Urs Fischer - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Los Angeles, Gagosian Gallery, Urs Fischer: Beds & Problem Paintings, February 23 - April 7, 2012, pp. 60-69 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Venice, Palazzo Grassi, Urs Fischer: Madame Fisscher, April 15 - July 15, 2012, pp. 162-163, 165 (illustrated)

  • Literature

    Urs Fischer, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2013, pp. 162-165 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the present two lots, Urs Fischer has perfected his creation of the three-dimensional image, challenging the viewer’s perception of the traditional scopes of sculpture and photography. Revisiting the medium of mirrored boxes, which he began a few years prior, Fischer has shrunken the objects to an even smaller scale, while still visually altering the actual size of the item printed on its surface. To illustrate the artist’s chosen imagery on each of the four elements, Fischer utilized a mechanical clamp to hold the glass in place to ensure that the pictures were printed seamlessly onto the surface. The present lots are composed of glass surfaces rather than polished steel, representing an additional aesthetic shift in the artist’s sculptural practice.

    Executed in 2012 in editions of 3, SMITH / JOHNSON / WILLIAMS / JONES and CROOKER / CREAGH / CRANOR / CRANER are each composed of four individual boxes, which measure less than 30 inches in height. They are placed on the floor presenting the viewer with these mirrored cubes of household objects, such as ping-pong paddles, asparagus and a clothes pin, at their feet rather than at eye level, further establishing Fischer’s emphasis on viewer consumption playing a key component of an art object’s effect. As the viewer walks through the space, he or she is meant to happen upon these three-dimensional images, intentionally calling attention to the fact that these objects are both entirely non-functional and not real. As Adam McEwen so recalled of his initial reaction to CROOKER / CREAGH / CRANOR / CRANER, “this image of a battered Mul-T-lock key, printed a micron thick on a cuboid of reflective glass, slides around my eyes in the same way that the word “key” slides around my brain. I can’t grasp either of them. The little key sculpture is as close as a three-dimensional object can come to being only an idea; the way it behaves is closer to the behavior of a word than of a thing” (Adam McEwen, quoted in “Problems No Problem”, in Beds & Problem Paintings, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, 2012, p. 5). Debuted at Gagosian Gallery alongside Fischer’s Problem Paintings and then subsequently included in the artist’s celebrated show Madame Fisscher at Palazzo Grassi in 2012, each of the present lots exemplify Fischer’s fascination with visual vocabulary as it translates to sculpture.




signed "Urs Fischer" on a label affixed to the interior of the "F" element
silkscreen print on mirror-glass, UV-adhesive, aluminum, polyacetal and screws, in 4 parts
foam head 15 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 12 3/4 inches (39.4 x 41.9 x 32.4 cm.)
key 17 3/4 x 8 1/4 x 1 5/8 inches (45.1 x 21 x 4.1 cm.)
spirit level 4 5/8 x 25 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches (11.7 x 64.8 x 4.4 cm.)
F 16 1/2 x 13 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches (41.9 x 33.7 x 8.9 cm.)

Executed in 2012, this work is number 3 from an edition of 3 plus 1 artist's proof.

$250,000 - 350,000 

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 17 May 2017