7/02/2012

Rebel in need of a cause - Urs Fischer


How to write good newspaper reviews? Research well, articulate your point, know your history, critique but do not abuse the subject, leave room for the reader.

Rebel in need of a cause
By Rachel Spence
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/d131c4b8-b3bb-11e1-a3db-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1zOcwQAwD


... Today, a collector like Pinault can mount a retrospective of an artist such as Fischer with loans of museum quality, but the French mogul’s ownership of Christie’s auction house and the international gallery Haunch of Venison has attracted accusations of a conflict of interests. For instance, Fischer’s sculpture “Bad Timing, Lamb Chop” (2004) – an edition of which Pinault included in a previous show here – is currently on display at Christie’s selling exhibition at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. Christie’s will neither confirm nor deny that it belongs to Pinault but, whoever its owner, the Palazzo Grassi show will likely boost its value...

... The bedlam within – splattered and scribbled floor and walls, half-finished sculptures, a bucket brimming with wax – aims to unmask the chaos behind Fischer’s creativity. Yet it is the stuff of self-congratulation rather than revelation; a tired piece of process art that would have struggled not to seem grandiose even in 1972 when Nauman realised: “If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art.”...

...Yet that doesn’t necessarily make it good art. Nauman knew this: rare is a work by him whose raw essentialism doesn’t expose the vulnerability of modern civilisation’s trappings. Most of his heirs lack the discipline to know that a bright idea is no more than faux-philosophy without an equally brilliant sensory trope...

...Perhaps Fischer is too knowing not to be aware of these discomforting paradoxes. Nevertheless it is time for him, and contemporary art in general, to realise that even the wittiest rebel needs a worthy cause...