Urs Fischer (b. 1973)
silkscreen print on mirror-polished stainless steel sheets, aluminium, Alucore, two-component epoxy, stainless steel screws
17¾ x 38 5/8 x 17 7/8in. (45.2 x 98 x 45.5cm.)
Executed in 2009, this work is from an edition of one plus one artist's proof
Anon. sale, Christie's Paris, 17 March 2009, lot 4.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Urs Fischer: Shovel in a Hole, exh. cat., New York, New Museum, 2009 (illustrated in colour, p. 426).

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Lot Essay

Cork reveals Urs Fischer's inventive and playful mind. He presents a hugely scaled up image of a wine cork silkscreened on all the sides of a rectangular shaped series of mirror-polished stainless steel sheets. Executed in 2009, the same year as his widely acclaimed solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York: Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty, the work is an example of the way in Fischer comes to grips with things in a radical manner, making us experience the world in new ways by playing with reality. This is summed up by Bice Curigier, who explains that 'in Fischer's installation, as in real life, we encounter quotidian items from the world. Consumer goods accompany us everywhere when we walk along the street. Yet their presence here is slightly more insistent, as though the viewer perceived them while in the grip of a fever... The scale and significance of the objects are fraught with ambiguity... To pass through Fischer's work is to reenact this kind of urban experience in the form of a special mis-en-scne that zooms in to exclude everything incidental, all the physical trappings of a city.' (B. Curiger, 'Spaces Generated by Vision or Basements Save Windows', Urs Fischer: Shovel in a Hole, exh. cat., New York, New Museum 2009-2010, p. 13).

In the case of Cork, a mundane object that is usually discarded is blown up and given the status of 'high art,' linked to the Minimalism of Donald Judd's mirrored boxes, the Pop Art of Andy Warhol's silkscreens and the mirror works of Michelangelo Pistoletto. It forms part of a whole series of work in a variety of different shapes and sizes, taken from different objects or foodstuffs that together are full of the wonderful complexity of the modern world. Fischer is an artist who is intensely aware of his surroundings, relishing in the possibility of altering the world. In particular, changing the scale and context of works has always been important to him, a theme which continues with Cork. Fischer notably explored proportions when he reconfigured a teddy bear into a 22-foot tall sculpture Untitled (Lamp/Bear), which sold at Christie's last May, setting a world record for the artist at auction. In all these works, minor changes to the banal objects that surround us serve to reconstitute our relations with everyday life. For Fischer, this is hugely important, as he said "you need to find new ways of disrupting your environment in order to keep it interesting for yourself. Change is healthy. It keeps the mind alive" (U. Fischer quoted in Interview with N. Wakefield, in Another Magazine, Spring/Summer 2008, p. 411).

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