Exhibit showcases the artist’s first cohesive focus on the home or dwelling;
debuts December 1st during Art Basel Miami Beach 2011
Miami Beach, FL. (November 2011) — The Bass Museum of Art is pleased to present its latest exhibition, Erwin Wurm: Beauty Business, making its debut during Art Basel Miami Beach 2011 with art and sculptures by artist Erwin Wurm. Wurm, an artist living and working in Vienna, combines various art forms: sculpture, photography and performance into a unique personal view of the everyday world. Drawing on history, humor and philosophy, Wurm creates light-hearted artworks with at times serious messages. His new large sculptural works which have a grand theatrical scale and were created specifically for this exhibition, attract the viewer to interact and participate. Wurm’s smaller-scale Drinking Sculpture series ask the audience to engage and in which they literally do; it is a bar. The audience is asked to open drawers and interact with the piece. A Drinking Sculpture is realized when the audience is drunk.
Wurm’s well-known sweater pieces, in the format of large-scale wall works, blur the boundary between human form and the museum building. Here, Wurm eludes to dressing a portion of the museum for warmth and security. A series of smaller sweater sculptures also incorporate fashion - the sweater forms are stretched and altered by crude wooden braces. These altered works transform the visitor's view of the sweater forms into the present moment, leaving any history, which can be at times painful, and the future, at best illusionary, out of the experience. Additionally, a new series of ‘hoodie’ works push the human form and showcase how balance can be found within the gallery spaces.
Beauty Business, is Wurm’s first cohesive focus on the home or dwelling. As architect Le Corbusier once remarked, the purpose of architecture is to move us. In his art, Wurm consistently realizes architecture's highest aim as he creates works whose extraordinary power lies not only in how deeply they make us feel, but also in how they let us see the complexity of our feelings, in meaningful environments which help us to dwell. A dwelling is an in-between space where one may hesitate between worlds. The activity of dwelling is therefore a contemplative lingering - a way of remaining in a space or location that is responsive to the nature of that particular place, and open to whatever happens to trigger your imagination; through association, through fantasies, daydreams, desires, or memories.
Wurm’s greatest insights as an artist are that he believes our feelings about such locations are often mixed, that we are often drawn to what both attracts and repels – these are things the artist understands intuitively. If in the space surrounding his objects we experience our own ambivalence about certain issues more intensely, it is because of the way, in theme and structure, his work so elegantly holds contradictory elements in tension.
Erwin Wurm: Beauty Business will be on view during Art Basel Miami Beach 2011. Special museum hours will be: Thursday, December 1 through Sunday, December 4, 2011, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This exhibition is produced in collaboration with Dallas Contemporary, Texas and curated by Peter Doroshenko, Director/Dallas Contemporary, Texas. This exhibition will be presented at Dallas Contemporary and be on view: April 14 through August 19, 2012.
Additional support for this exhibition was made possible by Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris; Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.
About Erwin Wurm:
Known for his uniquely humorous approach to formalism, Wurm’s multi-disciplinary works have appeared in exhibitions throughout the world. Erwin Wurm has exhibited extensively with shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, (2005); Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France, (2007); Konstmuseum Malmö, Sweden, (2008); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland, (2008); the Moscow Biennial (2009); Ullens Center of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2010); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2010); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010). The artist just recently revealed NARROW HOUSE at the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy, in June 2011.
Works by Wurm are included in prestigious collections throughout the world at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Peggy Guggenhein Collection, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Musèe d`Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, among others.
Erwin Wurm lives and works in Vienna, Austria.
About the Bass Museum of Art
Located in Miami Beach, the Bass Museum of Art offers a dynamic year-round calendar of exhibitions exploring the connections between contemporary art and works of art from its permanent collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture and textiles and newly opened Egyptian Gallery. Artists’ projects, educational programs, lectures, concerts and free family days complement the works on view. Founded in 1963 when the City of Miami Beach accepted a collection of Renaissance and Baroque works of art from collectors John and Johanna Bass, the collection was housed in an Art Deco building designed in 1930 by Russell Pancoast. Architect Arata Isozaki designed an addition to the museum that doubled its size from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet between 1998 and 2002. Most recently, the museum selected internationally acclaimed Oppenheim Architecture + Design to lead its first phase of design and renovation tied to the 2010 completion of Miami Beach’s highly anticipated Collins Park. Oppenheim redesigned and relocated the museum’s arrival area to flow from and into the new park on Collins Avenue. For more information, please visit http://www.bassmuseum.org
The Bass Museum of Art is generously funded by the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the Friends of the Bass Museum.