ArtForum’s Scene & Herd column goes to the Urs Fischer opening. Michael Wang comes away with tales of bickering artists and curators and self-satisfied museum directors . . . which is a good thing:
It seemed like half the guests had had a hand in the show’s fabrication (well, at least those not made in China). Fischer’s assistant, the artist Darren Bader, explained how the wallpaper that covered every surface on the third floor, including a drop-ceiling with false beams constructed for the exhibition, was, in fact, a photographic copy of the space after the deinstallation of the prior show. (The almost imperceptible nail studs evidenced where David Goldblatt photographs had hung only a few weeks before.) The whole trompe l’oeil possessed a decidedly mauve cast, which, setting off what looked like a lavender soft sculpture piano (actually aluminum and painted by a mercenary from Jeff Koons’s studio), gave something of the effect of a chromatic afterimage.
Within the purple haze, a simultaneously quotidian and surreal sculpture of a (real) croissant, on which a mounted butterfly appears to alight, hung like a miniature moon. “Urs treats reality as if it could be Photoshopped,” Gioni asserted when I caught up with him outside the seventh-floor Sky Room. “Everything is in focus all at once.” Gioni and Fischer had put together the show in under a year, and several major decisions weren’t made until just before opening night. “Mass and Urs are like a divorced couple,” Rhizome and the New Museum’s Lauren Cornell joked in reference to the sometimes fiery relationship between the curator and the artist, both thirty-six.
The Fischer King (Scene&Herd/ArtForum)