Urs Fischer, Richard Prince, Rudolf Stingel et al.

Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris
22 May – 31 December 2021

Urs Fischer, Untitled (detail), 2011, © Urs Fischer, Installation view Ouverture, Bourse de Commerce, Paris, 2021, © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier, photo: Stefan Altenburger
Urs Fischer, Untitled (detail), 2011, © Urs Fischer, Installation view Ouverture, Bourse de Commerce, Paris, 2021, © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier, photo: Stefan Altenburger

Works by Urs Fischer and Richard Prince are included in the inaugural exhibition at the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, which is on view from 22 May until 31 December 2021.

Urs Fischer’s installation, Untitled (2011), is presented in the Rotonda, in the monumental heart of the Bourse de Commerce. This is the first time the work has been shown in France. Fischer has redesigned Untitled to suit the scale of the space: a “public square” covered with a dome, reaching almost 40 metres in height.

Photographs from Richard Prince's Cowboy series are presented in the gallery on the first floor, along with a selection of series and ensembles from the 1970s to 1990s.

The Bourse de Commerce — Pinault Collection is the latest museum in a network of sites and initiatives developed by François Pinault since 2006. It offers a perspective on the contemporary art collection he has amassed over the last forty years, through a unique programme of exhibitions and events.

Bourse de Commerce


Richard Prince et al.

Peter Piller – Richard Prince
Museum for Modern Art, Weserburg
19 June – 31 October 2021

Richard Prince,
Richard Prince, "Single, Couple, Triple", 1990, Sammlung Gaby and Wilhelm Schürmann, Herzogenrath, installation view: Museum for modern Art, Weserburg, photo: Tobias Hübel

With Richard Prince (*1949) and Peter Piller (*1968), two artists focusing respectively on American myths and the realities of life in Germany — different generations, diverse worlds —, there is an encounter at the Weserburg Museum for Modern Art between two extremely original artistic oeuvres offering exemplary presentations of life and thought in and through pictures.

Cowboys, rockers and their girlfriends, pictures full of macho eroticism, chauvinistic cartoons and stereotypical cars on the one hand. Plots of land for future development, unpleasant neighbors, fleeing birds and office drawings on the other. Significant visual values are juxtaposed with absurd images of everyday life. In terms of both form and contents, the pictorial worlds of Prince and Piller could scarcely be more different.

Yet alongside these obvious, radical differences, it is the surprising similarities and comparable artistic strategies that make an encounter between Prince and Piller so fascinating. Both artists use images they find in the media — such as press- or advertisement-photos — that they appropriate and transform into art. Prince ever since the 1970s, Piller starting some twenty years later. Questions regarding authenticity and originality are addressed along with the influence of pictures on our imagination of reality. Desires, fantasies and the superficialities of everyday life are brought to light — with both merciless harshness and analytical subtlety.

Peter Piller values the “advantages of a lack of intention.” In his archives, he accordingly collects amateurish press photos of unspectacular situations with regional significance. He shows aerial views of German residential areas or redesigns the cover of the military magazine Armeerundschau from the days of the German Democratic Republic. These are documents of a petty-bourgeois society which, seen with Piller’s eyes, turns out to have grotesque characteristics. Recently he has turned his attention to black-and-white pictorial documentation of cave drawings, the oldest traces of human civilization.

In contrast, Richard Prince creates seductive symbols of America. He as well prefers to work serially. His Marlboro cowboys, Playmates or cars catch our eye as auratic individual images with strong visual impact. Here the “American dream” of individual freedom is still alive; there is a collision between images of women and male fantasies. Many of his works seem disturbing at a first glance. They are eye-catching, direct and, in a certain sense, immediately comprehensible. At the same time, however, they are characterized by an intellectual precision and ambiguous complexity that only gradually becomes apparent.

The exhibition at the Weserburg is extended in a separate room with Peter Piller’s first sound installation. It can be interpreted as a both pensive and humorous reference to our overly stimulated and breathless media world. What is to be heard is a compilation of excerpts from the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach in which the word Geduld (“patience”) is sung from time to time and echoes long afterwards.

Museum for Modern Art

Urs Fischer et al.

Anti-Structure (group show)
DESTE Foundation, Athens
2 June – 27 October 2021

Installation view: DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, photo: George Sfakianakis
Installation view: DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, photo: George Sfakianakis

Taking as its starting point an immersive installation with works by Urs Fischer and placing it in dialogue with the work of twenty-one Greek and Cypriot artists of various generations and modalities, Anti-Structure explores the far-fetched realm of fine lines between order and chaos, stasis and flux, structure and fragility.

Coined in 1969 by cultural anthropologist Victor Turner (1920–1983), “anti-structure” is a study of the state of mental and spiritual limbo that is characteristic of the second stage—the liminal stage—of any rite of passage, when the novitiate is neither here nor there but, betwixt and between, remains enveloped in abiding upheaval and disarray and a preternatural void.  Anti-structure thus describes a stage of perpetual transformation characterized by moments of dissolution where “structural hierarchies are flattened or inverted.” Whereas the dominant ideology du jour was that any such breakdown would result in anomie and angst, Turner recognized that in times of great happenstance, culture in fact reboots itself and new symbols, models, and paradigms arise.

It is not unusual to find such pockets of clandestine novelty simmering deep in the underground, the pregnant margins of normative order. It is in these lands of strangers and exiles, that one finds fertile ground for radical thought and very strange ideas. It is these ideas cultivated in the fringes of institutionalized etiquette that bring forth novel ways of dress, posture, and expression, attitudes that when fully formed feed back into the system to either break or make the mainstream.

DESTE Foundation

Urs Fischer

8, 2014
installed in the new extension of the Kunsthaus Zürich

Image: Urs Fischer, 8, 2014, photo: © Juliet Haller, Amt für Stadtebau, ZürichWerk, © Urs Fischer
Image: Urs Fischer, 8, 2014, photo: © Juliet Haller, Amt für Stadtebau, ZürichWerk, © Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer's sculpture 8 from 2014 has been installed in the new Chipperfield Building at the Kunsthaus Zürich. The official inauguration of the new extension is scheduled to take place on 9 October 2021.

Kunsthaus Zürich

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