Erwin Wurm





Press release

Opening: Monday, 29th of August, 6pm

The artist will be present

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg takes pleasure in announcing the exhibition Zwielicht [Twilight], with new works by Erwin Wurm, in the Project Room of the Villa Kast. The artist has designed a fictive house with seating furniture and other home furnishings that are distorted and physically disfigured.

The sheer ordinariness of the objects is a basic element of Erwin Wurm's œuvre. They range from gherkins and sausages, through cars, to houses of all shapes and sizes. This serves to gain the viewer's trust, since the objects are ostensibly "familiar".

The colour-range of the sculptures – presented in the Project Room on two floors, as in a small house – is limited to black, white and beige/grey; their form is reminiscent of well-known 1960s designs. This reference is counteracted partly by the intransigent materiality of bronze, polyester or acrylic moulding, and partly by the surreal contraction which makes the objects appear as though viewed through a narrowing lens. Some of the sculptures show traces of the artist's body – as for instance, while the models for the later casts were still soft, he sat astride them (Horse) or stood up on them (Stand).

The titles of the sculptures are partly descriptive of the kind of physical impact inflicted by the artist on the model, which started out as true to life, and partly references to romantic experiences of nature or solitary experiences of the romanticised life of an artist – as for example the lamp sculpture Twilight. The title Attic Brain Rain refers to the well-known painting by Carl Spitzweg, The Poor Poet (1839), which shows the poet lying in his bed in an attic, with an umbrella shielding him from the rain coming in through the leaky roof.

Attic Brain Rain and Toilet stem from the same idea as the artist's Narrow House: a life-size model of his parents' house, but reduced to a width of 1.5 metres. It is particularly significant that the forms Wurm has borrowed are those of vintage furniture and objects. These can be placed in a historical social setting, lending the work an outstanding presence which may evoke emotions and associations in the viewer.

The everyday objects are detached from their primary function – the artist renders them without purpose, their appearance being that of having become "de-formed". The totally distorted living ambience has the effect of a psychedelic stimulus on the viewer's imagination.

At the end of November 2016, Erwin Wurm is to open a four-month exhibition in the  Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). In 2017 he will design the Austrian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, as well as being represented in many solo exhibitions in distinguished institutions including the National Gallery/Prague, Kunsthaus/Graz, Lehmbruck Museum/Duisburg and Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art/Duisburg. His work is prominently displayed in important museum collections in Australia, Asia, Europe and North and South America.