Erwin Wurm: Performative Sculptures

Exhibition, 21er Haus Vienna, Austria.


From June 2, 2017 until September 10, 2017

The Erwin Wurm solo exhibition at 21er Haus features more than 40 performative sculptures and statues, including a series of new works developed especially for the show.

Erwin Wurm has been exploring the possibilities of sculptural expression for over 30 years. His diverse, profound, and at the same time, ironic oeuvre encompasses almost all genres and expands the concept of sculpture to include interactive, social, and temporal aspects. Even following instructions can become a sculpture. Around 1990, Wurm found a new form of expression with 'performative sculptures' – a new term that the artist claimed for himself. In his radical striving for the extending conventional categorisation, the artist recalls Marcel Duchamp, who introduced experimental, visual thinking to the artistic programme, thus opening up new possibilities for art.
The solo exhibition at the 21er Haus comprises more than 40 performative sculptures and statues, including a series of new works that Wurm developed especially for the show. In his most recent work, he deals with extraordinary examples of architecture and objects of daily use. The starting point is represented by models and blocks of clay, which are usually processed by Wurm himself or other people whom he instructs. Tension arises in the dialogue between the original form of objects and the traces left by the performative interventions, turning the body into the material and the medium of action. In the exhibition, curated by Severin Dünser and Alfred Weidinger, the works of clay are juxtaposed with castings made of bronze, aluminium, iron, or polyester resin.