January 16, 2019

Urs Fischer: Images @ Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Urs Fischer: Images
Gagosian, Beverly Hills
January 11 – February 9, 2019

Urs Fischer
Urs Fischer, 2 Socks, 2018
Aluminium composite panel, aluminium honeycomb, two-component adhesive, primer, gesso, and solvent-based screen printing ink, 227.3 x 171.5 cm
© Urs Fischer, Courtesy Gagosian

Art is an after-reflection.
—Urs Fischer

Gagosian presents Images, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Urs Fischer.

In Urs Fischer’s work, images emerge from an odd liminal space between the real and the imagined, between what does, and could, exist. Over the past year, he has been creating paintings digitally, inventing things, rooms, and spaces using color and light. On a screen, as opposed to paper or canvas, Fischer is able to paint with light itself—moving illuminated pixels around, juxtaposing clean lines and gradients, and reflecting on the subtle atmospheric changes across day and night, summer and winter, Los Angeles and New York.

Silkscreened onto aluminum panels, the paintings in this exhibition—vertical compositions broken up into multiple rectangular passages—take on the scale of modern abstraction, yet they all describe imaginary interior and exterior worlds. Windows appear often: one glows behind a gauzy white curtain, looking onto swaying palm trees; another reflects a sunrise or sunset, with a still life on a table barely visible through fingerprints on the glass; and another frames a building across the street, where nine more windows reveal smeared and fragmented California views. In other paintings, Urs Fischer imagines canvases hanging on walls, hit with swathes and squares of light pouring in from an unseen source. The fictional paintings and sculptures depict animals, food, city streets, or messy brushstrokes, but they—like the light—only exist within Urs Fischer’s constructed environments; they need not adhere to any history, law, or logic.

Urs Fischer presents characters and drawings that seem capable of disappearing at any moment. In one painting, a small orange bird sits on a branch, floating in a dark gray sky. Though its legs are in sharp focus, its body becomes a vaporous orb, glowing within the surrounding clouds. And in an uncanny sculptural ecosystem below, two motorized snails slowly wander through the gallery, leaving trails of slime in their wake. These gleaming lines, which evaporate over time, wind across the floor, uniting the other sculptures—a smoking volcano, a snowman, a palm tree—within a swirling, ephemeral landscape. Looming over the scene, the surrounding paintings form vivid, even cinematic, backdrops: a montage of disparate settings for a small, peculiar world.

URS FISCHER was born in Zurich in 1973 and lives and works in New York. Collections include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels; FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Marseille, France; Fondation Carmignac, Paris; Kunstmuseum Basel; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; and Museo d’arte della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland. Recent exhibitions include Marguerite de Ponty, New Museum, New York (2009–2010); 54th Biennale di Venezia (2011); Skinny Sunrise, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2012); Madame Fisscher, Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013); YES, DESTE Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra, Greece (2013); Small Axe, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2013); Mon cher..., Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Arles, France (2016); and The Public & the Private, Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (2017).

456 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210