I read about this pop-up show of Urs Fischer’s work put on by Gagosian Gallery but had honestly, forgotten about it (oopsies!). I finally went in yesterday with a friend on our way to some LES galleries and I’m really glad we did. Basically, there are two shows of Fischer’s work running side by side, one is at the new uptown, Park Avenue location of Gagosian Gallery and the other is this awesome pop-up in the lower east side.
The outside of the former Chase bank is covered in graffiti with only very hard to see markings of what the building used to be. Once you walk in the doors however, the suited security guard leaves no doubt that you are in the right place. The works in the show are based on pieces made during the artist’s exhibition at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles) in 2013 where he worked with 1,500 participants and made figures very quickly with clay. Fischer selected from this group and cast the objects as unpainted bronze and gilded bronze sculptures. Gagosian Gallery explains that like dreams, these works have no logical relation other than Fischer’s affection for them; they are a “chaotic little non-family of things”.
I think it’s a great show, even better than I had anticipated and definitely something cooler than I’ve come to expect from Gagosian (given their resources, I would do awesome stuff like this all the time). This is one exhibition where you can truly say that photos don’t do it justice because being in the atmosphere of the seemingly abandoned bank (rather than just seeing it) is paramount to experiencing the work in this context. There are still office supplies in the drawers at the bank teller’s desks, the logos are still in tact and the walls are still painted the same shades of beige. While the high-spirited and extremely animated sculptures breathe life into the space, it simultaneously becomes more depressing than ever.
The pop-up is open until May 23rd at 104 Delancey St. so run (ok, you can jog… or walk briskly)