Urs Fischer, Foamcore, 2017, aluminum panel, aramid honeycomb, two-component polyurethane adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, galvanized steel rivet nuts, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, and oil medium, 96 × 120 inches (243.8 × 304.8 cm) © Urs Fischer. Photo by Mats Nordman.
Urs Fischer’s large-scale installations and sculptures posit genres traditionally evoked in painting—portraits, landscapes, nudes, and still lifes—in a profusion of rich and often impermanent sculptural materials. Whether utilizing foodstuffs (Bread House, 2004) or more self-destructive media, such as soft wax that simply melts away, Fischer mines the endless possibilities of a particular material to introduce an additional dimension into the work: that of time. Imbued with their own mortality, his sculptures and installations cultivate the experiential function of art. Fischer incorporates elements of performance and Pop art to create an oeuvre that is distinctly current, as witty as it is macabre.
Urs Fischer was born in 1973 in Zürich, Switzerland. He studied at the Delfina Studio Trust, London; Visited de Ateliers, Amsterdam; and Schule für Gestaltung, Zürich. Fischer’s work is included in many important public and private collections worldwide. Selected solo exhibitions include “Without a Fist—Like a Bird,” Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2000); “The Membrane—and why I don’t mind bad-mooded People,” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2000); “What should an Owl do with a Fork,” Santa Monica Museum of Art, California (2002); “Kir Royal,” Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2004); “Not My House Not My Fire,” Espace 315, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2004); “Werke aus der Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof,” Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2005, traveled to Camden Arts Centre, London); “Paris 1919,” Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006); “Mary Poppins,” Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston (2006); “Marguerite de Ponty,” New Museum, New York (2009–10); “Oscar the Grouch,” Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Connecticut (2010–11); “Skinny Sunrise,” Kunsthalle Wien (2013); “Madame Fisscher,” Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2013); “Urs Fischer,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013); “YES,” DESTE Project Space Slaughterhouse, Greece (2013); Lever House Art Collection, New York (2014); The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2015); “Small Axe,” Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2016); and “Mon cher…,” Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Arles (2016). Fischer's work was included in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 editions of the Biennale di Venezia.
“Urs Fischer: The Public & the Private,” which feature works installed alongside sculptures by Auguste Rodin, is currently on view at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The exhibition is a part of the Rodin Dialogues, a series of installations coinciding with the centenary of Rodin’s death in 1917.
Fischer currently lives and works in New York.