Lehmann Maupin is pleased to present Synthesa, an exhibition of new works by Erwin Wurm, on view February 28 through April 19, 2014 at the gallery’s 540 West 26th Street location. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Friday, February 28 from 6 to 8 PM.
Working in a variety of media, including photography, performance, video, and painting, Wurm always considers his practice from a sculptural perspective, and the artist transforms these influences into a presentation of surprising and introspective objects for his second show at Lehmann Maupin. Comprised of three new sculptural bodies of work, Wurm’s current exhibition offers multiple insights into the artist’s unique oeuvre.
The title series of the exhibition, Synthesa, continues Wurm’s investigations of volume and abstraction of the human form. For these works, the artist works with the classical figure in the manner of a traditional sculptor yet drastically deconstructs and contorts each shape, inserting unexpected readymade objects to further the abstraction. For Wurm, these works explore psychological conditions, manifested in the physiology of the human form. Here Synthesa represents the synthesis of opposing forces, both physical and emotional, traditional and unexpected.
Similarly, Wurm’s series of Abstract Sculptures challenge our accepted impressions of the world around us. For this series, the artist contorts sausage-like forms into bronze sculptures that evoke anthropomorphic physical qualities and movement. Pulling the reference from his daily life and childhood, Wurm re-envisions the classic frankfurter in unexpected contexts to challenge our perceptions of the objects in reality. True to Wurm’s practice, these works are both familiar yet strange and evoke pause and contemplation from the viewer.
Well known for his One Minute Sculptures, actions that the public performed for very short durations, Wurm evolves these works from instructive and performance-based ephemeral sculptures into the physically enduring series One Minute Forever. In this new body of works, Wurm re-imagines the original One Minute Sculptures using skeletal forms to convey the eternity of each pose. Through these works Wurm embraces the persistent yet fleeting nature of time and examines this force as a unifying factor of human existence.
Erwin Wurm was born in 1954 in Bruck an der Mur, Styria, Austria and lives and works in Vienna. Known for his integration of unique wit with classic formalism, Wurm's multi-disciplinary works have appeared in major international venues. The One Minute Sculptures will be presented at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, opening May 13, 2014. Additional recent solo exhibitions include The Artist Who Swallowed the World, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (2008); Narrow Mist, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2010); Liquid Reality, Kunstmuseum Bonn (2010); Wear Me Out, Middleheimmuseum, Antwerpen, Belgium (2011); Beauty Business, Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2011); Dallas Contemporary, Texas (2012); Am I A House, CAC Malaga, Spain (2012); and Erwin Wurm—Good Boy, Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow, Poland (2013). In 2011, Erwin Wurm’s “Narrow House” was installed at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti as part of Glasstress 2011, a collateral event of the 54th Venice Biennale.
Works by Wurm are included in prestigious public collections throughout the world including the Albertina, Vienna; Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna; CAC Malaga, Spain; Kunsthaus Zurich; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York; and Museum of Modern Art, New York among others.