Urs Fischer ‘Vignettes’

Installation view, 'Vignettes', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, Glasgow, 2024
The Modern Institute, 3 Aird's Lane, Glasgow

Preview: Thursday 16th May 2024, 6–8pm

Vignettes comprises a new series of small-scale bronzes, each a world unto itself. The works are positioned on the gallery floor, as if just left there – abandoned like a child’s toys. Their scale is childlike too, transforming Aird’s Lane into a seemingly vast universe populated by animals, plants, household objects and fruit.

Some of Fischer’s poetic scenes have fantastical origins, emerging from dreams or else coincidences of their production in the studio, while others developed from quotidian or domestic moments – the odd collisions and combinations that happen in life. One approach that links them together is their unlikely combining of two objects, often in divergent styles. Amongst the pieces are a quixotic Playmobil knight with a mishappen companion, a metal rose held by a rough-hewn humanoid, and a snake curled around a plain chair. Shifting states, and various forms of growth and decay, thread through these various tchotchke¬-like sculptures which commune around a centrally placed miniature Murano glass chandelier.

There is a humour to the required engagement with the exhibition. With everything installed at ground level, viewers must look down or bend over to take in the works. They aren’t on plinths being presented as moral exemplars, like a public monument. Key to Fischer’s practice is a questioning of hierarchies – our relationship to ‘the real’ and the everyday, the permanent and impermanent, the serious and whimsical. In utilising bronze in this series, what initially appears fanciful and impermanent has in fact been built to last, forming a key element of the show’s antic atmosphere.

Urs Fischer (b.1973, Zürich) lives and works in New York. Recent major solo institutional exhibitions include: ‘Lovers’ Jumex Foundation (2022); ‘The Lyrical and the Prosaic’, Aïshti Foundation, Lebanon (2019); ‘The Public + the Private’, Legion of Honor, San Francisco (2017); ‘Mon cher…’, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Arles (2016); ‘Urs Fischer’, MOCA, Los Angeles (2013); ‘Madame Fisscher’, Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2012); and ‘Skinny Sunrise’ Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2012). Fischer has widely exhibited throughout Europe and America, including at: The Brant Foundation, Greenwich (2019, 2010); New Museum, New York (2009); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2004); and Kunsthaus Zürich (2004). His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Venice Biennale in 2003, 2007, and 2011.