Urs Fischer et al.
Nature of Robotics: An Expanded Field (group show)
EPFL Pavilions, Lausanne
11 December 2020 – 25 April 2021
Through artists’ works and scientific productions from EPFL laboratories, Nature of Robotics invites contemporary reflection on the place of artificial agents in our natural and social ecosystems. Visions emerging from the laboratories are juxtaposed with speculative creatures, drawings, diagrams, and videos produced by contemporary artists.
The exhibition revisits the notion of the ‘expanded field’ , echoing Rosalind Krauss’s expression "the expanded field of sculpture"; this notion is employed here in order to ground a curatorial endeavour, framing robotics in environment-related thinking.
The exhibition’s itinerary takes the visitor from Tinguely’s Nevada desert to Trevor Paglen’s Nevada sky. Urs Fischer’s robo-snails, Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson’s artificial soft robot in the form of a manta ray, Lea Pereyre’s forms, Adrien Missika’s housefly (Musca domestica), Jürg Lehni’s Otto drawing machine resonate with a display of scientific work from EPFL, which showcases a range of recent robotic models in an alternation of amphibious vertebrates, biocompatible microrobots, insect-scale and modular origami robots, and their associated applications in multi-scaled environments from physiological fluids to space.
Louis Vuitton x Urs Fischer
Urs Fischer has collaborated with Louis Vuitton and designed a new, all-encompassing collection, which is now available in the brand's stores worldwide as well as on their website.
Urs Fischer’s exuberant and textured reworking of Louis Vuitton’s signature Monogram is the starting point of this collection which features the Monogram’s flowers and LV initials in new hand-drawn versions that he calls “memory sketches”. The resulting dream-like motifs have been meticulously adapted to suit each specific product across this comprehensive collection, changing in size, perspective, colour and application technique.
Available in two colourways, black and red and black and white, this new Monogram is the collaboration’s key decorative motif, and features throughout the collection’s designs. In addition to ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes, seven special-edition bags – a Keepall, Cabas, Onthego, two Neverfulls, Speedys, Pochettes Accessoires, and a charming, hard-sided beauty case – use the Urs Fischer Monogram to particularly impressive effect thanks to an exquisite tuffetage treatment that uses velvet-like material to create extra texture and tactile relief.
The collaboration also features a series of whimsical characters created by Urs Fischer. The enchanting animals and objects are united in a playful print that fills a colourful silk square.
Darren Almond, Urs Fischer et al.
My Cartography: The Erling Kagge Collection (group show)
Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, Arles
3 October 2020 – 28 March 2021 (re-opens from 15 December)
As from October 2020 the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles is presenting a very personal take on contemporary artistic production: that of modern-day adventurer Erling Kagge. Seen through his eyes, contemporary art assumes its role as a compass. Inspiring and accessible, Erling Kagge’s collection, commenced in 1999, communicates the vital information at stake in the world of the visual arts: “A great work of art,” he says, “is like a thought machine that reflects the artist’s ideas, hopes, lovesickness, failures, and intuitions, among other experiences and emotions.”
Erling Kagge is a Norwegian explorer born in 1963 in Oslo. Famous for having successfully completed the Three Poles Challenge, reaching the South Pole, the North Pole and the summit of Mount Everest, he is also a lawyer, writer, publisher and collector. He has entrusted Bice Curiger, artistic director of the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, with the task of curating an exhibition of his collection, the main strands of which reflect Kagge’s enduring sense of wonder and curiosity in the face of the world.
The Erling Kagge Collection today encompasses more than 800 works by artists of different nationalities and generations – all of them pieces that have helped Kagge, in his own words, “to grow”. The collection draws its coherence from its very diversity: there is nothing coincidental, therefore, in the fact that it contains objects playing upon visual perception, such as those by Olafur Eliasson, at the same time as critical works such as those by Klara Lidén, which evoke the notion of (topographical and conceptual) “underground”.
Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles
Urs Fischer et al.
The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance (group show)
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
15 May – 8 August 2021
Presenting works from the early 20th century to today, The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance examines the notion of stillness as both a performative and visual gesture. This major Walker-organized exhibition features pieces by an international roster of artists testing the boundaries between stillness and motion, mortality and aliveness, the still life and the living picture.
Stillness and permanence are common qualities of painting and sculpture. Consider, for example, the frozen gestures of a historical tableau, the timelessness of a still life painting, or the unyielding bronze or marble figure. Translating these traditional mediums into actions, artists use performance to investigate the interplay between the fixed image and the live body.
The Paradox of Stillness showcases more than 100 works by some 65 artists, including up to 15 live performances activated in the Walker’s galleries or public spaces at intervals throughout the presentation. Works on view range from object-based art and pictures that subtly come to life or shift outside the frame to actions staged by live performers that slowly unfold or unexpectedly reappear. Across the exhibition, puppets and automatons dance through space, while burning candles and rotting fruit mark time’s passing.
Walker Art Center
The Lyrical and the Prosaic (solo show)
Aïshti Foundation, Jal El Dib
The Aishti Foundation is proud to present “Urs Fischer: The Lyrical and the Prosaic”, a major exhibition by Swiss born, New York based artist Urs Fischer.
In the past two decades Urs Fischer has been recognized as one of the most respected artists of his generation, having exhibited at prestigious institutions such as the Legion of Honor, San Francisco (2017), Garage Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2016), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013), Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2013), New Museum, New York (2009), Kunsthaus Zurich (2004), and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2004), as well in numerous era defining exhibitions such as the 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014), the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), and the 2006 Whitney Biennial. His work is featured in some of the most important collections in the world including: the Pinault Collection, the Dakis Joannou Collection, the Brant Collection.
Conceived and choreographed by the artist, this will be Fischer’s first museum exhibition in the Middle East.
This exhibition brings together a selection of recent works shown along pieces from the Aishti Collection and a series of appositely realized new installations, paintings, and interventions.
Recurring throughout the exhibition is Fischer’s fascination with frequent subversions of scale and constant shifts from the monumental to the minuscule, and, as the title of the exhibition suggests, from the sublime to the prosaic.
Central to the exhibition is Fischer’s new and largest rain-storm installation composed of thousands of individually painted water drops dramatically suspended from the ceiling of the exhibition space.
The exhibition also features a new total environment with a wallpaper installation reproducing thousands of drawings originally created as part of Headz, an informal collaborative project Urs Fischer had initiated in New York in 2018 with Spencer Sweeney and Brendan Dugan.
Including a series of polychrome miniature bronzes, kinetic and wax sculptures, paintings and drawings, the exhibition confirms Fischer as a restless experimenter whose work reconnects to a lineage of contemporary sculptors and artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Martin Kippenberger, and Isa Genzken, all equally fascinated by the unstable beauty of humble materials and the tension between order and disorder.
This survey follows the major exhibition “Trance” by Albert Oehlen, and a trilogy of exhibitions (“New Skin”; “Good Dreams, Bad Dreams”; and “The Trick Brain”) devoted to works from the Aishti Collection.
The Aïshti Foundation