Urs Fischer

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Urs Fischer
Born 1973 (age 40–41)
Nationality Swiss
Field photography, contemporary art
Training Schule fur Gestaltung, Zurich
Website www.ursfischer.com

Urs Fischer (born 1973) is a Swiss-born neo-Dada sculptor[1] living in New York.


Born in 1973, Urs Fischer began his career in Switzerland where he studied photography at the Schule für Gestaltung, Zurich.[2] He moved to Amsterdam in 1993 and had his first solo show at a gallery in Zurich in 1996. Fischer's subversive approach to art is often considered to be influenced by anti-art movements like Neo-Dada, Lost Art, or the Situationist International.[3] Since Fischer began showing his work, in the mid-nineteen-nineties, in Europe, he has produced an enormous number of objects, drawings, collages, and room-size installations.[4]

In Untitled (Bread House) (2004-2005), Fischer constructed a Swiss style chalet out of loaves of bread. His Bad Timing, Lamb Chop! (2004-2005), displays a giant wooden chair straddling a half empty packet of cigarettes. Between 2005 and 2006, he created Untitled (Lamp/Bear), an edition of three 23-foot-tall, 20-ton, bronze bears (two are yellow, the third is blue) intersected with generic functional lamps that appear to spring out of their heads;[5] in 2011, one of the pieces was displayed for five months at Seagram Building's plaza before being auctioned at Christie's.[6] For his 2007 show at Gavin Brown’s enterprise in New York, Fischer excavated the gallery’s main room, bringing in contractors to dig an eight-foot hole where the floor had been, and calling the result You.[7] In Death of a Moment (2007), two entire walls are equipped with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and set in motion by a hydraulic system, to create the surreal effect of a room in flux, morphing in shape and size.[8]

Fischer has his own publishing imprint, Kiito-San, whose books are distributed by DAP [9] and Buchhandlung Walther König.


Fischer’s installations and sculptures have been exhibited in some group exhibitions and biennales worldwide, including Manifesta 3[10] and the Venice Biennale in 2003, 2007, and 2011.[11] His solo exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 2004, titled "Kir Royal," was his first large-scale solo museum exhibition.[12] Recent major exhibitions include "Not My House Not My Fire," Espace 315, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2004); "Mary Poppins," Blaffer Gallery, Art Museum of the University of Houston, Houston, Texas (2006); "Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty," New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2009–10);[13] "Skinny Sunrise", Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2012);[14] "Madame Fisscher," Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2012); "Urs Fischer," Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013); and "YES," Deste Foundation Project Space, Hydra, Greece (2013).[15]

Art market[edit]

In 2010, one of Fischer's waxworks, Untitled (Candle) (2001) sold at Sotheby's for $1 million; it is one out of an edition of four identical pieces.[16] One of his Untitled (Lamp/Bear) (2005-2006) sculptures fetched $6.8 million at Christie's New York in 2011.[citation needed]



  • Adam McEwen, Urs Fischer: Beds and Problem Paintings (New York: Rizzoli), 2012
  • Caroline Bourgeois, Patricia Falguières, Michele Robecchi, Urs Fischer: Madame Fisscher (New York: Kiito-San), 2012
  • Bice Curiger, Massimiliano Gioni, Jessica Morgan, Urs Fischer: Shovel in a Hole (Zurich: JRP Ringier), 2009
  • Garrick Jones, Brice Marden, Beatrix Ruf, Urs Fischer: Good Small Make-Up Tree (Zurich: JRP Ringier), 2005
  • Bruce Hainley, Jörg Heiser, Mirjam Varadinis, Urs Fischer: Kir Royal (Zurich: JRP Ringier), 2005