Gluten Intake

Urs Fischer presents a dark domestic fairy tale at the Brant Foundation

Untitled (Bread House), 2004-2005. Bread, bread crumbs, wood, polyurethane foam, silicone, acrylic paint, spray enamel, screws, tape, rugs, theater spotlights (Kelly Taub/BFA.com/Courtesy of the artist; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York/Copyright Urs Fischer)

The Swiss artist Urs Fischer has returned to The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, which first presented a solo show of his work in 2010, with ERROR, a surreal landscape of sculptures, paintings, and a full-scale cabin—partially made of slowly molding bread.

Bread House had originally been staged in 2004 and has been reconstructed this time with (thankfully) new bread, which will again decay and rot and stink. The life-size alpine cabin is lined with rugs and is held together with the help of expanding foam and wood. (In some past iterations the house has been populated by young parakeets, which feed off the bread.)

A sculpture of wooden palettes topped with a fountain props up a skeleton on a chair, with a garden hose on top. In the background a painting of a tree black and clouds—the sky is orange and the clouds and branch are produced in negative in blue.

A twisted garden-house fountain, Invisible Mother, 2015, is displayed in front of the painting Brick, 2019. (Stefan Altenburger/Courtesy of Urs Fischer)

Other fairy-tale-esque domestic fixtures are also on display, though not within the walls of the yeasty home, including bed sculptures, like Kratz (2011), a bed collapsing under the weight of a pile of concrete, and Untitled (2011), a bed seemingly collapsing under the ghostly weight of nothing. Stranger still perhaps, there is Horse/Bed (2013), a deconstructed hospital bed merged with an aluminum horse, like some sort of sick harness. To create this eerie form, Fischer blended 3-D scans of a taxidermied workhorse and a hospital bed. There is, of course, seating too, like You Can Not Win (2003), a falling over plain plaster chair that’s been impaled by an over-four-foot-tall white BIC lighter. That might be comical, but more jarring is a fountain-cum-chair draped with a skeleton, pietà-style, called Invisible Mother (2015).

All of these works—along with other sculptures, paintings, and mixed media objects—create a dreamlike (or nightmare-like, depending on your disposition) environment that overwhelms and confuses to giddying effect.

URS FISCHER: ERROR
The Brant Art Foundation Study Center
Greenwich, CT
Through October 14

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