist Rob Pruitt. Rob Pruitt swooning over Ashanti. Pruitt will be part of a "performance-based" event at the Guggenheim tonight, October 29th at which time he will present New York's first annual art awards.
Purple piano and stool. The purple wallpaper is made from photographs of the walls; the color comes from photographing them with the same exposure he used to photograph the ceiling lights.
In 2007, in a now-legendary exhibition, he excavated the floor of his New York gallery, digging a crater within the exhibition space. Throughout his work, with ambitious gestures an irreverent panache, Fischer explores the secret mechanisms of perception, combining a Pop immediacy with a neo-Baroque taste for the absurd.
Peter Brant, owner of Interview Magazine, which helped underwrite the exhibition. Restauranteur Marja Samson, who owns The Kitchen Club on Prince Street.
Detail of bag which looks like it is made of fabric, but in fact is made of metal.
Two of Fischer's five new aluminum sculptures cast from small clays, hand-molded by the artist.
Mey Veral, a young artist who lives in Brooklyn. She is from Turkey. Michael Ward Stout, the head of the Mapplethorpe Foundation. Mr. Stout is the lawyer for Urs Fischer. Designer Dakota Jackson and his wife, RoseLee Goldberg, founder of Performa, the New York City Performance Art Biennial. Ms. Goldberg has curated the upcoming Biennial consisting of 140 performances over 22 days scheduled for November.
Closeup of Mey Veral's cards. Each one has a different painting done by Ms. Veral.
John Waters and Frankie Rice inside elevator between floors. Emma Reeves who runs a graphic design company, Piper Marshall, assistant curator at Swiss Institute, and Alex Gartenfeld, web editor of Interview and Art in America.
Writer Karen Marta with Lisa Phillips Leon Falk, an independent film producer and a professor at NYU & Columbia with artist, Judy Hudson. Mr. Falk is married to Lisa Phillips.
Cindy Sherman and David Byrne. Byrne is working on a bike rack for the New Museum which is presently being fabricated. The bike rack, which has to meet all the regular building code standards, is in the shape of the New Museum. Daisy Reinhardt, a fashion designer who works in a law firm with Rodney Austin, an actor from Los Angeles who was in NYC catering at the opening. Ms. Reinhardt wants to be a dollmaker.
The catalogue costs $69.95. The New Museum does not make them available to the press so I cannot venture an opinion. It's also the reason I have not been able to add caption information to any of my installation photographs. On the other hand, they are self-explanatory. A slice of bread is a slice of bread. A cupcake is a cupcake. A purple piano and stool ...
Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.