Urs Fischer @ Gagosian SF

At its core, art is all about order. When you’re an artist, you basically arrange, rearrange, or alter; you play off order.
—Urs Fischer
In Fischer’s linear sculptures, gestural scribbles seem described in the air with the spontaneity of a drawing on page or screen. The three lines—in black and white, red-brown, and a color gradient—are activated by one’s movement around them. Depending on the vantage point, they are either deceptively two-dimensional or nearly disappear, thin and blade-like. Meanwhile, the walls of this unpredictable, oddly digital, zone are punctuated by bold paintings on cut-out aluminum panels. In these works, facial features are rendered as intersecting organic forms. Photographed fragments of Fischer’s own lips, nose, and eyebrows are freed from self-portraiture, instead becoming shapes that slide and mutate, melting and hardening in bright hues. With this series, Fischer recalls the compositional structures of grand landscape painting, presenting the two halves of his own face as topographical masses, propping gently against one another.
Returning again and again to the idea and role of interactivity in art, Fischer has also fashioned several sculptures that serve as a leisure environment possessed of an ambiguous materiality. From afar, the four sculptures appear as simple pieces of furniture, molded in clay. However, one sits down and is surprised to find that the two armchairs and two ottomans are not made of clay, but rather a pliant, foam-like material. To achieve this strange material state, Fischer first sculpted the forms in clay, then filled molds of the sculptures with urethane foam, which preserves the impressions, bumps, and ridges produced when working in clay. Thus, his hand is simultaneously emphasized and denied; he exposes, then obfuscates his process, inviting visitors to sit, read, and relax, to dwell inside bewildering experimentations in form.
In these three groups of works, Fischer’s formal inquiry straddles the real, the imaginary, and the digital. His lines are two and three dimensional; his paintings are landscapes and portraits; and his sculptures are furniture and raw materials. “Mind Moves” keeps art-historical questions alive, collapsing stability and encouraging play and speculation.

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