Urs Fischer - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, May 10, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Courtesy Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York
    Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich
    Dean Valentine and Amy Adelson, Los Angeles
    Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    New York, Swiss Institute, Lowland Lullaby: Ugo Rondinone with John Giorno and Urs Fischer, March 26 - May 11, 2002
    Paris, Centre Pompidou; Espace 315, Urs Fischer, March 10 - May 10, 2004

  • Literature

    M. Higgs, “Best of 2002”, in ArtForum, December 2002, pp. 110-111 (illustrated)
    M. Varadinis, J. Heiser, and B. Hainley, Urs Fischer: Kir Royal, Zürich, Kunsthaus Zürich, 2004, p. 174 (illustrated)
    U. Fischer and G. Jones, Good Smell, Make-up Tree / Urs Fischer: Music by Garrick Jones, Geneva, 2004, p. 127, 465 (illustrated)
    A. Zachary, ed., Urs Fischer: Shovel in a Hole (Urs Fischer: (Marguerite de Ponty), New York, New Museum, 2009, p. 401 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Urs Fischer has secured an intriguing position in the canon of contemporary art. In his sculpture, he would seem to be a modern champion of the Duchampian readymade, yet his constructions are all his own. In Late Late Night Show, 2002, we observe one of Fischer’s signature results in his sculpture of common objects: he pushes our boundaries to recognize the common human form in the world around us, even in the inanimate tools that we presume are far from human. The present lot consists of two painted pink desk chairs, screwed together in such a way that they suggest a provocative sexual position. Yet the chair on top has been chipped and burned away, as if its fragility hints at the metaphorical weakness or deterioration of its corresponding human character. These are two chairs that we would not think to sit upon not only for their structural questionability, but also for the fact that they may be, in fact, far more personable than they initially seem.

    But Fischer is not only after a simple view of human life reflected in the objects that we take for granted, for his take is far more comedic. Indeed, in witnessing the act of the two chairs in relation to the title of the piece, one cannot help but wonder whether the characters before us have been subjected to some sort of horrible accident. “For the guardians of late-Modernist sculptural doctrine, all this sets the alarm bells ringing: Anthropomorphism! Mythologization! What are things coming to when chairs engage in gay sex?! The answer is that, instead of a supposed transcendence and negation of the history of sculptural anthropomorphism, we are seeing its parodic revision” (J. Heiser, “Of Cats and Chairs”, Urs Fischer: Kir Royal, Zurich, 2004, p. 56)


Late Late Night Show

polystyrene, acrylic paint, wood glue, polyurethane foam and screws
overall dimensions: 44 1/2 x 26 x 34 in. (113 x 66 x 86.4 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated “Urs Fischer, Late Late Night Show, 2002” twice on the underside of the chair.

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $482,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

10 May 2012
New York