Featuring His Interactive ‘One Minute Sculpture’ Series – Visitors Who Choose To Participate Will Receive a Polaroid of their Sculpture
A ‘Fat Mini’ To Feature From The Artist’s ‘Fat Car’ Series
Exhibition to Present A New Body of Ceramics and also New Works on Paper
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is staging live performances each Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the Erwin Wurm exhibition run of the artist’s ephemeral One Minute Sculptures, in which an individual is instructed to interact with everyday objects in a prescribed way which is then represented in photographs. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited to participate in creating their own One Minute Sculpture according to the artist’s instructions, which will be recorded in a Polaroid image for them to keep.
It was Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures that inspired the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ video for Can’t Stop (2002), in which the band performs its own versions of Wurm’s work from this series, two of which are included in Tate’s permanent collection, London. In these works, the boundaries between performance and daily life are blurred and the roles of viewer and participant or subject and object are conflated. There is often a contemplative or philosophical dimension to the One Minute Sculptures, which act as catalysts for a moment of introspection by placing the viewer in an awkward or paradoxical relationship to the object.
The One Minute Sculptures feature as part of the largest solo exhibition in the UK to date of works by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm (b. 1954), who in 2017 was commissioned to make an installation for the Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Celebrated for creating sculpture as a form of action, the artist frequently gives objects human-like attributes, prompting viewers to question their perception of the world with his subversive forms, at times with a sense of the surreal or absurd.
The exhibition also features the latest in Wurm’s Fat Car series, his fattened, anthropomorphic automobiles that address our value system, providing a powerful visual critique of society’s gluttonous consumerism and its paradoxical obsession with thinness. Together with a body of recent drawings and a grouping of his Clothes Sculptures, an entirely new body of ceramic works is presented for the first time. Exploring the human form, these ceramics take on the aspect of bodily abstractions, connecting psychological states to the human body as an object, deliberately challenging traditional sculptural forms and pushing them into precarious states of distortion.
Wurm’s works are included in the permanent collections of major international institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Albertina, Vienna; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main and National Museum of Art, Osaka.
Erwin Wurm: Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac at New Work (London)
Wed 20 Feb 2019 to Sat 23 Mar 2019
Writing via press release and photographs courtesy of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. Photo: Ben Westoby, London