Austrian artist Erwin Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures have influenced a generation of sculptors, though this body of work had not previously been shown at a major institution in Los Angeles. These inclusive and interactive works act simultaneously as off-the-cuff quips and radical reconsiderations of the major questions key to both sculpture and art viewing: how figures relate to their ground, how one inhabits space, and how simple acts of re-framing can alter perceptions.
For his exhibition at the Schindler House, Wurm sourced props ranging from banal to blatantly comedic, and then produced a set of instructions for visitors to perform the various sculptures for sixty seconds at a time, consisting of balancing acts, mild contortions, and altered uses of everyday physical objects.
By soliciting visitors to complete the artworks themselves, Wurm invites them to ask questions about the differences between artwork and art work, the activity of art alongside the display object. Generally first encountered as a written description or a suggestive drawing, the sculpture instructions at the Schindler House left the completion of the idea up to the willingness of visitors. The transitory and ephemeral nature of the project cannot be overstated—at core the works were an exercise in the effects of context and perception—and visitors were activated as artists themselves to point out how those exercises resonated within the Schindler House.
About the artist
Erwin Wurm’s practice has been celebrated and exhibited internationally. His work has most recently been shown in solo shows at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; Städel Museum, Frankfurt/Main, Germany; Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany; Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York; Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney; Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen; Dom Umenia / Kunsthalle Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia; Halle Verrière, Meisenthal, Lorraine, France; Büro Weltausstellung, Vienna; and Greith-Haus, St. Ulrich im Greith, Austria. He has work in permanent collections around the world, including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon; Städel Museum, Frankfurt/Main; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; museum moderner kunst stiftung Ludwig wien; MAK—Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna; and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain.
Erwin Wurm: One Minute Sculptures was graciously supported by the Pasadena Art Alliance, and, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.