A brush with... Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer talks to Ben Luke about his influences—from writers to musicians, film-makers and, of course, other artists—and the cultural experiences that have shaped his life and work. Born in 1973 in Zurich, Switzerland, Fischer makes work across multiple disciplines and media that defies categorisation. Whether he is working in photography, painting, drawing, sculpture or installation, he often upends the given characteristics of his medium. His art is in a state of constant transformation, being pushed and pulled in unexpected directions, often with a pronounced absurdity and always with a distinctive impact. He reflects on the experience of curating an exhibition of John Chamberlain’s work for Aspen Art Museum and how, if at all, it has affected his own practice. He discusses his early interest in Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel, why he recreated Giambologna’s Abduction of the Sabine Women (1579-83) in the form of a candle, and Rodin’s The Kiss (1882) from plasticine. He talks about Headz, the jazz and drawing workshop-cum-venue he created with Spencer Sweeney, and his experience of watching several movies in a single day. And he answers our usual questions, including the ultimate: what is art for?

John Chamberlain: The Tighter They’re Wound, The Harder They Unravel, curated by Urs Fischer, is at the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, US, 15 December-7 April 2024.

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