A meditation on passing timeLeo by Urs Fischer

Fischer reminds viewers of the transience of life,
beauty, and even art itself.

An artwork is not about the now. —Urs Fischer

At the core of Fischer practice resides the frequent evoking  art historical genres and motifs with wry self-awareness and humor. In his work the processes of material creation and destruction are often explored through the use of impermanent materials. Fischer’s art produces joyful disorientation and sinister bewilderment excavating the potential of  materials and media.

Fischer’s candle sculptures exemplify the relationship between permanence and impermanence. Captivating in their materiality and haunting in their implications, the candles serve as both portraits of—and meditations on—the passing of time. Elaborating on traditions of memento mori, they remind viewers of the transience of life, beauty, and even art itself. Fischer  began to make them in the early 2000s with a series of crudely rendered female nudes, standing upright or lounging in groups.
A series of realistic figurative candle portraits followed, including a full-size replica of Giambologna’s sixteenth-century sculpture The Rape of the Sabine Women, and Marsupiale (Fabrizio) (2017).

In 2018, Fischer created a candle replica of the art patron and collector Dasha Zhukova, which burned for weeks in the shopfront gallery at Gagosian Davies Street in London. The artist newest candle portrait, Leo (George & Irmelin) (2019), depicts Leonardo DiCaprio with his parents, George DiCaprio and Irmelin Indenbirken. Cast entirely in wax, the family is posed in mid-action: George gestures while conversing with Leo, as Irmelin holds Leo in her loving embrace.As with all of Fischer’s candle sculptures, Leo (George & Irmelin) will melt slowly over the course of the exhibition, its original composition transmuted into a form dictated by the wayward laws of physics.
Leo is presented in the ground floor gallery of Gagosian Paris until December 20th, 2019.