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Artists Urs Fischer
Urs Fischer Photo

Urs Fischer

Swiss Sculptor, Photographer, Installation, and Conceptual Artist

Movements and Styles: Installation Art, Conceptual Art

Born: May 2nd, 1973 - Zurich, Switzerland

Urs Fischer Timeline

Quotes

"I am more a sculptor, more than anything else. The life of a sculpture is different. It goes through many procedures and labour. A big part of sculpture is the metamorphosis of material. Somehow, as a material, working in clay is similar to oil painting. It is not stable in form, it is malleable and you can be very fast."
Urs Fischer
"I think art works best in people's memories," he said. "For me, it's not just the act of going to see it on the wall. I'm not saying it's bad to do that, although very often it can be disappointing, you know? But in the memory, with all the things you've heard about it, all the stories, art becomes this great, rich, flexible thing."
Urs Fischer
"You could see an artwork as an offering. If you are ready to take something out of it, or if you reject it, it's up to you. It's there anyway. That's what I like about art."
Urs Fischer
"Art always was a weird thing. In European history, it was used to decorate palaces or a church or a state, to represent power. But one thing I do like - it's a pretty good refuge for all kinds of people, from high to low. Not many other worlds I'm aware of have a mix of people so broad."
Urs Fischer
"(How much of his work is a joke?) None of it. But if people perceive it that way, it doesn't matter. It's a comfort to put things in a certain place to assert control. For example, I made the house out of bread. In Austria, they said it's about the body of Christ. In the US, it's about gluten."
Urs Fischer
"I don't usually come back to a show," he says. "I try not to think about it. If you make it, you can't look with the same eyes as someone else. It's like parents - they have delusional images of their children."
Urs Fischer

"People seem to fear art. Art has always been a word for this thing that can't be rationalized; when you see or hear something that you struggle to explain. But that's its strength, of course, that's what the word 'art' is for."

Synopsis

A fascination with the collision of random objects is the driving force behind artist Urs Fischer's artistic endeavours. He admits that this illustrates his passion for the "inner mechanics of duality." When he pairs objects or material together to make his work, he questions what happens when two specific objects meet in an imagined space. Since the 1990s, he's been making artwork, most notably sculpture, which emphasizes the way his chosen subjects, images, or materials relate to, and affect each other. In his hands, seemingly disparate items form a special bond, oftentimes temporary, inviting the audience in to ponder not only the relationship, but also the inevitable decay of all constructions. Although his subversive approach to art reflects influence by earlier anti-art movements such as Neo-Dada, Situationist International or Lost Art, Fischer's unique contribution stems from his ability to infuse items with a life of their own, putting them on a pedestal to jostle our perspectives out from beneath the status quo.

Key Ideas

By approaching art history with a grain of salt, Fischer encourages us to look at artwork in a new way. He challenges the limits of each genre explored by reducing art to its base technical elements, asking the viewer to consider the sum of an artwork's whole rather than just the final visage presented.
Fischer's work reflects a long investigation of transformation, natural processes, participation, and the subversion of traditional sculpture. For example, his seminal wax pieces are presented as beautiful sculptural works, which are then lit, causing them to melt and morph over the course of an exhibition right before the viewers' eyes. The work's short lives reflect the act of being human with humour and visual wit.
Non-traditional materials play a huge part in Fischer's work - both in their original and transformational states instigated by the artist's hand. This has included bread, toys, earth, and other random fodder.
Urs Fischer Photo

Urs Fischer was born in Zurich in 1973 to doctor parents. He has an older sister named Andrea who went on to become a journalist. During his youth, Fischer's parents were often worried as he neglected to do his homework in school and opted out of attending university, enrolling in a technical skills college instead. His father spent his free time rebuilding their one hundred-and-sixty-year-old house. He taught his son a lot about Swiss carpentry and craftsmanship. Fischer would go on to use these skills in his career as an artist.

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Urs Fischer
Interactive chart with Urs Fischer's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Marcel DuchampMarcel Duchamp
Giorgio MorandiGiorgio Morandi
Jeff KoonsJeff Koons

Personal Contacts

Rudolf Stingel
Eva Presenhuber

Movements

DadaDada
Pop ArtPop Art
Neo-DadaNeo-Dada
Conceptual ArtConceptual Art

Influences on Artist
Urs Fischer
Urs Fischer
Years Worked: 1996 - Present
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Spencer Sweeny
Ugo Rondinone
Mina Stone

Personal Contacts

Scipio Schneider
Darren BaderDarren Bader
Dominique Clausen
Carmen D'Apollonio
Mia Marfurt

Movements

Conceptual ArtConceptual Art

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Marley Treloar

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Kimberly Nichols

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Marley Treloar
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Kimberly Nichols
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