LOS ANGELES - Urs Fischer is one of those artists that pretty much everyone favors these days—he’s clever and a little bit Pop-y, so you can easily feel in on the joke, but he’s also pushing far enough into new territory that he can be considered original. What’s not to like?
The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles certainly likes him, and is giving Fischer a big show from April 21 to August 19, curated by the Tate Modern’s Jessica Morgan. All of the works are from the last decade, and many of them have not been brought together in this way before.
Urs Fischer’s Problem Painting, 2012.
The Swiss-born artist, turning 40 this year and now based in New York, is known for works that are decaying, disrupted, upended or otherwise falling apart; he’s sort of a poet of entropy. In Problem Painting, 2012, a lovely silkscreened image of a woman has a huge awkward lemon slice painted on it (for this one, Fischer owes a debt to Rene Magritte and his face-covering apple).
In an untitled 2011 piece, a heroic sculpture of grappling warriors on a plinth that appears to be made of stone, except the material is actually wax, and what you see is a scene that has partly, and quite beautifully, melted away. Most famously, for the 2006 Whitney Biennial, he broke through a wall, leaving a jagged, gaping hole, and he has made a habit of excavating enormous chasms in floors, making the inside of pristine gallery and museum rooms look like dirt-filled construction sites.
Safe to say lots of contemporary art fans will be making a beeline for this show—but given Fischer’s talent for digging, be sure to watch your step.