One of the goals of this blog is to reflect upon some of the exhibitions we’ve had at Blaffer over the years. Our curators strive hard to present artists and themes that are on the cutting edge of contemporary art. But what happens after the artists leave Houston and their works get crated and shipped off? How has their Blaffer debut impacted their careers?

urs ficher work

In the first of our “Where Are They Now” series, we take a look at former Blaffer exhibiting artist Urs Fischer. What became of the Swiss-born, New York-based artist known for his thought-provoking sculptures? Much like how his taunting sculpture Noisette (2009) shown above, Fischer has intrigued his viewers for years. His exhibition at Blaffer Art Museum, Urs Fischer: Mary Poppins (5/13/06 – 8/5/06), transformed the museum into a space of inventive illusion. The show was full of allusions from a world of fantasy and magic.

installation view of Mary Poppins at Blaffer
His most recent U.S. exhibition, Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty (10/21/09 – 2/14/10), took up three floors in the New Museum, New York. The show immersed the viewers in a dimension of hallucinations. One might ponder, “Is that a croissant floating in mid-air with a butterfly attached to it?”, or, “Is it just me or is that piano melting?”

Fischer just finished an exhibition alongside Georg Herold at the The Modern Institute in Glasgow, Scotland (7/2/11 – 8/20/2011). The exhibition transformed the gallery into a studio space, as it displayed clay figures sculpted from life poses situated aside the live models they were derived from.

Fischer is currently featured in the 54th Venice Biennale, ILLUMinations. Fischer’s work, in the Arsenale complex, consists of a series of life-sized wax sculptures. A system of embedded wicks is lit to melt the sculptures, causing the figures to slowly deform. In the picture below, Fischer’s 1:1 ratio replica of Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women is imbued with an added layer of horror as hot wax oozes down the nude bodies to the floor below.

Fischer's rape of the sabine women

One of Fischer’s monumental works, Untitled (Lamp/Bear), sold for nearly $7 million dollars at auction in May. That same month, Christies loaned the deceptiviely cuddly, 23-feet tall, 17-ton cast-bronze peice to the Seagram Building on Park Avenue at 53rd Street where it will be on view through October. The yellow stuffed bear appears to be wedged into the space between the base and the shade of an old desk light that glows at night, seemingly celebrating a object that defines a young child’s life. 

urs-fischer-bear

Urs Fischer’s next solo exhibition opens at the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, in February 2012, and we at Blaffer look forward to following his career and celebrating his successes for years to come.”

 Fischer’s Rape of the Sabine Women image courtesy Happy Famous Artists – Bad Art for Bad People
Untitled (Lamp/Bear) image courtesy of The Culture Report

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