Urs Fischer, Low Lying Cloud, 2016, cast bronze, acrylic primer, chalk gesso, rabbit skin glue, oil paint, 8 1/4 × 15 1/4 × 7 1/2 inches (21 × 38.7 × 19.1 cm), edition of 2 © Urs Fischer. Photo by Mats Nordman.
Urs Fischer’s large-scale installations and sculptures posit genres traditionally evoked in painting—portraits, landscapes, nudes, and still lifes—in a profusion of rich and often impermanent sculptural materials. Whether utilizing foodstuffs (Bread House, 2004) or more self-destructive media, such as soft wax that simply melts away, Fischer mines the endless possibilities of a particular material to introduce an additional dimension into the work: that of time. Imbued with their own mortality, his sculptures and installations cultivate the experiential function of art. Fischer incorporates elements of performance and Pop art to create an oeuvre that is distinctly current, as witty as it is macabre.
Urs Fischer was born in 1973 in Zürich, Switzerland. He studied photography at the Schule für Gestaltung, Zürich, and participated in residencies at de Ateliers, Amsterdam, and the Delfina Studio Trust, London. Fischer’s work is included in many important public and private collections worldwide. Selected solo exhibitions include “Without a Fist—Like a Bird,” Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2000); “The Membrane—and why I don’t mind bad-mooded People,” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2000); “What should an Owl do with a Fork,” Santa Monica Museum of Art, California (2002); “Kir Royal,” Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2004); “Not My House Not My Fire,” Espace 315, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2004); “Werke aus der Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof,” Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2005, traveled to Camden Arts Centre, London); “Paris 1919,” Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006); “Mary Poppins,” Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston (2006); “Marguerite de Ponty,” New Museum, New York (2009–10); “Oscar the Grouch,” Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Connecticut (2010–11); “Skinny Sunrise,” Kunsthalle Wien (2013); “Madame Fisscher,” Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2013); “YES,” Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles (2013); Lever House Art Collection, New York (2014); The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2015); “Small Axe,” Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2016); “Mon cher…,” Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Arles (2016); and “Urs Fischer: The Public & the Private,” Legion of Honor, San Francisco (2017). Fischer's work was included in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 editions of the Biennale di Venezia.
Fischer currently lives and works in New York.